A Writer’s Sketchbook - Maps

Racciman's World Original


I don't know how any writer can get away without using maps and diagrams. Unless, I suppose, they always set their stories in their own backyard, or their characters never go anywhere? But if they do go somewhere you need to know that they went to the right place, and that it took the right amount of time. Diagrams help me know that things are the right size, and that one day sick bay isn't two levels up from the gym, and the next day it's four levels up. Things like that.

Racciman's World

I can still remember my sister reading one entire series of science fiction stories, pulling out a pencil and paper to do some calculations, and then announcing that on this world cities migrated between books. It was odd how none of the character's seemed to notice the worlds' morphing geography.

Coral Palace Floorplan


I started out using a pen and pencil, and drawing my maps on graph paper: maps to determine geographical locations, maps to figure out what the weather is like, maps to trace the paths of history. I eventually moved on to digital painting programs to do my maps. I love having the ability to create various layers, which I can show or hide, depending on which information I need to be looking at.

The Continent of Kamko


Verdaia World Map

Map - Digital Paint 2011

Across a Jade Sea begins near the Indigo Islands in the center of the map, and then the action takes us first to Tycheria, the soutwest portion of the large continent on the east side, and then to Larsia, the small continent in the northwest.

Writing Quote
'You're a writer; you're supposed to be creative; make up your own system.'
-- Patricia C. Wrede
Copyright © Michelle Bottorff

Email mbottorff at lshelby period com