Whenever I hit worldbuilding snags I tend to switch mediums. My current issue is with one of Frigg’s scenes that I’m rewriting. In it, she flies from Jarnstadr (pictured below) to Ifington — and then she flies over Ifington itself.
The problem was I didn’t have a good picture of what Ifington looked like. So I kept confusing myself, hitting iterative, unproductive loops on describing the city — and then I just gave up….and started drawing.
In KD, I described Ifington in very broad strokes…
- Had been a settlement founded by the Jotunn which the Aesir took from them
- Was on a long strip of land connecting Asgard to Utgard
- Was split in at least two pieces by the river Ifing (which in myth is a boundary between Asgard and Utgard)..
- Had an “old bridge”
- Had two newer bridges somewhere in the city
- Had the Bay of Thund to the west and the Great Sea to the east
Rather than start by mapping Ifington (which I eventually did), I started drawing my world. I’d actually done it before, but this time I really dove into it.
What I’ve posted below is the fourth iteration of one section of my world. I’m no cartographer — nor much of an artist. But, this crude map has helped a lot even though it’s not the “final” iteration.
Here’s a list of the things wrong with the map:
- Ugly, heh.
- Scale is totally whacked.
- Jarnstadr should be north of Ifington, not east
- A little inconsistent with some of what I wrote in KD
- I don’t like that peninsula cutting down into the Great Sea.
- I wanted the Thund closer to Ifington.
- There should be more continent “west” of Gladsheim.
My sketch of Ifington itself is even cruder than this one. But, it’ll help me finish rewriting the scene tomorrow — which was the whole point.
Because of my days-long tangent, I’ve found some good map-making & worldbuilding resources. Check these guys out:
- WASD20: draws fantasy maps & has some good tutorials on how to do it. He mentions a few other resources as well (which I haven’t looked at).
- Stoneworks: some worldbuilding tips based on the real world. Good for maps as well as helping make sure your world makes sense.
I also tinkered with Inkarnate and watched some videos of Campaign Cartographer (CC3). Last year I had bought a year-long license of Inkarnate (it’s not expensive) and tinkered with it here and there. CC3 looks pretty powerful but also time-consuming.
If I’ve learned anything from these past few days it’s this: I’m a writer who dabbles in map-making not the other way around.