So I’ve been working on this for a few days, and now seemed as good a time as any to share it. This is the first draft for what will become The Map for The Endless Circle. As you know, every good piece of fantasy needs a Map to go along with it (not a map, mind — a Map), to which readers may refer when baffled by the proliferation of polysyllabic place names and journeys of ten leagues or (infinitely worse) ‘three days’. How far is a day, exactly?
Truth be told I resisted the idea of a Map at first. Those of you who know me know that I am averse to many of the tired cliches and stereotypes that have abounded in epic fantasy writing over the past thirty to forty years. They may have been fresh and exciting once upon a time, but no longer.
So I resisted the Map. But then some people read the book and still managed to confuse themselves. Either I’m no good at writing or people are no good at reading — in any case, I made some revisions but found it hard to make things any clearer. Hence … what you see at the top of this post.
It’s in the very early stages. I need to find a satisfactory way of representing mountains and hills, and especially areas of woodland. Seeing it like this makes me realise how … manufactured my landscape is. Do rivers really flow like that? Do forests really end in such a definite fashion? Not to my knowledge. Also, I won’t have the typed place-names in the final copy — they will be all beautifully hand-drawn.
Anyway, let me know what you think. Does it help? Any glaring errors or omissions?
I am working on the close-up plan of Padascel as we speak …