A Vlog about World Building Using Maps!

7 Mar

by Julie Eshbaugh


Hi Guys!  For today’s post I made a video about world building using maps and floor plans.  I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!  Please leave comments letting me know your thoughts and suggestions.  Thanks!


Julie Eshbaugh is represented by Natalie Fischer of the Bradford Literary Agency.  You can read her blog here and find her on Twitter here.



25 Responses to “A Vlog about World Building Using Maps!”

  1. kaemccrae March 7, 2011 at 12:34 AM #

    Oohhh. I’m a floorplan addict.
    I’m writing a gilded age NY historical fantasy. So my favourite worldbuilding moments have been:

    a ) Finding a book with turnofthecentury NY topography (that I’ve yet to purchase)
    b ) Finding a ‘historical atlas’ of NY (that I’ve yet to purchase D : It’s a theme. )
    c ) Finding a book with Floorplans. And a history of all the major gilded age architecture!
    and d) Finding pictures of all the prettypretty mansions/fashions/transport with plans to compile a lovely collage

    Always so very exciting.
    Brings a physicality to the world~

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 11:04 AM #

      Hey Kae,

      I’m with you! I’ve toyed around with some plot ideas that involve historical events, and it is SO EXCITING to find a map of the streets of an old city or the floorplans of old buildings. I’m psyched to hear about your recent finds!!! Thanks for commenting, and continued good luck with your research!

  2. Sammy Bina March 7, 2011 at 1:29 AM #

    Could you be any damn cuter, Julie?

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM #

      Aw, thanks Sammy! *blushes* (I thought at times I came across like a dufus! ;))

  3. Sarah J. Maas March 7, 2011 at 2:12 AM #

    Fantastic vlog, Julie!!!!!!!!!!!!! And YAY for maps!!!! I have multiple maps of the QOG world, and they have been IMMENSELY helpful while writing/editing the series!

    • Susan March 7, 2011 at 2:42 AM #

      GAAH, I LOVE WATCHING VLOGS! We should definitely do these more! Julie, you’re awesome. I love the theme and the video! ❤ ❤

      I definitely use maps for Spirit-Hunters–original maps from 1876. And now I'm having to make them for Screechers. Like you say, it IS important to have/make maps for scale or for understanding the terrain's obstacles.

      And you're so right that opening a book and seeing one just instantly makes me happy! 🙂

      Oh, and Millennium Falcon map? SCORE 1000000 POINTS TO JULIE!

      • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 11:18 AM #

        Hey Susan,

        Yee! I’m so glad you liked the vlog, because you do them so well. 🙂 And yeah, the Millennium Falcon – you were definitely one of the people I was thinking of when I included that!

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM #

      Hey Sarah! Glad you liked this vlog. 🙂 I’m THRILLED to hear you have these maps of the QoG world! Is there a chance a map will be included with the first book??? *crosses fingers*

      • Sarah J. Maas March 7, 2011 at 10:26 PM #

        I’m pretty sure my map will make its way into the book, but I can’t say for sure yet. Fingers crossed it will be!

        • Julie Eshbaugh March 8, 2011 at 7:35 AM #

          Yay Sarah! I hope your pub realizes how awesome it would be to include it!

  4. Gretchen March 7, 2011 at 10:46 AM #

    Sooooo true. I think the most frustrating thing about reading the Hunger Games (especially the later books) was there was no map.
    Your examples were fabulous. I find myself drawing interiors mostly and digging out my scale ruler from set design class because if I’m going to draw it, it’s going to be in scale.
    Anyway, bravo!

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM #

      Oh wow, you are SO RIGHT about the Hunger Games lacking a map! I tried to sketch something out of my own just for reference, LOL. I think it’s awesome that you draw your diagrams to scale. I’m a bit particular with my interiors, as well. 😉 Thanks for your comment!

  5. Kat Zhang March 7, 2011 at 3:57 PM #

    Julie!! You’re so pretty 🙂 And this is a great vlog! I am an obsessive map maker I adore drawing world maps (for imaginary worlds, of course!), make-believe houses, and I went through a phase when I would draw boarding school maps religiously. Yeah, I’m a weirdo, I know 😛

    For some reason, I hardly ever do maps for stories I’m writing. The maps themselves seem to be a story for me, one that’s a lot looser than a traditional bound-book story, and one that evolves as I draw the map.

    Thanks again for doing this vlog! If I get over my camera-shy-ness, I’ll see if I can make one, haha

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 4:45 PM #

      Thank you Kat! You should definitely make a vlog, too. I KNOW you would be great. Maybe you could do it in Spoken Word form?? And it’s so cool that you love to make maps! So funny that you haven’t done a lot for stories you’re writing, but you make a good point – the map can be a story in and of itself. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!!

  6. Chantal March 7, 2011 at 6:23 PM #

    I LOVE when books have maps included in the cover, they’re so fun and helpful for immersing yourself in the world. I’m not very good at drawing them myself, but it’s a lot of fun~

    Great vlog! You guys should definitely do more of those!

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

      Hey Chantal,

      You are so right about how maps help with the immersion experience! I can’t believe that I never posted about this before, since it’s a topic that seems so tied to the reading experience. Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you liked the vlog! 🙂

  7. Vanessa Di Gregorio March 7, 2011 at 11:05 PM #

    Julie, I loved this vlog! (And I’ll admit – I’ve been dying to see someone do a vlog for a while now!)

    I love love LOVE maps in books. I think they’re a great way of introducing a reader to the world. I used to always doodle out a map for my WIPs!

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 7, 2011 at 11:27 PM #

      Hey V! I’m so glad you liked this vlog. I agree we should do more of them at LTWF. And it’s awesome to learn that you’re a map “doodler!” I’ve been sketching up layouts since I posted this last night! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

      • Vanessa Di Gregorio March 8, 2011 at 12:38 AM #

        Did you ever notice all the random emails I would send to the group just to say, “Hey! It’s been an awfully long time since someone did a vlog….” :p

        We should totally share some of our layout/map sketches one of these days – I think it’d be super fun to see just how much we plan out the stuff we write!

        • Julie Eshbaugh March 8, 2011 at 7:36 AM #

          That’s such a great idea! (Now let me dig up some less-than-hideous maps I’ve drawn… :p)

  8. Alexander M Zoltai March 8, 2011 at 4:18 PM #

    Wonderful video 🙂

    I went a slightly different way with my WIP…

    It happens 12 light-years from Earth and I created the planets and named the territories and cities before I began writing the book.

    There will be a web link in the book so folks can download the free 3-D space simulator I used and the files I created.

    So, readers can actually fly around the star-system and visit my Worlds 🙂

    • Victoria Dixon March 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM #

      Thanks for taking the time to cover all of that, Julie! Great vlog. Someone else has probably already said it (since I’m way late commenting), but the one thing I wish I’d done back when I drew my kingdom’s first map, was to extend the map out to the surrounding countries and possibly even the world. I say this because now I’m ready to do a new story, possibly a series of stories in the same world, but I’m having to back pedal a lot and, in some cases, even change things in my original ms because of the fresh world building I’m doing.

      • Julie Eshbaugh March 9, 2011 at 7:26 AM #

        Victoria, this is a great word of advice! If you take a look at the Oz map, it extends far beyond the realms most fans are familiar with. Thanks for commenting. Glad you liked the vlog!

    • Julie Eshbaugh March 9, 2011 at 7:29 AM #

      What an awesome idea! Web links would be a great way to share maps (and the total experience) with readers! Thanks for the comment.


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