Skip to content


November 9, 2022

            I’m not exactly a Picasso when it comes to map making. That’s especially true for Gods Of The Blue Mountains, my second Meleena’s Adventures novel. My publisher Jo, took my scribbled map and turned it into something intelligible. I was so grateful for that.

            What if you want to create a fantasy map, don’t have access to an artist, but are no wiz yourself when it comes to drawing? Based on a question that popped up on one of the Facebook forums, is there a software package that can help?


            Unless you really have a high-powered publisher willing to print a full-color map on the inside of your book cover, at best, you’ll be lucky to get a simple black and white line drawing. This especially applies to paperbacks which rarely have color maps, though there are exceptions.

            So, you want to create a map based on your fantasy world? How about a real world? In the real world, there are real places (or made up fictional places) or, fictionalized real places you want to depict. How about science fiction? Other worlds might require a fictional map just like fantasy. Do you have the skills to do this?

            The map should be at least minimally detailed. It should have enough of those details, such as mountains, rivers, lakes, plains, towns, all marked so they accurately detail your world.

            A big beef of mine is that sometimes maps in books don’t really correspond to the story. They make the details so vague as to sometimes not even compute.

            Do you know how to draw mountains, rivers, lakes, shorelines, islands, or whatever? To me, it’s not all that hard to come up with a detailed map of my world. The issue is making it look professional and not just chicken scratching.

            This is where software can come in handy, especially if you don’t have or can’t afford a good artist.


            I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention a few available software packages that I recently discovered. Since the Facebook person didn’t know either, it piqued my curiosity. After some research I came up with a few examples. I’m not giving technical details, as that’s for someone else to lay out if they’ve ever used one of these.

            Inkarnate: This seems to be a pretty decent program that has a free version as well as a $5 subscription service that releases more details.

            Wandercraft: There’s no free version, but a one-time $30 fee will get you going. There are plenty of add-on’s available (for a fee of course) if I recall.

            Flowscape: It comes in for under $15, and I think this is one that’ll do any kind of world, not just fantasy.

            Dungeon Fog: This one is $8 per month and the title says it all.

            Campaign Cartographer: This has a $20 one-time fee to unlock most of the good stuff with, of course, some add-ons.

Azgarrs Fantasy Map Maker: This one is free. It has potential.


            Most of these software packages came about from fantasy (or other) gamers, like dungeon masters. They’re great for creating campaign maps for D&D and such. Why not for a book?


            On the Internet, you can find just about anything. Why not map making software?

            It’s a big world out there.

            Happy writing!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2022 1:07 pm

    I’ve used Campaign Cartographer for a while now. More than anything, I enjoy the variety of styles of map that I am able to create with it. I also enjoy the community that has grown up around the product.

    • November 26, 2022 1:28 pm

      That is so cool. Love that you found something that works for you. I’ve still to try any of them yet. Maybe it’ll be handy for a future article! Thanks so much for the reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: