By Dustin Tigner

Disclaimer: Welcome to my spoiler-free journal. This is where I record my thoughts and feelings as they pertain to what the hell I just wrote. I may explore writing craft, productivity techniques, bemoan running out of my favorite snack, or anything else. You've been warned!

Life is full of trials and errors.

I’ve done a lot of doodling on this map. There are things I like, and there are things I dislike. But you can’t really know what will work until you try.

Well, I tried.

I want a hand-drawn map that I can later ink in Photoshop. It’s important that the map conveys a lot of information within a relatively small space of two pages. What I have now is just too detailed. That detail, when scaled down to fit, won’t provide the information that a map is supposed to provide.

The other mistake I ran into was one of measuring. The snowy mountains of Glacioni were absolutely massive. The tip of one mountain alone was roughly 25 miles wide! What a beast.

After experimenting with a few ideas, I decided to look to other authors. There’s one map that I like a lot. It’s simple, it’s clear, and there’s a lot of creativity. I’m talking about The Rithmatist’s map by Brandon Sanderson.

I find it interesting how he has this gorgeous map that breaks the world into dozens of large islands, but he doesn’t really explore any of that in the book. I know the series is incomplete, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does with it.

For me, I see the places on a map as a promise. Those locations should be explored or at least mentioned. Maybe we hear about some brave souls that traveled to the scorching hot Kallideous zone or stories of the people who live beneath the ice of Glacioni. These places could also work for short stories, novellas, or standalones (like Sarah’s story).

This map has presented many new ideas. I would love to dig into it some more, but there are other worldbuilding chores I must make progress on before I return to Sarah’s book on Monday.

Tomorrow, I’ll be digging into 24 different classes. I need to understand them a lot more than I do now (which is a whole lot more than I did while writing Arachnomancer 1 and 2). I think two days will be enough.

See you tomorrow. :)