Maps!

ATTENTION: If you’d like to keep following me, my official website has been moved to http://vmjaskiernia.com/ – whether or not I keep this as a less official blog is still up for debate. Thoughts?

I’ve been working on maps all day long! And now you get some pictures, worldbuilding, and other random information about how I spend my days.

As we know, fantasy maps are a large part of the genre. Any even slightly-epic story will have one, and while not many people really go and look at it, there are the geeks who double-check it for accuracy at every mention of location. If the story becomes popular enough the map will be seen a fair amount more. Even if you aren’t a really hardcore fantasy fan you know what Middle Earth looks like, and probably Westeros as well. You might even know how the Four Nations from Avatar and Korra are situated.

When reading I don’t look at the map that often myself. But later, when reading up on the world, about the author, the more meta side of the story I delight in having detailed maps. It makes the world so much more real.

You can see where this is going :)

My first attempts at making a map were terrible MS Paint scribbles. Just the basics, so I could see which part of the world held what continent and that’s about it. But that wasn’t enough for me. I’d go on to make a calendar and work out the daily times of sunrise, moonrise, sunset and moonset. Plus the seasons, the ‘real seasons’ the fae-seasons, the moon phases, how these all differ between hemispheres.. etc.

So a bullshit MS paint map wasn’t going to cut it.

I’ve used a few programs over the years to make up for my lack of drawing skills. ProFantasy’s Fractal Terrains 3 (https://secure.profantasy.com/products/ft.asp) was my main ‘this is a map now’ program. I typed in some numbers and variations, hit go, and a world popped up. I clicked through a few until I found one that felt like Noctuina to me.

Then I had the problem of adding things like borders, roads, names. Moving it over to photoshop would be good, but to do that I had to export the file. As a single file it wasn’t as big as I wanted (I was originally going to have a pixel-to-feet conversion of some sort, but that proved way too daunting and silly) so I exported it in as many files as possible, in as big a setting as possible.

So now I had 256 bits of map. 16 across and 16 down.

I made a huuuuge photoshop file and start moving over each piece. But I noticed that they aren’t seamlessly connecting, and are leaving white boxes around each bit. I couldn’t just fill it with blue, some of it cut through land, and picking through such a file would be a pain…

Now at this point I knew Noctuina had magical realms that had their own borders different than kingdoms and countries, but I had not worked out how I would decide what realm was where. Having 256 perfect rectangles that made up my entire world seemed as good a place as any to place the magical borders. Given that it is a globe, there would realistically be distortion, and the lines wouldn’t be hard edges (in most places). Walking past the point won’t usually change the magic of the realm as if you’d hit the edge of a green lawn and walked into a snow-covered one. (Though now that is being planned between some realms).

It was only after I’d come up with this genius idea that I realized when I hit save in photoshop, the thin white lines disappeared. Too late! I kept the files separate, with one ‘whole map’ picture of the same size as the pieces.

Since then I’ve mostly worked on bits of the map at a time, deciding which realm went where, but today I was started working in more detail on Clandestina. There are towns, duchies, and various other things mentioned in Delphinium, and while I had a vague idea, an actual map would be helpful.

Clandestina is the realm in which The Larkspur Series takes place. The kingdom that roi Edgard and reine Joséphine control is called Triumphe. It consists of 4 duchies, each named/themed after a suit of French playing cards. Cœurs (Hearts), Carreaux (Diamonds), Trèfles (Clubs), and Piques (Spades). There are other sections in each duchy that correspond to suits used by other countries. Elizabeth is from Eichel (Acorns), a German suit used in place of Clubs. You meet the Margrave of Bastoni briefly in the opening scene- Bastoni being the Italian suit Clubs.

There is land in Clandestina that is not part of Triumphe. These are more wild lands, with far more of the Fée living in the main plane of existence.

