Writing Wednesday Assignment #1: Draw a Map
Jill Williamson on March 18, 2020
Hi, everyone! I’ve been inspired to make the most of the situation we are in and do what I can to inspire others. Millions of children and teens (and teachers!) are suddenly out of school for weeks on end, including my own kiddos. I am posting challenges each day in my Instagram Stories–simple things that all of us can do to stimulate our brains, our creativity, and to liven things up at home. I’m also doing book recommendation videos on my IGTV channel, so if you’re looking for books to read, stop by and see what’s up. I’m doing a different genre each day. Here is my tentative breakdown:
Monday: Picture books
Tuesday: Middle grade
Friday: First chapter Fridays (On which I’ll read the first chapter of a book.)
Saturday: Fantasy/Science fiction
I’m also going to do a Wednesday writing challenge. I will make these simple and fun so that even non-writers can participate. I mean, if you were in school, you’d have to go to classes that aren’t your favorite, so why not come to me for your ELA fix? I hope you’ll join in for the writing fun.
That said, here is today’s Wednesday Writing Challenge:
Draw a map.
You’re probably not too shocked that The Map Lady wants you to draw a map, right? Well, this isn’t meant to be a perfect map that you could hang on your wall. This is meant to be a creative, messy, fun project. Go to my IGTV video to watch me explain the assignment and show examples of other authors’ maps. Here is the gist of what I want you to do:
Draw a map. It can be a mythical place, a fictional place on earth, or a real place that inspires you. Note: You are going to use this map in the upcoming weeks to write a story, so make sure it’s a place that really interests you.
Add landmarks like rivers, lakes, roads, towns, forests, any place you find interesting. Then name the places too. (See “Naming Things” link below for help with that.)
You are all creative. You can do this. You really don’t even need help. But if you’d like some help, below are some links to posts I’ve written on this very topic. Pick and choose. No need at all to watch them all.
Map-Making 101: Drawing the Map: In which I explain in great detail how to make a map for a story. Note: I posted links to places online where you can use technology to create your map. You’re welcome to go that far if you like, but today’s assignment is simply to draw a simple rough draft of a map. So no stressing, okay? Your map doesn’t have to be complex.
Map-Making 201: Naming Things: This post will give you ideas on how to go about naming the places on your map.
The Evolution of a Fantasy Map (in which I share about a map I created and changed over and over again). There are pictures of this map from first sketches to final version.
#WeWriteBooks: Maps and Floorplans: This post was part of a series on writing a book, and this post has a lot of good information, though much of it is the same as in the posts above.
My YouTube Map Lady posts. These are videos I made last summer about some of my book maps where I explain my thinking behind what I created.
You can also hover over the “My Books” menu above and on each of the series pages you will find images of the maps for those books.
That’s it! Ready, set, create!
If you really have fun with this and want even more help specifically creating a mythical place, here is a link to a bunch of posts on that topic. These posts came from my book Storyworld First, which is currently on sale for .99 on ebook platforms and for $6.99 in my author store. But with the link I gave you to the posts and what we’ll be doing together in the coming weeks you don’t need the book. Just take this project a little at a time and have fun with it!
And when you’re done, email me your picture or post it on social and tag me. I want to see what you’re working on!