I needed a world for my beloved characters, but I procrastinated from creating one for the longest time. My creativity doesn't work in immediate timeframes. It takes me time to create something grand. Maybe I have a small problem with commitment. I don't know.
Of course, the village of Bailiese came first. That's not surprising as that's where the story starts, but it wasn't a magical fictional land at first. Since a ballad inspired it, I wanted the story itself to show hints of the beauty of medieval Scotland. I don't live in Scotland, but I pursued hours of research into Scotland's roots, environment, mythology, etc.
Upon creation, I set A Rokian's Curse in medieval Scotland with magic and elves being a thing that didn't exist until a young woman discovered one from another world. Queriven would have introduced this girl to the existence of magic under the surface of ordinary folks' noses.
A few months of research and outlining later and I decided I wanted a lot more mythology and magic in it. Blair's place in medieval Scotland was shrinking. It was then when I decided it would be better as a fictional land. However, my hard research didn't go to waste as it created a world richly taken by a Scottish air.
Once that decision settled, I needed a map. This is a fantasy adventure after all! But who does one go about making a map? I never did it before. I'm not much of a visual artist. So once more, I found myself buried in research. That's a theme for all the stages I took in this book. Luckily, research is fun when no one's asking you to do it! Then I stumbled on this spectacular article. (Writers, this is the time to shine!)
Using this strategy, I finally made the map on my own. As you may have read if you clicked the article, the shape of the continent came first, then you decide on where resources like rivers, woods, and mountains go. Towns tend to settle near these resources than scattered around at random.
So the few locations I had before I made the map, (aka, Bailiese and a partial city that would become Dunverhart,) didn't have a place on the map until the map had a shape, some rivers, and some hills, and stuff. Make sense? Which meant I learned a lot more about the towns after I finished it. All that I had to do was make a theme for them with creativity and resource in mind. The lore followed.
For example, the town I placed on the southern-most shore was a port town that I later named Seadrake. Since it's a big city and the main port, it found a connection with the capital city of Dunverhart. Because of the king's nature, the port city is not an honest one and carries the king's secretive tyranny by letting thieves and pirates in their port. And with the elves' forest being on the same continent, I knew the two races would have a lot of interaction with each other, or at least, they did at one point.
The only location I planned for on the map was the mountain of Lyfíhana. I knew one of the two ancient races lived there. At that time though, my outline and notes were really rough. I had many ideas at that time and some scenes that either appeared in the book or changed to fit in it. The rokians and the vayen aray were always present in the story, though they went through many forms at first. If you're not a first-time reader, you'll know they were demons and angels respectfully at creation, but this article is about the map, so I'll leave it at that.
The rest is history. There were a few drafts I made on the map, but they were small changes and if I tried to explain them, I will bore you for sure. I will say again that I'm not much of an artist and my scrappy sketch-out of a map wouldn't be book material, so I hired someone to digitally redraw it to make it the beautiful image you can see on the website and books today.
Making the shape of the land was a tad overwhelming, but the fun part came to planting the woods, rivers, and roads around, at least in my opinion. It took me several weeks to name the continent. Fairdraisha means "Magical Freedom" by the way. That's a bonus for you.
If you attended to make a map yourself or already have one, share it with me and tell me about it! You can leave a comment here or share it on my social media pages. (Links down below,) If you wanted to know anything else about mine or A Rokian's Curse in general, you can do that too!
Also, I'm getting an itch to share another short story on here. I have many ideas both relating to A Rokian's Curse and not, but what would you like to see? What do you want a story about? If you read the book, give me a character to focus on! That's all I have for now. Thanks for reading!