Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > General Writing Interest > Novels
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-01-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
ebbrown
Easily Amused
 
ebbrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: East Coast
Posts: 633
ebbrown is a shiny, shiny jewelebbrown is a shiny, shiny jewel
Do you like family trees and/or maps in fiction books?

Curious to hear your thoughts on this. Do you find maps, family trees, or other 'bonus' material helpful, or do you just flip over it without checking it out?

I'm working on #2 & #3 in a time-travel historical romance, the sequels being longer and more complex than the first. There are quite a bundle of characters, so many so that I have my own stockpile reference to organize them. Many of the characters are entwined and their origins are diverse.

I also have some maps of the time period, which I changed for my own fictional purposes.

As a reader of a series, would you be interested in a family tree with key details to refer to? Or a map of the area the characters lived in?

I will say that I do not think my story is terribly complicated. I don't think the reader NEEDS this information, but in some cases I think they may enjoy it.

Thoughts?
__________________

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

Facebook
Twitter
EBBrown.net
ebbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
maggi90w1
CAVE!
 
maggi90w1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 805
maggi90w1 has a spectacular auramaggi90w1 has a spectacular aura
Personally, I love this kind of stuff.
__________________
~Science Fiction Series in progress~
Part One: 100,000 words. First Draft.
maggi90w1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
Snowstorm
Snow's here!
 
Snowstorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Lost in the Wyoming mountains. Don't try to rescue me.
Posts: 11,660
Snowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSnowstorm is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I like them. I find them very helpful. For maps, I find them interesting and helpful for my mind's eye to know where the action is taking place. Family trees are really helpful, especially when a lot of family members have similar first names.
__________________


Blood Atonement, a historical mystery, and Clear and Convincing Evidence, a contemporary mystery

WIP: Blood Atonement, the screenplay!

Blog Twitter Facebook

Snowstorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
DeleyanLee
Writing Anarchist
 
DeleyanLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: lost among the words
Posts: 28,991
DeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDeleyanLee is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
As a reader of Historical Fiction and of Fantasy, I rarely look at such additions. However, I also know I'm in the minority, so take it with a sack of salt.
__________________
My blog: Myth Mugger


Flamechild, the first anthology in the Children of the Vortex series, is now available here.
Stonechild is a free intro story to the Children of the Vortex series, now available here
DeleyanLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
KateJJ
coffee and pistols at dawn
 
KateJJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,226
KateJJ should run for PresidentKateJJ should run for PresidentKateJJ should run for PresidentKateJJ should run for PresidentKateJJ should run for PresidentKateJJ should run for President
Maps, sure. Family trees I can live without. Though I usually have to draw one halfway through my plotting phase to make sure nobody is sleeping with their half-brother or anything.
__________________
2014 writing goal progress:
100k/500k new words written
25/250 hours spent editing
1/6 new plots plotted
KateJJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #6
cornflake
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,283
cornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I don't like them - I tend to hesitate at best over books with them. It's felt to me more than once like they're either a sign that the book is written in a manner that you need to keep referring to the stuff because the author can't make/keep it clear through the text, or that the author thinks it's necessary, fascinating information but it'll never come up.

Either way, it's generally ended up irking more than anything else.
cornflake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
LJD
practical experience, FTW
 
LJD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,268
LJD has earned our admirationLJD has earned our admirationLJD has earned our admirationLJD has earned our admiration
Sure, but not if they're essential to my understanding of the novel. I hate having to constantly flip to a reference page. But if it's there, I'll take a quick look. Any more than two pages or so is a bit much, however.
LJD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
ebbrown
Easily Amused
 
ebbrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: East Coast
Posts: 633
ebbrown is a shiny, shiny jewelebbrown is a shiny, shiny jewel
Quote:
Originally Posted by KateJJ View Post
Though I usually have to draw one halfway through my plotting phase to make sure nobody is sleeping with their half-brother or anything.
Ha! I'm laughing at this, but...it's so true!!
__________________

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

Facebook
Twitter
EBBrown.net
ebbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 09:57 PM   #9
AshleyEpidemic
Azarath Metrion Zinthos
 
AshleyEpidemic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,167
AshleyEpidemic is a shiny, shiny jewelAshleyEpidemic is a shiny, shiny jewel
I am a fan of family trees, and maps a bit. I will admit I tend to focus on Fantasy maps. If it is historical I'm not as interested, but I still look. I generally look at maps before I read and family trees after. But they are enjoyable extras to see.
__________________
So, I have this blog. It's here.
I'm also a TV writer at Geeked Out Nation
AshleyEpidemic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
WillSauger
The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me.
 
