The Great Debate: Maps in Fantasy

Wonderful food for thought about including a map to go with your fantasy novel… ❤

Nicholas C. Rossis

When working on Pearseus, I decided to include a map. In fact, I ended up drawing at least three versions, then buying Cartographer and doing another three versions there. Then, I realized a lot of people hate maps in books. A recent post by A.J. O’Conell of Bookriot explains why.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

I Hate Maps

When epic fantasy N.K. Jemisin released her latest novel, The Fifth Season, she posted the – admittedly beautiful – map from her novel on her blog.  What’s unusual about this is that Jemisin is one of a handful of authors who have been vocal about their distaste for maps in high fantasy.

So, why aren’t some fantasy authors fans of maps? Three reasons are usually cited:

  • Maps on the fly-leaf are cliché; every author from J.R.R. Tolkien to George R. R. Martin seems to have one.
  • Sometimes being able to see every major location in a world

View original post 418 more words

About Colleen Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles - The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017. The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family. Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, children, and grandchildren. When time permits, she also loves gardening, cooking, and crocheting old fashioned doilies into works of artistry. She lives in the United States with her husband and her two Pomeranians, Sugar, and Spice. You can learn more about Colleen and her writing on her website colleenchesebro.com.

10 Responses

  1. Maps in fantasy? For me, an essential. But I understand some reservations when those maps illustrate worlds that couldn’t possibly exist geologically. For my fantasy trilogy, A Seared Sky, I selected an area of the Earth and then modified it and attached my own invented features and names to fit the story. I feel lost when following some fantasies without maps. And I included maps in mine to help readers share more thoroughly in the adventures.
    The argument against maps must be set beside the simple fact that non-fantasy requires no maps because readers either know where places on Earth are located, or can access an atlas easily to find out. This facility isn’t available for fantasy worlds, unless the author provides it.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Actually, I don’t plot: I’m a pantster. But my fantasy trilogy has over 100 named characters and there are three stories intertwined in each of the books, with events going on in different lands. The only way I could keep track of where everyone was at any one time was to create a comprehensive spreadsheet as a timeline, with each cell describing each character’s location and action on each day of the story. That was a work in itself! But I’d have floundered without it.

            Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts with me. I'm listening...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s