Fantasy Maps

5 Original Plans I Cut from The Bow of Hart Saga

Last week, I shared what 5 things I added to The Bow of Hart Saga over the time I was writing the series. This week, I’m sharing what I removed from the series. This one is a bit tougher since I had to think through so many years development.

  1. First on the list is a major sub-plot. Once I really re-booted my work on the The Bow of Destiny and the series, I added a major sub-plot where events unfolded in a totally different part of Denaria with different characters. It was pretty good writing but very unnecessary as pointed out by my editor. So, I removed the sub-plot but held onto it for later publication as a single book or a novella series. Hopefully, I can begin sharing some of that in the coming months as the early portions of this could easily be developed into the first two books of a shorter series.
  2. Next, I dropped additional books. When I first planned the series many years ago, I wanted to write between seven and nine books. I trimmed that notion to five books and then to three. I think three books were enough to cover what was needed (reference to the Withlings intended).

  3. The meaning of the Bow of Hart was next to be changed. At first, I intended to write it much differently (no spoiler here) but the more work I put into the current version, the more I knew it had to be twisted. That meant dropping my original intentions and I think that worked out much better. For those who haven’t read it, you need to and you’ll understand.

  4. Along with the shift away from more books, the plans I had for a major war in the lands of Shildra and Grendon shifted north which made sense. Fewer books meant less time to move into other lands so I kept the series arc as simple as possible – anything else was pushing too far. I did not get to show events in other places like Shildra, Grendon, Hart, Rok and several others. Perhaps I can write another series about those lands (and, no, the previously mentioned content is not about these lands).

5. Lastly, I dropped a very convoluted beginning that spent far too much time with Athson being alone and making long trips to and from Auguron City. That left him involved with no one so there was less dialogue. Also, it was just boring so I settled on pushing the reader directly into Athson’s confusing reality and a single, straight-forward journey to the city with Gweld while moving the ranger station further away and adding a few stops along the way for better context and plot development.

So those are a few details that were cut, and generously so. I think it made the overall series better, more concise. As a bonus, I can also share that I split the initial first book since it would have been far too long, shifted the title to the second book and developed The Bow of Destiny title. That took some doing but it worked. Next week, I’ll share more details I added, especially in The Bow of Destiny that made the book better in my opinion.

Thanks for reading today. Please leave your questions and thoughts in the comments sections and I’ll reply as soon as I can! Find out more about The Bow of Hart Saga on the series page.

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Making Maps of The Bow of Hart Saga

Maps are an important part of the fantasy genre. With urban fantasy you can get away with not having one but with alternate world fantasy it actually helps the reader gain a sense of setting for the story. In my opinion, a fantasy map can be a prime element of a fantasy plot where major events can be the built around specific places. Without a map, the reader can easily become lost in the world where a story is set.

I often receive questions about how I developed my map of Denaria. I’ve written about it a few times but I thought I’d address it more and also point everyone to a new page for The Bow of Hart Saga where I have maps posted for everyone to view. I hope readers will find it helpful.

Denaria

Since the series is self-published, I had to develop the map for digital format with as low a cost as possible. This was a challenge since I originally hand drew the map and that was somewhat water damaged over the years. To address the issues with the map, I re-traced it on tracing paper with a pencil. Then, I went over the new tracing with a dark pen without adding the place names because I wanted the lettering to be higher quality than my sloppy handwriting. With a basic map, I then had it scanned at a local store and got a digital copy. From there, I used Microsoft Publisher to view the map and insert place names using text boxes. This made it handy for enlarging or moving place names as necessary for zooming in on areas of interest to the books. However, I was forced to draw arrows to the places from the place names which makes it a little easier to see.

Western Auguron

While my map is a DIY project, maps by regular publisher are actually produced by an artist. Many of the maps you see in traditionally published books are stylized and add to the book as a supplement to the cover. The main drawback to maps in fantasy is that they are hard to see in most cases in e-book format. I’ve tried to provide zoomed areas of interest so readers can more easily see them. But I also include a few of them here and all of them that appear in my books on the new page as well as the book pages so readers can easily orient themselves and see the whole scheme of the map.

You can find out more about The Bow of Hart Saga on it’s page or menu as well as the main site page.

Do you like maps in fantasy books? What maps in fantasy books are the most memorable to you? Please leave your comments in the section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading today!

PHS