Experiences of Writing, World Building

Evolution of an Idea

World building is a huge part of my work, and something I particularly enjoy. I have never been able to focus on story from only a character perspective or build a tale from a single entity, I always find myself rambling off into the physicality of where someone is, the local culture and flavor, the fact the land itself is also a character…

Of course, that’s also where Hevna started from. I knew I wanted to write a fantasy story or three, had a few adventure ideas and characters in mind, but nothing was going to be concrete until I invented my world for them to live in, and it’s unique eccentricities.
And so the very first thing I put to paper was a rough sketch of the planet’s map.

So. Here it is. The very first map of Hevna.
Original Map

What a wonderful mess!
But, despite what has changed, what hasn’t and how unprofessional that scribble looks, its actually still an active document in my folder, thanks to those ugly colored swirls all over it. They still help me figure out what Aether storms are where for those areas I haven’t yet transcribed over into my complicated Excel document about such matters.


I always intended to do a better map, even from the first day I sketched the first image. That resulted in the second hand-drawn map, much nicer to look at and better pinned down in terms of some ideas.

Core Map

This is the version that still sits in the front of my Doom Folder, but it’s not quite the final form, as it were.
Photoshop is a wonderful tool, and while I’ve been very lax about mapmaking in 2018, I do have a few maps of specific countries made up, and the intent was always to layer those maps onto each other for a much more crisp world map in the long term.

I’m still not quite there yet, but as I am now working on a better program and design to finally fill this site up properly with info on my world (the fruit of which will start showing up in January, I’m quite excited about it), I now have a more ‘real’ looking map I finished work on yesterday.

Flat Map
Hevna World Map

‘Finished’ is a strong word, of course, but for all this will continue to get some tweaks as time goes on, the overall look won’t change much.
Mostly, I wanted to make a post today to prove I am in fact working, and to revel in the evolution of something as simple as a single map. It makes me super proud to look at the first idea I had and splatted onto paper, compared to what it has evolved into.
I also find it interesting to look back at what is missing and added as I’ve continued to flesh matters out, adding and taking things away. Place names change, islands have moved around, vortices have been added, storms have been removed… I wonder what this map will look like another four years from now?


For those curious about my thoughts on World Building, one of my earliest posts was on the matter and can be found here: Click me!

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