1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Surface similarities

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Skybreaker Sin K'al, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. Skybreaker Sin K'al

    Skybreaker Sin K'al Troubadour

    So, I've done some skimming through google images in regards to fantasy mapping, and I came across the map of the Known World from a certain series of novels you are probably well acquainted with. I noticed it looked quite similar to the map for a WIP setting I'm working on. The setting has a pretty unique feel and is very different from the Known World, at least to my knowledge. In fact, my creation of this world was done without looking at the map of the Known World in the first place, its just something I came across thinking "huh, this looks kinda similar to the one I'm working on. *clicks* Ah. game of thrones, alrighty". But on the surface, I'm worried that readers will think "oh great, look, a game of thrones copy so original". I've attached it (my map) here, but I was wondering: should I pull out of the project before the geography gets too tied to the worldbuilding, or stick with it?

    Here's the map, for your consideration:
    The Realms of Man
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  2. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

    It looks fine. And yeah, I'd say it looks more like a version of Europe then the game of thrones map, which is kind of Europe upside down (or the British Isles, but bigger and with longer winters). Let's just put it this way, lot's of fantasy maps have a tendency to either look like a version of Europe or a big Pangea style map. Use the latter myself most the time.
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  3. Skybreaker Sin K'al

    Skybreaker Sin K'al Troubadour

    Thanks. I'm going for a sort of European renaissance feel with this setting, so that'll probably help me out.
    Have a great day, Orc.
  4. Yora

    Yora Maester

    I see what you mean because you told us that you think it looks like Game of Thrones. But I still wouldn't bother about it. Coastlines in fantasy are almost always random squigly lines. The interesting part with maps is what things you put on it and where you put it, and how those geographic factors impact the societies and story. And that's probably going to be completely different.
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  5. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Looks more like a mangled version of Europe, western Asia and northern Africa than GOT. Go with it.
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I second ThinkerX. I would not think GoT, I'd think Euro-mangle. Wouldn't bother me a bit.
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  7. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    You could flip it horizontally. That would throw most people off.
    Laurence and Skybreaker Sin K'al like this.
  8. Corwynn

    Corwynn Troubadour

    Now that you mention it, it does sort of look like if the bottom half of Westeros was bent sideways and welded to Essos. On the other hand, I may not have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out.

    I think a lot of fantasy maps will coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) bear a resemblance to real world geography or other fictional maps despite ourselves. It's not like we have maps of other worlds to go on for inspiration (except perhaps Mars and Venus, especially in terraforming projections).

    Personally, I prefer to avoid a square, blocky look when it comes to my own maps. I try to use arcs, diagonals, and complicated coastlines as much as possible. Unfortunately, when I have to work on a rectangular page, the results inevitably turn out more square than I would like. Mother Nature plays with balls, but we humans play with boxes.

    Also, for the most part, I invent races and cultures first, and then give them a homeland that would best enable said culture. Which comes first for you, people, or place?
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  9. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    I will just say that I agree with everyone above saying that it reminds me more of Europe than GOT,

    First, to answer the last question, I start with characters, so I guess with the people, though perhaps not the culture, if that makes sense.

    Second, if you use gplates (which is free), it's possible to work with balls just like Mother Nature. You can even avoid creating Earth Clones by working from plate tectonics up. Artifexian has a wonderful tutorial for this here. It also has links to a neat tutorial for gplates, which in turn has the download link for gplates.
    Laurence likes this.
  10. Skybreaker Sin K'al

    Skybreaker Sin K'al Troubadour

    I've watched the Artifexian tutorial before. The results I got just looked to alien to me, I wanted something reminiscent of Europe.
  11. The shape of a world's continents has little to do with the plot and characters and really the world building.

    If you felt really insecure about it, you could add some islands or something.
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  12. EponasSong

    EponasSong Scribe

    To be honest, as a reader it may cross my mind that it looks like Europe, but it wouldn't bother me at all. Same with Game of Thrones. Now if you have a character named Tyrion that happens to be dwarf who is despised by his father, then maybe.....
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  13. Laurence

    Laurence Inkling


    Bare in mind, we're exactly the kind of people who would recognise, all of us being avid readers and for the most part, writing something pretty similar ourselves.

    You may find it easier to focus on the heart of the story when your climate is relatively mild à la Europe. The shape you could probably tweak pretty easily without changing too much if it's stressing you out.
  14. Skybreaker Sin K'al

    Skybreaker Sin K'al Troubadour

    ^ Thanks, Laurence

    So, based on the feedback you all gave me, I constructed another map, which I can work on without feeling the same way I did about this one. Thank you all!
    Night Gardener likes this.

Share This Page