Anyway, pictures! Here’s Clandestina, with the borders of the duchies sorted out and named. Below that is a further away view of more of the realms and land. It is not the full map, that is 16 by 16 ‘realms.’

https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/W0lZkt5.jpg

New Website – http://vmjaskiernia.com/

Heya everyone! There have been a lot of changes going on lately, but many off-screen and a little slow with the holidays going on.

I changed my main website from a wordpress.com to a self-hosted wordpress.org – right now it’s almost identical to my blog, but it allows me greater freedom to change widgets, themes, and add in things like a bar up top for those that want to subscribe to my mailing list.

http://vmjaskiernia.com/ is the new site. I will no longer be posting here, and this blog will go offline soon. I can’t move my followers from here to there sadly, so if you want to continue to see what I’m doing please follow the blog. It is the ‘enter email’ widget on the right of the page. The email list at the top of the page is for the Noctuinad Mailing list, including story information and extra tidbits (when I get around to them). By all means feel free to sign up there too :)

To those of you who have read Larkspur (Spoilers)

So, this post will have SPOILERS for Larkspur.

Questions to those that have read it (and context):

The first story ended with Lizzy feeling… under the weather let’s say. This continues in Delphinium, but every time I write those scenes I worry they’re boring. Especially since they’re at the start. Pierre was ill for most of Larkspur, and while Lizzy’s illness only remains a problem at the beginning, it still takes up some time. Any thoughts about whether the ‘illness’ scenes were boring, or might become boring? Given the use of necrocræft has such extreme side effects, I better get used to making the scenes not boring. I don’t plan to detail every time someone is ill, but it does become a plot point a bit more often than in regular fiction (outside of a hospital drama).

More updates!

So much stuff going on, likely going to be hectic until the end of the year (and a few days into it). Seems Kobo and Nook are shutting down for Christmas, not allowing new self published books to be put up for a few days, and while I’m not sure if Amazon has the same policy it’s probable. Delphinium likely won’t be out before Christmas, but soon after.

My wordpress premium account has also been refunded, because there was a little mistake on my side. Confused wordpress.com and wordpress.org (jeez, I wonder why). My great new PR guy is moving The Noctuinad blog over to wordpress.org, where custom plug-ins can make the website in general a thousand times more awesome than it is now.

I’m still recovering from the Legend of Korra finale, so when all those feels have had time to settle it’s back to writing. Oh, and I got a B for my class this semester and I officially have all the hours I need to graduate! I can’t actually graduate until May since I was too late to apply… BUT I’m technically finished with University!

Hope everyone’s dealing with finals, life, the Holidays, and having a good time :)

Blog Updates

I bought WordPress Premium! I’m also getting a ton of help with making a great mailing list, and setting myself up as an author/brand. Things will be changing in the days and weeks to come (so exciting!).

I have a new domain too- vmjaskernia.com will be all you need to get to my blog. The previous wordpress domain will redirect, so don’t worry about having to change anything.

I am writing still. Just turned in my last exam (ever! I officially have all my University credits) and can devote the next two weeks to nonstop writing and editing. Delphinium will be out this Christmastime if it kills me (something something, necromancy joke).

New book summary

So begins my revitalized writing-and-marketing career– with a new book description for Larkspur.

Forbidden magic, a childhood love, and a goddess of death.

An old romance is reignited when Duc Pierre Salvador returns from University, but his love, family, and friends are unaware of his dealings with the Lady of Death. Being a surgeon is not enough, and he strives to know all the mystical and illegal means of controlling life and death. With his final task to master necrocræft, he must choose what is most important to him.
***
This is a novelette. It is ~15,000 words, or about 60 pages.

It isn’t perfect, I’m still going to tweak it a bit, but with a promotion tomorrow I wanted this newer version up so maybe it can entice some more clicks. I may change the ‘have to choose’ part, since frankly that isn’t true- while he probably should choose, Pierre often wants both.

898

Ok, so I got 898 words last night. Not quite a thousand, but better than I usually do. Have one last homework assignment to do before I’m free forever, and I’ll write between procrastinating on that. This evening I’ll devote some ‘just Delphinium’ time.