I've finally drawn out a map of the world in which my fantasy novel (mostly) is set in hopes of creating more countries and deepening political tension between the existing ones through figuring out borders, trade routes etc. But having done that, I feel that it is too small and/or unrealistic. Now I know that the map not finished yet and is merely a layout, but I want to make changes as early as possible.

Any help or opinion would be greatly appreciated! :)

P.S. Details: I feel that the map is too small because of how it looks compared to other fantasy worlds and even our own. Politics look good on a larger scope and I'm worried that this map doesn't convey that - it looks like a fragment, but is meant to be all there is in the populated world. The planet having such a small landmass feels slightly unrealistic, as well, especially if competed to the huge (maybe seemingly so) continents in some other works of the genre.

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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch OP is worried about the proper scale for his continent - he’s worried that it’s not the proper size for a continental landmass, if I understand it correctly. You accurately pointed out that we need a size scale, which has been provided. I’m not sure what “other details” you are expecting, but this feels fairly open-and-shut to me. $\endgroup$
    – Dubukay
    Jan 14, 2019 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Dubukay Yes, I was worried that it is both too small to be a continent geographically and that it is way too small for an average fantasy landmass. Answers in the comments rule, though, so it's fine. Appreciate your support! $\endgroup$
    – A.I.
    Jan 14, 2019 at 18:52
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch, we get vague, "does my map look OK?" questions on this site all the time. They're likely the most subjective and most discussion-prone questions we get. This one deserved to be closed until the scale was included. Now it should be reopened. The only thing I think is missing is the reality-check tag. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jan 14, 2019 at 18:56
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding.SE! We're glad you could join us! When you have a moment, please click here to learn more about our culture and take our tour. Please remember that SE is not a discussion forum. Thus the use of the reality-check tag. It forces answerers to justify their observations. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jan 14, 2019 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ @A.I., please put the details in the question. Comments can be deleted at any moments (and these will soon end in the chat), while questions are far more stable. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jan 14, 2019 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


Sorry I couldn't upload the gif -- too big! So I made a series of stills, 45deg apart & rotating Earthwise.

First of all, I don't think your land masses (the plain / white areas) look bad. I mean, if you look at maps of early Earth, you see all kinds of wacky land masses. So, image 1 looks pretty good, actually!

First issue: Way too much land! As you rotate around, the first thing you'll notice is that you've got about 60 to 70% land. You have one medium sized continent and one small continent in a land-locked ocean-sea. This may or may not be intentional! But it is something I want to draw to your attention, as I think this will screw with global climate and weather patterns.

Second Issue: You didn't give me a complete map! If you look on maps 2 and 3, you'll notice a large, dark rift. No, that's not a geological feature your world's Chris Columbus will nosedive into! That's the dark smudge at the left edge of your paper. To the west of that dark chasm is the right edge of your map, which has no coastline! You'll either have to draw a coastline somewhere along the right side of your map, or else add paper and draw a bigger map!

Third Issue: You gave me the wonkiest scale you could possibly do! Your "2000 mi line" is at approximately 55deg north. Earth is about 40075km in circumference at the equator. I plugged some numbers into calculators for determining circle diameter at a given latitude:

This one tells me that at 55deg the Earth's diameter is 12727.654km This one tells me that at 55deg the Earth's circumference is 39,985.1km

At the same latitude, your world is approximately 4100 miles or so (there's about 20deg of longitude error (4000 mi plus whatever distance is equal to 20 deg.))

The circumference of your world at that same latitude is only 6598.31km, so your whole planet is indeed quite small!

Conclusions: Your world is (probably) nòt unrealistic, but its land to water ratio is something you'll have to explore on your own. I've seen "wet Mars" maps that look pretty much like your world: a lot of land, very little sea.

According to your scale, it is small. Whether it is too small, or too big or just right, of course, is going to be up to you!

Suggestions: First thing! Next time you draw a world map, please just put your scale at the equator!! I'm not a maths whiz and using those calculators pretty much caused my brain to crash. Second, if you want a bigger world, you have two options: first, draw more world!; second, multiply that "2000 mile" line by a factor of 2. I thìnk that will give you an Earth sized planet on the cheap. Third, fix the western coastline of the World Sea.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, thank you so much for such an awesome, detailed answer!! A lot of food for thought :) Hope you have an amazing day! $\endgroup$
    – A.I.
    Jan 20, 2019 at 12:54

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