21 May 2012

And on the first day...

...on the first day, I thought this would be a good idea :). 7 years down the road, and after various writing courses, not an insignificant amount of time and money spent researching worldbuilding, getting an ACE certificate in adobe photoshop due to my masochistic love of cartography, and god knows what else, I'm not really any closer to getting this damnable world of mine done.

A bit alarmist, probably. I have an encyclopaedia detailing various facets of my world clocking in at over 500 double-sided A4 pages, most of which is bullet points detailing histories, myths, locations, ruins, nations, people, flora, fauna etc. I've gone from being someone with no-experience of PS5 to being pretty adept at it (if i do say so myself... which I do), though I haven't ventured too far from things like maps, timelines and star-charts with it to be honest with you. What started as simple poetry, short stories and the accounts of imagined explorers, itinerants, travellers and merchants (a.la Marco Polo or Ibn Batuta) slowly changed into a series of larger, sprawling epics that never got very far from the planning stage as my thirst for knowledge and yearning to populate this world with coherent histories, timelines, lineages, hierarchies etc got the better of me and I moved instead into the Worldbuilding aspects, concentrating on details like determining the rainshadows of my continents to the chronicling the dynasties of long-dead nations whose ruins have been meticulously named and placed in my beloved maps.

This is my new obsession. The short stories and plotting of the overarching storyline have been sidelined (yet not forgotten), in favour of the detailing of this world that grows more alive with every word i write (at least i hope so). This blog is a means of keeping track of my thoughts in a more coherent manner than my usual scatterbrained attempts. Also there is the hope that fellow worldbuilders stumbling upon my efforts might find something that's to their liking or find something to comment on or provide help with.

Anyway, to start things off, here's an old version of a map that I created for the world of Elyden, which, once the new version (5.0, at my last count) is done (no time soon, I'm afraid) I plan on priniting out at high-res at about 4' x 6" and will grace my geek den at home. Ah, I look forward to the day when I can sit back witha  glass of icy cider and look at that map hanging on my wall...

Since making this map I've made a few changes, including changing the rhumb lines to proper latitudes/longitudes (makes more sense on a map of this scale), added some detailing to the coasts and resized it so that the focus of the Map are the Inner, Dark and Iapetan Seas (basically cropping out everything east of the Argent Mountains and south of the Roiling Sea). The change in scale has allowed me a bit more freedom with font sizes and allowed me to add some more areas and locations to regions that would have been conspicuously without notable features due to the large-fonted nation-text filling up the entire territory! The map borders themselves have also changed considerably with the new (as yet unseen) version having a more classical carographical feel with alternation white/black wide striped border with lat/long details on them.

On the whole I'm still happy with this map and it can be seen as an older version (in-world) of the one I'm working on now (though that doesnt really make sense as an older version, in-world would have had different borders...) but anyway, not to take anything from this, I do feel a bit of pride when I look at this (particularly the folded paper/mouldy effect); though hope to be able to better it. I've come to realise that its not only the worldbuilding aspect of this world that i enjoy but also some more artistic things, like the maps so when I get bored writing histories I can always try my hand at something else, like this:

Well I think that's enough for now. Not much insight into the world I've created, though don't let that fool you. There's mythologies, histories and timelines aplenty, and various civilisations old and new that im currently detailing.

If anyone comes across this and finds it interesting, or if you ahve any comments or suggestions, please let me know,



  1. Very, very cool! I love finding a kindred geek spirit. Worldbuilders everywhere need to get power rings to press together with a resounding battle cry of nerddom....maybe then our combined imaginations and enthusiasm would make all this real and give us passports to each others realms. (Sigh) A geek can dream I suppose. Your visuals are ridiculous - in a good way. I say so because I don't know the first thing about art via computer. I'm trying to keep myself from reading everything tonight. I need to spread it out so my eyes don't get all stingy/blinky. Plus, I need to give myself something to do at work...ya know, when I really ought to be working.
    I'd love to converse more via email. I'm my blog title @gmail.com

  2. LOL! yes I know what you mean (about work too... guess where I'm replying from). Ill be sure to email you. also, if you get this message and youre interested in seeing more stuff, please subscribe to the blog. I'l be sure to check your own one out too.