Thursday, January 3, 2013
Connect With Maps
After watching the movie John Carter, I read some background material on its sources and watched the extras on the DVD, as I was really curious about the world building aspects of the movie.
It seems the original creator of the story sequence, Edgar Rice Burroughs, became interested in the scientific discussion in the early 1900’s that the markings on the planet Mars represented dried up waterways and rivers. His imagination began to explore what the edge of that decline could have looked like. What or who could have lived on Mars before the water disappeared? He drew many maps for the world he named Barsoom based on that scientific premise. Some of them can be seen on Google.
It reminded me that many of our own civilizations began alongside major rivers. Until mankind learned to harness water, he had to live beside it. Even now, those who live near plentiful water supplies do not really understand the value of water to those who do not and their deprivation as a result.
Our own oceans have a circulation system that circles the world. One source refers to it as a conveyor belt. This complex unseen map system circulates heat and nutrients throughout its pathways. All countries would be affected if the system broke down. Air currents and migration paths are other unseen maps ready for exploration. Regardless of your genre, stop and take a look at nature’s maps in your character’s surroundings. What maps were drawn a century before? What might be drawn a century into the future?
Choose one of your novel settings near water. Examine the value of the water to the inhabitants. Is it for survival, enjoyment, tourism, trade or protection?
Share: What would happen to the nearest population if that particular water source dried up?