Hi all! So much for turning the blog into a bi-weekly affair - man it's difficult keep up with a blog! Major kudos to those of you with real-world jobs and hobbies who also manage to keep up-date with your blogs! I don't think I'll ever be able to do it, but i'll try... sporadically...
"Many are the reasons for your intrepid authors' absence, chiefest amongst them the plotting and shaping of his constructed world, known otherwise as Elyden."
Though having said that, I really haven't been doing that much work lately. I've been slowly plodding away at my second novel (don't get excited, the first one is still far from being published), though it's far from completion. What other time I have has been spent on commissions and other pursuits (sounds shifty). It's only recently that I've started work on my world again, and this time it's cartographical baby!
That damned Encylopaedia Elyden has been taking up so much of my time. Pehaps I should go into a bit more detail. The book itself is both a real and imagined things and, as such, exists in two different worlds -
1) It exists in the real world as a series of files on my computer and google drive accounts, constantly being revised, added to, and updated. This version started out almost 10-years ago as little more than notes hand-written and sketches to help me in my own writing and world building. I'm incredibly forgetful and were it not for such notes I'd forget most of my ideas before I ever get round to implementing them. Over the years the notes were digitised (though I still have my earliest notes and the first hand-drawn Inner Sea map, dating back to around 9 years ago) and grew in scope and complexity and have become themselves a goal, rather than a means to an ends. They help me locate places, items and other things I'd otherwise forget about.
Today I have around 600,000 words typed out with much much more to come. Over half of this is bullet points, along the lines of traditional encyclopedia entries (think an early edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica for style). I haven't actually counted how many individual entries I have, but it must be thousands (though I might be overestimating), and most link-back to other entries in an intricate web (perhaps a wikia is the next logical step, though I shudder at the thought of all hyperlinking involved). The rest of the words make up the histories (of which only a small portion are 'complete', religions, mythologies, bestiaries etc.
2) The Encyclopedia Elyden exists as an in-world book that summarises the worldly knowledge of a particular nation (the High Empire of Korachan), much like the aforementioned Encyclopaedia Britannica's yearly updates. One thing I'm aiming for in my version is to one day create a hand-made version of this book for my own pleasure (oh my!), though I don't see that happening until many many years (or decades, even) down the line, if at all, as I'm constantly adding to it and don't want to commit to something that's so rough.
This in-world book is divided into 3 volumes: 1) the encyclopedia, 2) the world histories, mytholgies and religions, and 3) the atlas. Initially i intended the 3 volume to be synchronous: the same size and clearly of the same breed, so-to speak, with similar covers etc, though I'm beginning to rethink this as the atlas clearly necessitates a larger page-size than the encyclopaedia. At the moment I'm leaning towards A3 for the Atlas and a bit shorter than A4 for the encyclopaedia and Mythologia volumes.
At the moment I'm mostly concerned with the third volume (atlas). After much fretting about I've finally started work on this. After an uncompleted political map of Korachan I've settled on a style I'm happy with and will now set about mapping every known nation, realm and major land formation in the world. A monumental task, that, if completed, will leave me with a many-hundred-page-long document.
Each page is A3 in size and will incorporate a map on one side and various geographical, political, religious, etc information pertaining to the region on the reverse. The images are, so far, being created as individual pieces, though can easily be bound together if the thing ever gets done.
This is my work so far - mostly foundations for more detailed stuff to come later on. I've largely busied myself making a template I can quickly adapt for new maps, though sadly the creation of the neatlines and graticules are beyond my ability to automate and really take a lot of time to get done, even after running my equirectangluar world map through G. Projector. Hopefully this is the start of something far larger that won't peter out after a few months :)
Also, anyone familiar with my Holy Empire of Korachan map might be able to place these maps within that one. Keep in mind that these were made with far more precision than the older map and take precedence in the event of any changes