Coloring Your Map Part 3 (Final, for now )

I colored my map shortly after my video, but a lot happened, you know what I’m talking about. It’s strange to think that when I wrote part 1 on map making, the world was normal(-ish). Since COVID-19, I spent more time in my writing cave, writing and editing. Every now and then I get on my Xbox and play Destiny 2 for some Gambit Prime. But other than that, I haven’t done any reading, but I did a swell job having a consistent schedule…sleeping until 6 or 7 a.m.

Let’s get back to focusing on the beauty of coloring your maps, and some feedback I got from my first video. In my recent video Coloring Your Map. I mentioned that a friend found it interesting that I did not suggest using your hand-drawn map for making a globe/planet.

You have to be extra careful about hand drawn maps when you’re using world making software.

Below is my map as a globe, with no changes. Straight out of my scanner.

Software used: Gplates

Below is my map with changes.

Since Asylum is the sister planet of Earth. (More on it will be revealed in The Hunted Prince and future videos) I had to take into consideration the body of water for my planet. If your world is more water than land and is focused on islands, you wouldn’t want any world making software to make it look like there’s a puddle of water. But a map with no exaggeration of water would be perfect for showing the important islands that will feed the story that your character/hero/protagonist/antagonist will travel.

Blue Green Brown. Rinse and repeat.

The first thing you’re going to do is choose one shade of the three and stick with that shade. It doesn’t’ matter if you’re coloring digitally or with color pencils. Try not to steer too far in choosing a high contrasting blue with a pale one. Have a safe zone, like choosing your colors first, will help you best. If you look at other people’s maps, you can see they have a feel to it. Some people use little colors, no detail, more warm colors, or cool colors.

Set the base and build on top of it, carefully.

I say carefully because unless you are digitally coloring your map, there is no back button to markers and such. (But would have already followed my other advice and made many copies of your map, right?)

Probably add green first when drawing on digital.

When I first colored my map, I drew continent brown and figured I can add the green over it since the terrain makes up the landmass, but it didn’t work for me. It looked like I was adding green spider legs over the land.

So I did it in reverse, used darer tone colors instead. This was magnificent for me because my symbols were extremely helpful in adding my dry climates. My goal was to make my world appear like it was being viewed from space. Color was the biggest factor here. We can barely see a mountain of Earth from space, and the ones that do look like a line of raisins.

The rest is up to your skill but, most importantly, your goal.

Make your map work for you, mine will be in videos, my books, trailers, etc. I can also now focus on smaller regions, kingdoms, cities, towns. Yay! But that is for another project. It’s time to close this Map blog journey until I work on a new one. A big thank you for everyone who has commented, liked, and shared. I hope this had helped you, inspired you, or gave you the kick to get to work.

Stay creative.

Asylum, the sister planet of Earth.

Logos for your Maps Part 2

Perhaps I missed the target. Maybe creating a map was what every fantasy writer did before they wrote their draft. But if you were like me and didn’t, it was an honest mistake on our part, wasn’t it?

A bit of a back story. I  outlined The Hunted Prince. As someone who writes by the seat of her pants, this was fairly easy and enjoyable. But I ran into a problem. I was stuck when it came to writing it. Me,  a pantser! One of those reasons was because I haven’t properly introduced the Asylum world in Black Wings. (Details are found in my prologue while Volume 2 mentions it but that’s it)

I got to chapter three, and still felt a little lost. It’s not like I didn’t know my setting! Asylum is the sister world of Earth. It’s people live like in the medieval times, with some influences on Earth’s culture through the ages. Mythical creatures and dragons roam the world, and the main story follows my protagonist,  a vampire prince.  But that was still a broad idea. I haven’t grounded my chunk into molding clay.

This is where I decided, the heck with it. Back to world-building, back to reading European, Asian, and Native American lore. In doing so, I got excited but not for the writing part. Rather for my world. I outlined my map, wrote the cities, villages, and kingdoms my protagonist will visit. Once I finished, I wrote my first draft at 50,000+ words in less than a week. This was a surprising speed for me, considering it took me almost a month to write a 50,000  word draft of Lola.

Roll up your sleeves, it’s time to make your map.

