Map Making


Sunwielder MapI seem to be needing maps for several of my latest adventures in writing. Actually, I’ve always create hand-drawn maps as part of my world-building, but they’ve been for my reference only. As far as amateur maps go, some turn out rather nicely, carefully crafted, while others are horribly scribbled.

Now I have a few books in the works where I think the maps may be of interest and helpful to the readers. The stories take place in sweeping landscapes – islands in the case of Dragon Soul and a whole continent for Sunwielder. The hand-drawn artwork isn’t going to cut it.

So I invested in a map-mapping program, designed for games, but suitable for books. Don’t ask me how that works quite yet, as I haven’t moved that far into the process. However, I did make a map!

I went with Profantasy, available at a decent price and with good quality. I got scary warnings about downloading the user’s guide and haven’t taken that step, but there’s an awesome youtube tutorial as part of the “help” function. I watched the tutorial, paused, drew a coastline, watched another segment, inserted mountains, watched… you get the idea. In about five hours, my first attempt at a map was done! Supposedly this is a very basic map, but not too shabby.

The map is for Sunwielder

5 thoughts on “Map Making

  1. Thanks for the tip. I need to make some maps, too–although I’m hampered by needing to site things in this world, since I’ve so far written low fantasy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • My biggest challenge with this program was resolution for the print books. Finally I figured that out (2 years later). Now, the maps look much better than when I started. I went back to all the books and updated the maps.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brad Baker says:

    Nice map. I have always liked maps, especially ones related to fantasy story worlds. I refer to them as the story progresses. A good map adds value to the reading experience. Frequently a hand drawn map is enough if it is consistent with the technology available in the story. Something more elaborate would be appropriate for a SciFi space exploration story. I remember seeing a map that was not well referenced in relation to events in the story or other locations indicated on the map (1 mile west of the boiling swamp). I remember thinking that the writer could have done better. As a writer, my WIP is set in the present time and I am referencing real places as they exist today. I plan to include a map with known places as a reference and locations of events specific to the story clearly indicated. I am listing them as I write and checking them on the map as I revise the story. I have been using a map I printed from an online source. When I am finished I may just draw it by hand in order to avoid issues with the original source. Is anyone else making their own maps?


    • I’m also a fan of maps and often refer to them when they are included in a text. I also believe that the writer has to do the hard work of making the story coherent, regardless of whether there’s a map. Great point that the quality/style of map should represent the technology and capabilities of the time! In the world of self-publishing and small-press publishing, budgeting is often a barrier to hiring others to do the work. I love maps and thankfully found a software that I think I can master with a little practice. Good luck with your book!


  3. CJ Jessop says:

    That looks like an interesting program. I haven’t drawn maps for Web (although I kind of have a picture in my mind what it would look like). Thanks for sharing. 🙂


Comments are closed.