The Great Debate: Maps in Fantasy

Wonderful food for thought about including a map to go with your fantasy novel… <3

About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Faery Writer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community on November 2017, and in 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. Learn more about Colleen on
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: Writing Links in the 3s and 5…4/4/16 – Where Worlds Collide

  2. Thanks, Colleen. You’re very generous.

  3. 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.

    • Hi, Stuart. I agree with you. When an author creates a world as in an epic fantasy I find the maps help me acclimate to the fantasy world. I like maps because I feel like I understand the story better. I am writing a fantasy novel where my characters meet at known places on earth. In this case, I know I do not need a map. Great thoughts here. Personally, I love maps! <3

      • And, of course, the author needs to create a map for their own use, otherwise they have no way of knowing where their invented places are in relationship with each other!

        • So true. It really comes down to plotting out everything to make sure that it makes sense when you are writing about it.

          • 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.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.