These Maps Are Not the Territory…

So, as promised, here are a few scanned maps from Ye Olden Days (2002-03) when what would eventually become The Lies of Locke Lamora was in what you might call active gestation… but damn, there was so very far to go. These are the sorts of things I would doodle night after night in a 24-hour family restaurant in St. Paul, MN, nursing my Diet Coke and trying desperately to feel competent.

At this point, I was still trying to launch the story via the plot elements that are set to emerge in The Thorn of Emberlain, the Vadran civil war in the Kingdom of the Seven Marrows. Strangely enough “March of Shite” and “Confederation of Fucking Unnamed City-States” did not catch on in later drafts of the background material.

This is closer to what eventually stabilized as Locke’s reality, though it’s vertical where the final version is horizontal and it’s on the wrong continental coast. Camorr, believe it or not, was originally called “Lorem,” which I thought of as just a nice elegant made-up word. I had not yet been introduced to the concept of “lorem ipsum” placeholder text.

This poor, torn-up, soda-stained map represents the oldest surviving recognizable version of Camorr, back when it was still Lorem, and back when I thought I had to have chintzy names for every last brothel on the waterfront. Some of the final elements have begun to gel… the lagoons and the generally nautical/hydrological nature of the city, as well as the vast towers linked by cables. Aspects of Venice were eventually incorporated into Camorr to flesh it out logically; it was not originally conceived as a straightforward analog of any sort. I honestly wish I could remember when my intent finally shifted for good from the epic wars in the north to the more intimate problems of Locke and Camorr… but it’s one of those things that is lost to the warm Jell-O salad of memory.

5 thoughts on “These Maps Are Not the Territory…

  1. I kind of like the chintzy names for every brothel, though getting rid of them was probably for the best. “The Voluptuousy” (spelling approximated) is probably my favorite. It’s like a Renaissance-era Hooters!

    I can’t help but notice that one of them is “The Longest Night”–intentional Jacqueline Carey reference? I admit, it’s a pretty general phrase, but it’s pretty significant in that book, and that book is about a courtesan, after all.

    How far along were you in the worldbuilding when you mapped it out? Was it “there’s this kingdom, see, and it’s made up of districts, and they’re going to be at war…” or did you know what the Kingdom of the Seven Marrows would look like before you know what it would be?

  2. So, Locke’s spirit cross-plane traveled from Austro-Hungary, I see from the first map. :)

    More seriously, I’m always interested to see this kind of evolution.

  3. Hi,
    So great to see these! is there any chance you could put up a download or a high definition version of these (or the ability to open them in new pages with better resolution), I don’t know if it’s my browser or the way the website allows the images to be viewed or the fact I’m being lazy and clearly know a lot less about websites than I should, but I can’t seem to look at an exploded view of these images and read everything clearly.
    Sorry to complain whilst your doing something nice for us already, I’d just love to be able to read some of the brothel names =P

  4. Very cool! As someone who’s passingly thought about this before (for a computer game I have in mind to make), it’s interesting to see the development and thoughts behind it.

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