31 Days to Surviving NaNoWriMo - Worldbuilding: Physcial Geography and Maps

Monday, October 08, 2012

To start from the beginning of this series, go here.

Day 7 - Worldbuilding: Determining Climate

So now that you have a general idea of what climates you're going to use, it's time to think about geography. If you have a snowier climate, is it mountainous?  Is there a river running through a fertile valley?  Some people want to figure these things out first.  I personally started with a map, and figured it out from there.

This is a rough alpha map of the land my NaNo novel will be taking place in, and you can learn quite a lot about your world just by making a map this simple. The northern areas are filled with snowy mountain ranges, the southern shores contain sunny ports, and the middle has fertile farmland.  The capitol city of the entire empire is located on the southeastern peninsula.  From this map, I know that my best bet for ports of trade will be on the southwestern corner and on the peninsula.  The fishing industry will be more active near the lakes and bay.  Logging will be more prevalent near the mountains, and farming will be the main industry in the valleys near the river.

And yes, I know that my map has a face.

Thankfully, there are beaucoup resources when it comes to figuring out geography and maps!

Unfortunately, I can't find the tutorial I used for my map.  It was in a 2011 NaNo thread, and all the threads from last year got wiped at the end of September :(

-Ad Hoc World Builder (go to part II for geography)
-Fantasy Mapmaking 101
-Fundamentals of Physical Geography
-Map Making for Fantasy Writers
-Mapmaking for Fantasy Authors
-Peter's Guide to Map Creation
-Physical Geography
-Quickstart Guide to Fantasy Mapping
-The Physical Planet
-The World: Basics
-The World: Physical and Historical Features
-World Builders
-World Building Geography Part 1 (video)
-World Building Geography Part 2 (video)


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