poetry and prose about place

a map to go with a story

with 6 comments

Since I began to read, I have loved to have a map included in the book – the more detailed the better!


The maps that come to mind include the five maps of Middle Earth and the detailed map of the Shire in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings (Methuen Publications), the maps of Great Britain and Wales inside the front cover of Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave (William Morrow and Company, Inc.), and the map of Martha’s Vineyard accompanying all of the books in Philip R. Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries (Scribner). Although books in the mystery and fantasy genres often have maps, almost any book can include a guide to the geography of the book.


the completed GIMP map for Meniscus: South from Sintha … every feature has its own layer so I can add a tree, delete a path, or add a house to a village!


When I began my Meniscus series, I knew a map was needed. I needed it, to help me plot the story and action!


At first I thought I would do a hand-drawn map and make changes as needed. Foolish girl! I would have been drawing maps forever. I have included a new map with each book, showing the path taken by the characters and any new features they find in the landscape. Fortunately I chose GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a free on-line app similar to Photoshop Pro. I had never worked with GIMP before, so I took the time to learn the system and I still have trouble with those ‘paths’. The system produces maps in layers. I can have a map for each kind of tree in the forest, a map for the grasslands, one for the villages and cities and so on.


This week I started plotting for the seventh book in the series (two are now published and the third is expected out next week). I have told all the stories I care to (for now) for the first map (Map of Prell-nan South District, Meniscus), so I have been working on the landscape of Prell-nan North District.


I first designed this map at the laundromat. Laundromats are the best place to read and write and think. No one bothers you and there is a set time to work. Many of the details of the map will change but it shows the basics of the portion of planet Meniscus I am building.


a very draft map of Prell-nan North District, Meniscus … the features on this map will be continuous with the map of the South District … the original map is 4″ by 3″  … I drew on what I could find!


I have now finished most of the layers on GIMP. I still need to label the various features and tidy up some of the layers. Now I can use the map to help me plot the journey of my characters and their actions!


the first draft of the map on GIMP … I love creating all those little trees!


Be watching for the next book in the Meniscus series! Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb tells the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain, and gets them through a brutal winter on planet Meniscus! Their love story and adventures continue with some new characters.


Copyright 2017 Jane Tims


6 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on rogermoorepoetdotcom.

    Liked by 1 person


    July 12, 2017 at 7:33 pm

  2. I’m a HUGE fan of maps in books- this really strikes a chord with me!

    Liked by 1 person

    Watching Seasons

    July 12, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    • All books. I spend lots of time in Peterson’s field guides looking at the maps!


      jane tims

      July 12, 2017 at 10:30 pm

  3. That’s awesome! I love having a map to consult along the way of a story. Even if it’s a simple layout of the town or village, it helps place you in the scene. What a great idea, Jane!

    Liked by 1 person

    Meghan Tregellis

    July 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

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