Finding Abu Rish

Finding Abu Rish

I think my fondness for cartography comes from my dad. A growth spurt at 12 meant I was tall enough to ride shotgun and inevitably be the map reader for long car journeys. I was absolutely useless at first, but after a little planning ahead I could navigate routes at ease.

The breakthrough was my reading of large fantasy novels at the time which would often preface with an idiosyncratic map of the lands that were about to be explored by the characters and could be referred to if the reader became lost. Thus our car journeys became a small fellowship with the destination often being somewhere far more exciting in my imagination than actuality.

I always encourage participants of my workshops to make a map of their Storyworld. It needn't be geographically accurate, but it is worthwhile to observing from distance the journey characters make and more pertinently the route of the audience.

Multi Platform projects can be especially dense and the best piece of advice I was given was to 'Zoom Out' of the project. To literally float above it and watch the cogs moving and where obstructions were blocking the user experience. Additionally, we quickly learn which elements are extraneous and could result in a narrative cul de sac.

Agency within a storyworld often means opening the world up to exploration and affording audience's to interpret and interact as they wish, but a good map can at least provide a guide to both the narrative designer and user.