Create a map – visualize your world

I’m not an artist, nor do I pretend to be one.  I do like to dabble with painting on glass and shell art but I do it for fun and stress release.

I am a writer, however, and I am knee-deep in writing a YA epic fantasy trilogy, The Chronicles of Fallhollow, complete with knights, dragons and damsels not so fair or in distress.  The realm of Fallhollow where much of my story takes place is huge and while writing the scenes, I found myself getting lost.  I knew where things were in my head but lost perspective on how long it took to travel from one place to another.  I had to find a way around it, so I drew a map.

Map of Estaria2As you can see it’s a very crude drawing but it gives me an idea on where everything is and I can visually relate to how long it would take to travel from one spot to another.  There will be some minor changes to this and some tweaking, but for now, it hangs on a board near my computer so I can refer to it when I write, just to make sure I have it ‘right’ when placing a scene.

What do you do to ‘ground’ yourself in your story to keep from getting mixed up in time and space?