Please note that this is not a sponsored post. Also, I'm not the most skilled artist. Before Inkarnate I drew it using a pencil on a notepad.
Patreons to credit: -This could be you. Join now.-
As there are many tutorials online by Inkarnate and other YouTubers, I will not go through the process of how to create your own map. That's part of the fun you should discover for yourself. Instead, I will share with you how a map like this could help you with World Building in your story.
#1: Space Visualisation
I have to admit this is a major flaw of mine. Even if I was given a floor plan for my new house, I had no idea how many beds I could fit in one room.
For people who have spatial visualisation issues like me, seeing something using icons can help you understand better what you can do with a certain space. You don't have to start out with a blank map. If anything, I'd say you can modify existing map projects for the beginning. Inkarnate offers you several preloaded templates to choose from.
Similar to the example above, Inkarnate can help you understand if fitting 10,000 cities in your world are possible and how many countries you're looking at. You don't have to go into that many details as long as they follow the common sense of the world you are building. With the overview, it becomes easier to understand the possibilities you are working with.
Not everyone has a plan in mind. However, if you're the kind of person who likes to design a free-and-east holiday tour as you discover new places on a road trip, creating a map is a similar experience.
With the guide of a completed world map (that you can still tweak accordingly), it is possible to think of different arcs happening in different locations especially if you are writing an adventure type of story. Some genres that can benefit from this method of world-building and plot outlining are quick transmigration, war, adventure and even gaming. Of course, the list is not limited to these genres in fiction. Heck, I know Aina has something similar for Norwich City in her book when I saw her mood board.
In case you don't know what that word meant and are too lazy to search it up, demographics simply refer to a group of people in your study under statistics. No, I'm not asking you to create character profiles for every single fictitious person living in your map. I'm saying that you can create some cultural traits based on the regions that you designed in the map as a guide for the type of personalities your characters might have.
Yes, world-building can sometimes cross into character design as there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to writing. If it works, it's not a dumb idea. I know I used this a lot when designing for Ball of Nothing. I made the dwarves stubborn in nature, the elves proud in character, the humans greedy, the undead divided etc. It's all part of world-building and then once you have that overview, you can run freely within the amazing world you've created.
Although using Inkarnate does not cover everything you would require in a world building activity, it helps to streamline the general idea so that you can add and move details around it. The map is there to help you better understand what you are working with at one glance.