In continuation of my new Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) book series, this week I’ve tackled the job of world-building and map-making. Agrobathe, is a fantasy world I’ve been working on for a few years now. Unfortunately, my database backup was corrupted and I lost all the details of my world, but I still have the images, so that is where I’m starting all over again. As, the CYOA books will all take place within the world of Agrobathe, I am building a world foundation before I ever write the first book, however, I have designed the first book and typed out the first few pages, but nothing story wise.
To create the map above, I’m using a CAD program called Campaign Cartographer 3 by ProFantasy. Being a CAD program and having a multimedia background I thought it would easy, but I’m slowly learned that CAD systems are quite different than Photoshop. Other than the slight learning curve, this has been a great program and has some very nifty map-making features.
Work wise, I’ve traced all the landmass and islands from an older image and added in mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers. With that complete, I’m now in the process of adding towns, castles, roads, and map labels on the map. My writing style may lend itself to having a background in Dungeons & Dragons, where maps were essential to the one running the game. For my CYOA book, I need a world map to root my foundation in the story world. Once I have the world map completed, I’ll know of all the major cities, cultures, and landscapes. For my first book I then plan to create another town map for the starting area where the reader starts off. Having a map gives me a better mental picture of the character as they move through time and space within the world. It gives me a strong anchor and also helps with continuity throughout all the books. For me, maps are like storyboards are to a director as they prepare to shoot a film. Once I have the basics of a place to start, I’ll flesh out the area more along with my writing. At that point it will be mostly giving all the locations and buildings names and the character who inhabit them. I’m stoked about this series and really can not wait until the map making process is over.