WillSauger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 4,848
WillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsWillSauger is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I don't look at any of it. I shouldn't need to study the book before I read it, thus the author should be able to convey everything clearly.
__________________
Don't Fear Failure.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" -- Alvin Toffler.

"The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night" -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
WillSauger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #11
Brightdreamer
Just Another Lazy Perfectionist
 
Brightdreamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,130
Brightdreamer has earned our admirationBrightdreamer has earned our admirationBrightdreamer has earned our admirationBrightdreamer has earned our admiration
Quote:
Originally Posted by KateJJ View Post
Maps, sure. Family trees I can live without.
This, pretty much.

As others have said, I don't like a story so convoluted that I must keep referring to a map every other chapter, but bonus material like this adds to the overall ambiance, especially in a fantasy/alternate universe setting.

(The artistic quality of the map also affects how often I look at it... Ugly dots and squiggles only get a passing glance, but I'm a sucker for pretty pictures. That said, if I were offered an illustrated family tree, I'd probably enjoy it, in the right context.)
__________________
- Brightdreamer
Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

"Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
- from The Daily Humorscope
Brightdreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:01 PM   #12
electroweakstar
Just keep swimming...
 
electroweakstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: DC Metro
Posts: 101
electroweakstar is on a distinguished road
Maps, YES. Yes please.

Family trees... meh. Especially if the book requires it to follow along; I don't really enjoy keeping one finger in the index when I read.
__________________
**********************************
Call me ACP!

Untitled near-future Spy Thriller - 35K
Untitled Futuristic Steampunk - 6000 and.. AAAUGH.
Colony 743 (Sci Fi Romance?) - 450 word Prologue/Concept for short story
The Last Village (low fantasy) - needs rewrite

My neglected blog
Follow me on Twitter
electroweakstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
Ari Meermans
MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter
AW Moderator
 
Ari Meermans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Relaxing under the limb, reading.
Posts: 5,657
Ari Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAri Meermans is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I'm a fan of maps, but I only look at a family tree when reading a new novel in a multigenerational series.
__________________
.


.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..." - Isaac Asimov



.

.
Ari Meermans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:08 PM   #14
jaksen
Caped Codder
 
jaksen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: In MA, USA, across from a 17th century cemetery
Posts: 4,607
jaksen is better than ice cream with hot fudgejaksen is better than ice cream with hot fudgejaksen is better than ice cream with hot fudgejaksen is better than ice cream with hot fudgejaksen is better than ice cream with hot fudgejaksen is better than ice cream with hot fudgejaksen is better than ice cream with hot fudge
Love them!

I find it irritating, if reading a quite complex novel with lots characters who are related, if there isn't one.

(Also like maps and character lists.)
__________________
Latest story in December 2013 issue of EQMM.

Eeyore was saying to himself, “This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.” A.A. Milne
jaksen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:15 PM   #15
Alexandra Little
What a desolation.
 
Alexandra Little's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Los Angeles, but my heart belongs to London
Posts: 1,081
Alexandra Little is a splendid one to beholdAlexandra Little is a splendid one to beholdAlexandra Little is a splendid one to behold
Only if you're George RR Martin.
__________________



The Obligatory Twitter.
Alexandra Little is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #16
angeliz2k
never mind the shorty
 
angeliz2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Commonwealth of Virginia--it's for lovers
Posts: 1,779
angeliz2k is a splendid one to beholdangeliz2k is a splendid one to beholdangeliz2k is a splendid one to behold
If they're useful, then sure, both. Sometimes it helps broaden the world you're writing about, even if it isn't essential to understanding the novel.

Hilary Mantel has a fairly comprehensive list of characters at the beginning of many of her books. They aren't necessary, but help if you forget who is who.

I write historical and wouldn't bother with maps or family trees. The family relationships in my WIPs (to date) aren't too complicated, and if you don't know where Paris, Brussels, Kansas, Washington DC, and Georgia are, well 1) you need to go back to 2nd grade and 2) it really doesn't matter too much since the geography itself isn't important.
__________________
"Cotton. Cotton until Kingdom Come."
WIP 1: Britannia c.AD 60. 120 k. Trunked.
WIP 2: Paris, 1780s. 88k. four fulls, one partial, four rejections
WIP 3: Antebellum South, 1854 100k; querying; one full, rejected
WIP 4: Novella. Civil War w/a hint of supernatural. 43k
WIP 5: The Cotton Wars. 97k. Done.
a blog about the incredible true story
angeliz2k is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #17
Dorky
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 301
Dorky has a spectacular aura
I love maps Looking at them is always so nice, but it shouldn’t be necessary for a reader to refer to one.

