How to create a fictional map

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to create a fictional map
Fictional Map (© askaja -

Creating a fictional map can be a project that is connected to a game or writing a novel, or it can be done for no reason other than to create a map of a fictional place. Whatever the reason, the process of creating a fictional map can be an intriguing one. When you create a place and then transfer your ideas to a map, the finished results can be imaginative and inspired. A fictional map can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish, but if you have ideas about a fictional place, creating a map can be an excellent way to define and expand your fictional place.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Fine-tip black marker
  • Coloured pencils

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  1. 1

    Decide on the scale of your map. Perhaps your map will encompass a large area that includes continents, mountains and oceans, or your map may be more detailed and encompass smaller landforms such as lakes, fields, forests and roads.

  2. 2

    Draw a rough outline of the main items that will be included in your fictional place with a pencil. If your map will feature continents, islands and oceans, begin to create the shapes and outlines of these items on your map. The shapes and borders of these geographic features are generally irregular, and they can look however you wish.

    If your map will feature more detailed features, you may not even need to draw the borders of your areas on your map. Begin to add some geographic details to your map, such as lakes, mountains and forests.

  3. 3

    Begin to fill in more details after you have drawn a rough outline. Add as many continents, islands and oceans as desired if your map will be encompassing a large area.

    Add the details of the landforms if your map is being created in smaller scale. You could draw upside-down V's to represent a mountain range. You could create more than one mountain range with a valley in between and gaps that snake through the mountains to represent mountain passes. Add lakes, rivers, forests and roads as desired.

  4. 4

    Think of names for the items you have drawn on your map and label the main places. All continents, islands, oceans, lakes, mountain ranges and roads should have imaginative names and should be labelled.

    Include any interesting places that you wish to create. You could place dots to indicate cities and then name the cities. You could also include interesting land forms (such as caves, beaches or trails) and name these as well.

  5. 5

    Draw over your pencil drawings with the black marker when you are satisfied with what you have drawn.

  6. 6

    Add colour to your map for added interest. Land forms would typically be green. Oceans, lakes and rivers are usually blue. Mountain ranges may be grey and deserts might be brown. Forests could be a slightly different green than the land forms.

  7. 7

    Name your fictional place and add the name in bold letters at the top of your map with the black marker.

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