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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > March 2017 > MAPPING IT OUT


Maps and geography often play a fundamental role in bringing your fantasy worlds to life. Alex Davis shows you how

As an aspiring fantasy author you might be at the end of your epic trilogy, or perhaps you’re just setting out on establishing just where this book is set and what your fantasy world is going to be like. Many writers in the field spend an awful lot of time doing this – those immersive, sweeping locales certainly don’t happen by accident and, what’s more, the location can lead the story in new directions and become a key factor in your plotting.

We’ve explored some of the different aspects of worldbuilding in the written word, but one thing that is becoming increasingly common is the use of maps – in some cases more like atlases – to help guide the reader through the geography of your newly created setting. I’m sure any fantasy reader out there could easily pluck a handful of books from the shelf and find at least one or two with a lavishly presented, beautifully drawn map in the space of the front few pages.

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Make this the month you make your dreams real and start becoming a writer in the Get Serious issue, with advice on: • How a change of attitude will help you, and the wider world, take your writing seriously • How to stay motivated past the difficult mid-novel slump • Money matters: Are you charging enough for your freelance writing? PLUS How to make sense of your royalty statements Cover star Jake Arnott tells us about finding the stories and characters that society overlooks and we explore the style and technique of forensic crime superstar Patricia Cornwell Get your work out there with opportunities to get published and competitions with more than £60,000 total prize money in 20 packed pages of Writers' News. All this plus our definitive guide to writing festivals, courses and other events for 2017