Imaginary maps have been used for years and by plenty of people to create strange tales in fiction. An imaginary map is a great starting point for letting your imagination go wild. With the map, you can start creating stories, legends, and personalities who inhabit the map. Here’s how.
- Size and shape. Start by determining the size and shape of your map. There are some maps that will include the size of a kingdom itself, or a whole new world, while there are some maps that only aim to create imaginary towns that exist somewhere in a real country. If you are creating a wholly new world, you can determine everything about the map such as the size and shape of the land. If you are inserting a new location on the real world, you need to take the context of the new location into consideration. After all, you can’t put in snowy mountains in an imaginary town in California.
- Logic. Designing your imaginary map takes some logic as well. When creating bodies of water, for example, you will need to figure out where the river starts and where it ends. It should always end in the seas, and should always begin with a water source, such as mountains that have plenty of springs or an underground water reservoir. Mountains also usually occur in clumps. Places with plenty of mountains also tend to have more trees and rivers. Deserts, on the other hand, tend to occur in the southern hemisphere.
- Important locations. Once the geographical features of the imaginary map have been charted out, the next step is to add in important locations. Consider the type of land you are making when adding the key features. Contemporary imaginary maps can have spots for malls and business districts and city halls. If you are making magical imaginary maps, however, you can add in magical fountains and mountains, or palaces as well as haunted lakes, volcanoes where magical spirits live, and whatever other extraordinary locations you want to add.
- Symbols and legends. To simplify your map, you need to create your own set of legends and symbols that will be used on the map. Create symbols for houses, for cities, for mountains, for rivers, et cetera. These should also be color coordinated so that you will be able to easily recognize areas. Dark green, for example, can be used to indicate lush forests, while pale green can be used for grasslands and savannas. Be sure that you list down all of the indicators and symbols that you use on a small legends box on the bottom of the map.
- Design. Finally, be sure to design your map creatively. Old and magical maps should be inked down on thick parchment paper. Homemade paper works best for these types of maps. For contemporary maps, on the other hand, you can use grids and blue ink to simulate the look of a blueprint. You can also add in other creative flourishes such as sea monsters on the great oceans in your imaginary map.
Let your creativity create its own world through imaginary maps. These steps should help you do this easily.