Mar. 31st, 2011

rensong: (Independence Day)
In the last year or two, I have discovered that I really like maps. This might be partially due to the fact that I just spent the last twelve months making them, but I think it actually stems to the one cartography class I took way back when I first attended UW Stevens Point.

It wasn't until the last year, though, that I started actually flipping back and referencing the territory maps that many fantasy novels have at the beginning of the book over and over again whenever some location or road is mentioned. I used to ignore those things entirely - I might look at them once in curiosity when I first started the book, but after that I my mental image would very much be in the "here and now", in a matter of speaking - when the characters in the books traveled, I'd only ever really "see" in my head their current location when the first described it, and i gave little thought to how they might've arrived there.

Now, though, I find myself constantly flipping back to those rough maps and trying to plot out their route of travel, or see how far one location was from another and thus how far the characters had to travel to *get* from that one place to the other. Nifty landmarks - like giant, perfectly round inland seas and/or plains that have formed in old craters (cookies if you can guess what series I am reading. ;) ) - are also something I like being able to see mapped out , so I am pleased as punch when I have a relatively well drawn map to reference as i read, even when I've read the book so many times that I have parts of it memorized.

On the other hand, when it *isn't* a well done map, and it is missing all these road and towns and locations mentioned in the books, I have discovered that it kind of drives me nuts. ::once again searches in vain for the boarder town that DOESN'T EXIST on the map, despite it being of moderate importance in at least two of the novels in the series::

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