One thing to remember about building your map is, what exactly is the purpose? Mine was to convert it into a globe and place it on the first few pages of The Hunted Prince. Now it’s my blueprint for what will be (though I didn’t plan it to be) a trilogy.  

If you wrote your world on 8 x 11 paper like I did, I wouldn’t conclude that your map is ready. For example, my map from my first blog post looks nice, but I spread them out when I copied it for Adobe Photoshop. Unless you wrote your continents really tiny, you could fit your world nicely, but it will be hard to write down your notes.

Everything I know about my world was in my head, so creating it wasn’t difficult. If you already know where your hero, heroine, or villain are in the first chapter, I suggest you start there. Remember, conflict drives a story forward, do not make your world a walk in the park, make it dangerous.

Molding clay until you are ready.

It’s cool to have a map to show around, but I suggest not coloring it or spend hours drawing every mountain. Instead, make up your own logos, and write the names of every forest, town, city, kingdom, etc. Don’t beat yourself up for how you drew the logo. A colorful map will not help you move your story forward, but the details and logo will.  

Here is the video showing what I did with my map from my part 1 blog.  Below you will find a link to download the symbols I used. They are in PNG format so they can be transparent and blend over your maps nicely. On my part 3 blog, I should have finished outlining the third book of my trilogy.

I look forward to sharing it in hopes it will inspire you.  

Cady Hammer, debuting author of Chasing Fae

Whether you are traditionally or self-publishing. Debuting is an unforgettable foot print authors will remember for the rest of their writing career.

Rising YA Fantasy author Cady Hammer is debuting her book Chasing Fae with a tempting tier set pre-order on Indiegogo

The Mortal

The Middle Realm

The Demon Realm

The Lower Realm

Each package includes a signed copy and other perks!

So what is Chasing Fae about?

Grace is a young girl who discovers her brother Leo has passed away after going into service at Fae’s World. With no ceremonial honor of Leo’s death. Grace suspects foul play was involved. She disguises herself as a Fae and sneaks up to the Upper Realm in search of answers.

For in-depth description check out Chasing Fae at Indiegogo

As writers and readers, every writing journey has a story to tell. So I asked Hammer a  few questions about her debuting book   

Congratulations on your debuting book, what are some hurdles or achievements you learned as a fantasy writer?

Cady Hammer:  One of the biggest hurdles was getting the world fleshed out. As a fantasy author, you want to make sure that your reader becomes invested in your world. They need to want to be a part of it. I spent eight months before I started my first draft working on the Three Realms and making it beautiful. I spent weeks perfecting the magic system and building unique cultures for each of the twelve Noble Houses. But it’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process, and I wouldn’t trade it. Biggest achievements include finishing that first draft, getting your first feedback from a beta reader (positive and constructive!), and finally getting that publishing deal!

The first thing that piqued my interest is Fae’s World. What can you tell us about it?

Cady Hammer: The Fae’s World is called the Upper Realm, and it is my favorite part of my universe. The Upper Realm is divided into twelve Noble Houses, each with their own distinct culture. There are as follows: House of the Sun, House of the Moon, House of the Day, House of the Evening, House of Light, House of Darkness, House of Earth, House of Wind, House of Fire, House of Water, House of Peace, and House of Darkness. Each lorddom (think kingdom, but with a High Lord instead of a king) is built around a singular central element that is then elaborated and built off of to create a unique society. For example, the House of the Evening centers around the nightlife. The people love to get together at night to celebrate life. There is music pouring out of every tavern and hall in the land. String lights hang above the town. The House is best known for its selection of fine wine, its craftsman instruments, and the best festivals in the Twelve Houses.

What is one thing you want YA Fantasy readers to know about Grace?

Cady Hammer: My main character, Grace, is an introverted young woman who recharges on her own and tends to keep to herself. But she’s a leader in her own right; when faced with a challenge, she attacks it head-on with a stubborn fierceness that will inspire. Over the course of the book, readers will see her open up more. As she undertakes this intense journey, you will see her emotions start to devolve. She’s talking to herself more; she’s second guessing herself a bit more, and her strong exterior is beginning to crack. I hope readers love her as much as I do.

You can find out more about Chasing Fae and Cady Hammer at her website

You can also find her at