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Need advice on my map

Discussion in 'World Building' started by JamesTFHS, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. JamesTFHS

    JamesTFHS Scribe

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    so i am in the process of reworking my map and i cant decide on the landmass. i am thinking is that maybe it should be a 6,400 miles by 5,200 miles which is roughly twice the size of asia. now the other option i am thinking is 12,800 miles by 10,800 miles. opinions on this please. Just a bit of info, my planet is about the size of earth give or take a few hundred miles.
     
  2. Nbafan

    Nbafan Dreamer

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    I would say it depends on how complex your novel/series is going to be. Are there going to multiple different countries/kingdoms? Will there be lots of different houses? Will there be great sprawling deserts, mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, etc? If so, the 12,800 by 10,800 could be possible. Otherwise it could prove difficult. But honestly, it just depends on how large scale, how complex, and how many intricacies you have planned. I am currently making a map for a series I am envisioning and am struggling through the same things. Mine will probably end up being quite large and expansive.
     
  3. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    Just a question; Do you actually NEED a landmass/map that large for your story? I mean no offense, but I think that size of a landmass is too much for the average story, which is usually set in a smaller area be it a kingdom or realm within a larger landmass. I would recommend simply beginning with the map that is necessary to the story and expanding it if you need to later.

    Extensive world building is nice and necessary to a good story, but it can be taken too far if it restricts the story in some way or has elements that may never be put into the story. I am guilty of this myself and I know that it's difficult to "restrain" creativity for the sake of furthering the story, but sometimes it's necessary.

    *Edited* Just for a sense of scale... it would take the average person about 7 MONTHS to cross the United States on horseback.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  4. VanClash

    VanClash Scribe

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    Is that north to south or east to west, I've just always had trouble with travelling scale.
     
  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    East to West or West to East, either way about 6000 miles. A man just completed the trip from Oregon to the Eastern seaboard... in seven months, but that was taking into account they had a full entourage of assistants, and he used mostly the highways that cut across the landscape.

    Horses can manage between 10-17 miles per day with an average weight load and over hospitable terrain without assistance you could travel 6000 miles in a year. With a heavy load and difficult terrain it's closer to 8-10 miles a day and in those conditions you'd be lucky to cross that distance in a year and a half.
     
  6. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    To be fair, this is talking about an endurance type situation. If you have cities thirty miles away, humans can get there with a forced march in a day easy, and can probably do 50 miles in small groups (armies are much more difficult). Think this is unreasonable? The issue would be keeping this up day after day, but long distance runners do stuff like this. They can do a marathon (26ish miles) in around 2 hours, whereas walkers would probably take 9 hours or so (3 mph = 1 mile per 20 minutes --> ~8.7 hours).

    Everything I've always heard say that wild horses can easily travel 20 to 30 miles in a day, I would think domestic horses could manage the same since we breed them to be stronger than the base stock.
     
  7. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    That's a huge area.

    The main problem with having such a large mass of land, is the lack of waterways, the isolated climates, and natural formations. For instance, we have had several weather threads before, so I'm not going to go into great detail, but the whole Great Plains would be a desert if it wasn't for the unique climate of the Gulf of Mexico. With that amount of land, you'd have a Sahara going on, bigger than anything we can imagine, and other extreme climates because of distance from water. I'd carefully consider what that amount of land would do to a climate, ecosystem, and geography.
     
  9. Sheriff Woody

    Sheriff Woody Troubadour

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    If the size of the continent has no direct impact on any events of the story, then it truly doesn't matter.

    Every decision should be made with the story in mind.
     
  10. Leif Notae

    Leif Notae Sage

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    Do what you must, but make sure it is relevant to your story. I know some authors make huge maps and only explore a minor part of it. I have my own map where I've only explored a few sections, and I'd say it might be larger than Earth.

    Just draw it and see what you think. Sometimes it works, sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board (as it were).
     
  11. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    Sure wild horses can manage that many miles generally because they are unencumbered, but add the saddle, 160 lb. rider (unarmored most likely) and any tack/gear they may have and that adds considerable weight to the horse and reduces the distance they can travel. Most armies or sizable forces had strings of backup mounts for the scouts and other riders so they could swap out to rest some that aren't being ridden. In that way you could do a forced march and not really damage the horses much.
     
  12. Jes

    Jes Dreamer

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    Personally, I would suggest going easy on the size of the landmass for your map. The story and the setting have a huge impact on what you intend to do with your map, of course. Are your characters going to travel the whole thing, at some point or another? Is it going to the map you use for an entire series? Anything that large seems unnecessary for a single novel, truth be told. As has been stated previously, most stories only cover a small region of a map.

    Are there any details about the story in particular that you's be willing to share with us? I'm a huge fan of maps and I'd love to help you with this problem!
     
  13. JamesTFHS

    JamesTFHS Scribe

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    I'm now starting to think that its is more of the area that all the land exists and that through my story we only see a small part and that is what i am going to for sure draw. i will reference distant lands and what not for my more exotic characters. I also only have two characters go beyond the borders of the map and explore undiscovered land.
     
  14. DTowne

    DTowne Minstrel

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    When trying to make a map I've always used this rough estimate to determine size.
    A lone rider traveling fast can realistically cover 40 miles a day if in a rush.
    An army only 2-3 miles or so.

    I wouldn't quote me on that but it always seemed plausible to me. And from there I then look at mileage and dimensions based on the number of nations I plan to use. Don't know if yhis helps you any.
     
  15. Filk

    Filk Troubadour

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    A horse can be pushed to exhaustion and death; keeping a pace of 40 mpd seems absurd, but maybe in a 24 hour period it would be feasible. I think it was in one of the Gies brothers' books that I obtained the statistic that a horse may be able to travel 30 mpd, but that would be under ideal conditions and the horse could not sustain that pace for several days straight. However, in a fantasy setting you may create a breed of horses that is stronger and faster than that.

    On another note I have walked over twenty miles in much less than ten hours. Such tests of endurance make one very hungry though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  16. DTowne

    DTowne Minstrel

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    Filk does sound right 30 seems a bit better. As I said don't quote me on that. I do think though my army 2-3 miles is correct. They are very slow moving.
     
  17. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    Depends on the army, really. The Imperial French armies were notoriously fast-moving on campaign, for instance.

    As for the land size, create all you want. Just remember that your story should only cover a portion of said map.
     
  18. JBoots

    JBoots Acolyte

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    Take the list of your main characters and plot points. Put a pin on the map as to where they have the most relevance. Make sure it is a believable distance for them to eventually interact. Then build out from that. The world can be as big as you want, but I would build from the story line center out. You can always add or delete areas as needed before the final draft or as you need them in the story line.
     
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