Family trees are pretty neat. They’re cool just for the (fictional) historical value.

So yes to both
__________________
Currently working on: Radiant (I seriously need a better title for this)
Dorky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:22 PM   #18
Cappy1
Scared and loving it...
 
Cappy1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 117
Cappy1 is on a distinguished road
I skipped Mantel's cast list, too. It was so long.
Cappy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:26 PM   #19
cmi0616
practical experience, FTW
 
cmi0616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: With you in Rockland
Posts: 1,216
cmi0616 is a shiny, shiny jewelcmi0616 is a shiny, shiny jewel
I don't mind them, certainly. Especially in the bigger family epics, the seven or eight hundred pagers, it might help to have a family tree.
__________________
Goodreads- let's be friends!
[/COLOR][/FONT] [/FONT][/COLOR]
cmi0616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:28 PM   #20
buzhidao
can totally spell Brobdinrgnagrian
 
buzhidao's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,864
buzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsbuzhidao is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJD View Post
Sure, but not if they're essential to my understanding of the novel. I hate having to constantly flip to a reference page.
This. Extra bits are fun, but I want all the information I actually *need* in the writing. I don't like having to go and find a reference; I just want to read.

But I'll look at the fun bits and think ooo neato...
buzhidao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:33 PM   #21
DanielaTorre
Widely Regarded as a Bad Move
 
DanielaTorre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Lost Moon of Poosh
Posts: 1,025
DanielaTorre is a splendid one to beholdDanielaTorre is a splendid one to beholdDanielaTorre is a splendid one to behold
If I enjoyed the book, then yes. I consider it a perk. It allows you to immerse yourself into the world if you're curious. Besides, some of the maps tend to be gorgeous. I own a poster-size map of Middle Earth on parchment. It's beautiful.
__________________
DanielaTorre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:34 PM   #22
Shadow_Ferret
They see me rollin', they hatin'
 
Shadow_Ferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: In a world of my own making
Posts: 22,714
Shadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsShadow_Ferret is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
As a reader I find them to be a waste of time. The writing should be clear enough that I don't need to refer to either.

As a writer, I might create one or the other depending on how difficult it is for me to remember. For one novel I created a lineage for a farmer that extended back 180 years that included names, birth dates, wives, children, etc. just so at one point he could say, "oh, he was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather." But I don't include any of that for the reader. To me those are behind the scene things.
__________________
Twitter | Pinterest | WordPress | Tumblr

“I love words but I don’t like strange ones. You don’t understand them and they don’t understand you. Old words is like old friends, you know ‘em the minute you see ‘em.” -- Will Rogers

"Blame it on my ADD, baby." -- AWOLNATION
Shadow_Ferret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:39 PM   #23
Jaligard
tastes more like regular Dr. Pepper
 
Jaligard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 1,045
Jaligard has earned our admirationJaligard has earned our admirationJaligard has earned our admirationJaligard has earned our admiration
I don't like them—and I really don't like them when they are necessary.

That said, a few of my betas suggested I include a map with my novel. I'm thinking that the website would be the perfect place for this kind of supplemental material.
Jaligard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:52 PM   #24
JulianneQJohnson
has no socks
 
JulianneQJohnson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 776
JulianneQJohnson is a splendid one to beholdJulianneQJohnson is a splendid one to beholdJulianneQJohnson is a splendid one to behold
I enjoy maps, especially it the characters are taking a journey, as is common in fantasy. I'll refer back to a map, especially if it is attractive visually.
I'm with Shadow Ferret where family trees are concerned. Seeing one in a book makes me think of a herd of characters so convoluted as to rival Tolstoy. Makes me think I’m going to need index cards to keep everyone straight.
__________________
***************************
“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” –Robert Heinlein

Pictures and Words- my writing blog

Or join me on Tumblr




JulianneQJohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:52 PM   #25
benbenberi
practical experience, FTW
 
benbenberi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 876
benbenberi is a glorious beacon of lightbenbenberi is a glorious beacon of light
I enjoy them for their own sake, but not if it's necessary to refer to them in order to follow the story. I read fiction mostly as ebooks now, and (1) maps are often hard to read on the Kindle (they show up much too small to be legible & may not zoom properly), (2) flipping back and forth between a map or genealogy and the text is inconvenient, and (3) I may not even be aware that the book includes a map, genealogy, or other addenda in the first place. So as a reading-support tool, they're pretty much wasted on me now.
benbenberi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 05:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.