Summary of “How Writers Map Their Imaginary Worlds”

A writer’s map hints at a fully imagined world, and at the beginning of a book, it’s a promise.
The 2018 book, The Writer’s Map, contains dozens of the magical maps writers have drawn or that have been made by others to illustrate the places they’ve created.
“For some writers making a map is absolutely central to the craft of shaping and telling their tale.”
The book includes the map from Thomas More’s Utopia, which when published in 1516 contained the first fantasy map in a work of fiction, as far as anyone can tell.
There are more private treasures here, too: J.R.R. Tolkien’s own sketch of Mordor, on graph paper; C.S. Lewis’s sketches; unpublished maps from the notebooks of David Mitchell, who uses them to help imagine the worlds of his books, such as The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; Jack Kerouac’s own route in On the Road. Map of Walden Pond from Walden; or Life, in the Woods, by Henry David Thoreau.
In one essay, Cressida Cowell, the author of How to Train Your Dragon, writes of being inspired by maps drawn by the Bront√ęs as children, “In tiny, beautiful books that were in themselves a fascination, for the writing was as small as if created by mice.”
Philip Pullman: “Writing is a matter of sullen toil. Drawing is pure joy. Drawing a map to go with a story is messing around, with the added fun of coloring in.”
A map helps shape a reader’s or a writer’s idea of a fictional place, but ultimately its boundaries are limited only by their joint imaginations.

The orginal article.