Process Junkie: Maps Are Hard

(and also maybe writers should stick to what they're good at?)

I wanted to title this newsletter “Maps are dumb” but we all know that’s not true. They’re cool as hell. What’s better than a badass map in a book? Literally almost nothing. Well, unless it’s MY map.

I honestly went back and forth about showing this to you guys. Because on the one hand...showing it will PERFECTLY illustrate my point, but on the other hand we're in early days here and I need you to not lose complete faith in me as a writer.

But I'm gonna risk it, because there is simply no better way to illustrate what an absolute badass Meredith McClaren is than by showing you my shitty map.

Now, in fairness to me, she ALSO had the script, which I can’t show you (yet) cuz, well, SPOILERS. The script had lots of detail and world building information. And page one was one of the heaviest pages as far as script/world building details because we’re building a whole new world here and we wanted to drop you into that world right on page one - to give you a long view of where the story exists and an inkling of where it might be headed.

But that’s tough on Meredith because that means page one has got to be a home run of an image that draws you in, but it also requires TONS of worldbuilding to already be figured out in order to even begin to draw that image. Fortunately for me (and you guys), Meredith is a genius.

I made the mistake of writing directly into the script (as an aside to Meredith) that I’d made a map of the city. So of course this happened:

Of course, because Meredith is a kind soul (in addition to being a genius badass one) she didn’t remark on how bad it was, she just said COOL. And then got back to the business of drawing the shit out of everything.

Anyway, yes, yes, here’s the shitty map, FINALLY:

So you want to know what Meredith did with it? With that shitty map and about 2 pages of “world building” text in the script? With only that to go on, Meredith turned the walled city of Kiros…into this:

BOOM.

I mean, really?

There were a few moments when we first started working on Black Cloak where I was hit with a sudden wave of relief and the confidence that this was really going to work and be great…and getting this incredible page from Meredith, after we’d only JUST begun talking about the project was a BIG relief moment.

I think I smiled like an idiot for a full day after I saw it.

ALL THAT SAID, the image above was not Meredith’s first pass. We did four or five color passes on it…but THAT is another story. Maybe for next time?

In the meantime, hit that SUBSCRIBE BUTTON, my lovelies.

Until next time (which will probably be very soon - this IS launch week after all!)

-Kelly