Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Map fiddling

In the last post, I said that I'd fiddle around and see what kind of a map I could come up with for my newest manuscript. Well, an investment in a new drawing pad and several YouTube tutorials later, this is what I've come up with (click on it to see it larger):

The inspiration for this fantasy world sprang from the park right next to my house. It started with walks in the park. Just about everything on the map has a corresponding place in the park and it's nearby environs. As you enter the park from where my house and yard are, (Cider Spring on the map), you can see in the distance the top of a barn and silo from the farm that used to be located where the park is now. The top of the barn and silo look very much like a castle to someone with an over-active imagination. The barn and silo became the castle in the city of Landerin. The character that I dreamed up needed to get from Cider Spring to the city of Landerin, and so the story began...

I turned to YouTube for help in turning what I had created in my head and made several rough sketches of, into a real map. There is a really good and rather straight forward set of fantasy map-making tutorials by author Jessica Khoury that I found really helpful. Here is a link to the first of her five tutorials: Fantasy Map Tutorial.

It's kind of fun to play around with map-making, but also a little nerve-wracking when you need to try to keep distances correct, etc. This is my first attempt, but I think it's not too bad. At least it conveys all of the important information that the reader needs to follow for where things are happening in the story.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Working on a cover design for the new novel

My newest novel is finished. I have exactly one query out. It's taking a long time to hear back. Several years ago, before the self-publishing boom took off and when email queries were starting to become the preferred way to reach an agent, wait times to hear back really fell off. Sometimes you would hear back within a couple of days. It started to become a rare thing to wait as long as six weeks to hear back from a query. I guess you can get spoiled and when it takes a while to get a response nowadays, you get antsy.

I've been working on a cover design for the new novel because I have a feeling that I'll probably be going the self-publishing route with this book. Anyhoo, this is what I've come up with so far:

There will need to be a map, too. I'm no good at maps, but I'll fiddle around and see what happens.