Cool Writing Stuff

Giant Horslamaraffe in the sky
[photo: Giant Horslamaraffe in the sky by englishinvader CC]
Here are some nifty links for you writerly types:

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection – A collection of historical maps overlaid over Google Maps. Great way to get a sense of scale and distance.

Orbis (The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World) – This mapping system is specific to the Roman empire. It can calculate routes and travel times based on different modes of transportation.

Produce a star map for any date, time, and location – Perhaps you want to know the exact constellations your protagonists are laying under? You can also look up historical dates.

11 real world locations that are mythological entrances to the underworld – For the myth geeks. Would be awesome for a portal fantasy, no?

Relation chart – In case you want to know what to call the relatives in your story. Anyone writing about monarchies may find this handy.

I’ve got maps on the brain! Unfortunately none of these links helps with the time period I’m working on. Map scaling is the biggest problem I’ve run into and the second problem is a lack of maps in English. It’s a bit like detective work. The truth is right there, but it’s going to take some extra analysis (aka lots of squinting and turning my head sideways) to figure it all out.

Do you have any fun links to share?


  1. I like the relation chart. My family doesn’t reproduce much, so when a cousin had a baby I had to look up the difference between “second cousin” and “first cousin once removed.” I was excited to learn which was which, but experience since then has shown me that many people don’t find this information as fascinating as I do.

    One good link I found recently was thanks to Brian Buckley, who posted a link to Joss Whedon’s Top Ten Writing Tips (http://tinyurl.com/q4c92pu). As I said on Brian’s blog, they rules aren’t all for me, but it was interesting to read.

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