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When you design a new world, do you give Isaac all the details for the maps?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I may give him notes on how I want it to look like, but sometimes I just let him do what he wants.
Do you draw your own maps?
I used to and then have someone who know what they're doing redraw them. Now that I have... *other person interjecting* Yeah, like this Elantris map, I did a sketch of and then handed it to the artist and then the artist did a version. Now we have an Isaac version.
Did you draw it before or after you designed what the city was made for?
Oh, yeah, I designed all... I'm an outliner, so I kind of had all of that in mind.
You knew beforehand?
Beforehand, yeah. Nowadays, I just write and then Isaac reads it and then says, "How's this look?" and gives me a map and I say, "That looks pretty good!"
The Sunny One
I've been rereading the earlier Cosmere titles recently, and I was wondering: are we ever likely to see full world maps for these locations?
Yes, probably during next age, or next era. Once we get to modern era, and their mapping technology is to a modern equivalent, you'll start seeing full world maps. I'd love to do globes; I don't know how much interest there is in a Roshar globe, but I've wanted to do that for years.
How do you come up with and create the maps for your novels? Is it a process of thought while creating the story itself or does it come later once you've written the story as a means to depict the places you've written about? Also do you scetch [sic] them yourself before having them drawn or is the process usually entirely done by a separate artist?
I usually sketch myself out something vague to use as reference, then make it more and more detailed as I work through the book. At that point, I approach and artist and have them help me come up with a good visual style for the book and the map. If it's an artist I know well, I can sometimes let them do more of the work—the Mistborn maps, for instance, were developed by Isaac with very little input from me beyond the text and some basic instructions.
So with the great map in Oathbringer, I was able to update my map of Roshar from space! Enjoy!
As always, thanks to @BrandSanderson, @IzykStewart, and @PeterAhlstrom for making such an inspiring and awesome world.
Did you use the one from the ebook? Also your equator is too high...
Yeah, I made a grid of 100 degrees latitude and 200 longitude, projected it into azimuthal equidistant, and wasn’t quite able to match it to the graticule in the ebook map. I got it as close as I could and assumed your projection was slightly different.
Is the equator supposed to go through the top of Kadrix?
Yes. Through the word Kadrix. I’m guessing the latitude the projection is centered on is a bit off.
One of the things I love so much about your books are the illustrations and the maps, even though I'm really bad with maps. So I guess I was wondering, do you have a really clear vision in your head for what you want them to be or...?
It depends on the book. In some cases I do. In some cases I'm more vague and I work with my illustrator through several iterations then decide what we want.