I decided to give a program called Campaign Cartographer a shot for creating maps for my novels. Fantasy novels need maps, right? Well, no, not really, but they can still be a useful visual aid and even a rough one is useful in keeping distances and directions consistent while writing.
My approach to world-building is one of story-first. I want at least a rough outline of the story before filling in details about the world. Not that other ways are wrong, but I’d rather spend time on writing and the story. As I need more details, then I rough out the world more. I have the fear that if I flesh out the world first, then the story will require me to change everything around anyways.
Right now I have three novels than can use maps. COG, which is in revisions to get it ready to be submitted to publishers by my agent. Dead Mountain, which is in a new revision. And finally Dragonfire, which is roughly outline and getting a detailed outline at the moment.
Anyhow, I decided to map out COG. I already had a map that looks like something a four-year-old would scrawl out in crayon. Actually, that’s a disservice to four-year-olds. My initial foray has produced this map still very much incomplete and in-progress.
The UI is out-of-date and sometimes the selection mode feels kinda clunky, but it does make it easy to produce a map that looks better than my initial scrawl. If I read the manual, I can probably make it better.
The export to JPEG seems to have done something funky to my text, but I could always add that in post-export. So far the experiment seems to be going okay.