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.  

Don’t throw away your old outlines and stories.

I started writing stories when I was eleven years old. I completed around twelve fantasy stories by the time I graduated from High School. During that time, I was also piling dozens of incomplete stories, manga adaptations, sketches, and blurbs.

Every now and then, I want to take an old story, strip my poorly structured characters, flimsy scenes, cheesy dialogue and give them a makeover.

When I have doubts about doing it, it’s because of these three questions.

  • What if I trunked my story because it’s not good?
  • I already have new ideas to write about.
  • Maybe they deserved to collect dust — It’s embarrassing to read!

I believe these aren’t wrong questions to ask, but I also think it’s a scapegoat not to use what could be rich content. Somewhere under the run-on sentences, and vomit of grammar mistakes, there could be a gold nugget—waiting to be polished.

The Black Wing series has colossal worlds where the past, present, and future intertwine with the series.

So what do I do when I want to create another book in the same world?

What better opportunity than dusting my bags (I don’t have a trunk) and revive one of my middle school/ high school stories?

My Blue Book. The papers feel soft, almost translucent in blue ink.

Blue Notebook has seen better days…

I will spare you the embarrassing parts of Blue Book and generalize what the story entails.

A materialistic, self-absorbed woman has the worst luck when she’s no longer on Eart. One mistake leaves her wedded off to an insufferable man. She must now live among a prominent village with iron-fist rules. This village is protected by a shy and very private dragon who is unable to leave his post by the coast. The woman must decide if she wants to adapt to her new world or become what the village people fear.

This story, aka Blue Notebook has been stored in my trunk (Microsoft bag) for 16 years!

Shout out to Microsoft. Don’t know how I got your bag…but I did.

But here is a warning

Fantasy writers, don’t blindly pick a story from your trunk, choose one that will fit with the world can add to your current series. Blue Notebook works well because the world I created has the same cultural, magic system, and medieval themes in The Black Wing series.

The setting in Blue Book is futuristic but involves swords and dragons. (I don’t know why I like combining sci-fi with medieval themes. But it showed 16 years ago and now)

If you can’t transplant your story into a current series, don’t sweat it.

Throw the setting/world away, but keep your characters, tweak them, give them a different hair color! Sometimes we give up on a story because the world we put our lively characters was not good enough. Don’t let your character’s pay for it.

This also works vice-versa. If your characters were not sticking to the plot or universe, you created — why throw both of them away?

If you’re going to trunk away your stories, don’t feel as though you have failed them.

One day, Blue Book will make a return.

You never know when yours might have a comeback.

Why I decided to write a spin-off of The Birth and why more books will submerge in 2020.

When I wrote the first few chapters of my dark fantasy series, The Birth was not in the plan. Well, once again neither was Lola: Aftermath of The Birth.

Here are the following reasons why I have to write outside of my volume series, and why I triple check everything before announcing an upcoming book

The worlds in The Black Wing series are vast.

In The Birth, you learn there is another world out there, Osois, an icy planet with an entire history that has yet to be explored.

Osois and its two moons.

In The Conflict, you uncover something beyond Earth, a secret that has been held for billions of years.

I’m not writing this to complain or validate my reasons, but rather, these scenes don’t belong in the main series. So I must write them in a separate book.

Here is what would have happened if I did NOT follow my gut:


Long Flash Backs

I like them, but not if it’s going to confuse or draw out the attention of the story. I don’t want to write unnecessary scenes and conversation unless my fantasy readers are already in the loop. Granted, there will be flashbacks in several chapters, but not all can fit in one book. Not on mine at the least.

Long Explanation

It leads to more questions!

If you have read The Birth, you learn about Lenurs (A video series of my species will be coming soon ) and their way of life. Lola learned of Lenurs and Osois through Avalon, and since The Birth was written in first person, it was thrown at (you) readers. For example:

Why is the Emperor immortal? Why is Eihbohn a meatless voice who Avalon trusted to watch over Lola and yet *Spoiler*? Why are Elites known to be the best and what’s the issue with their caspedian cloth?

Unnecessary Explanations

One of the things I’m trying to avoid when I’m talking about events in the past that shape the series is flooding the book when the attention is supposed to go elsewhere.

You’re always going to move forward–into the future in volumes of The Black Wing Series. Lets stay there if we can.

Do I have answers all of these questions? Yes, and I have much to give!

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