I get really into worldbuilding, but I don’t always share the raw materials with people. I love seeing old notes/drawings/sketches/etc. from authors, so I thought I’d contribute some of mine.
Tonight a friend sent me her drawing/map of the City from my series Aestus, and I realized that despite having a very clear mental image in my head, I’d never drawn it out in much detail. Here it is, in all its lined-paper (sorry!) glory. Cartoonized to up the contrast. I hope to make a better copy at some point but thought I’d share for now – apologies for my handwriting!
See description/explanation below.
The modern City was a technological wonder, and she marveled at it as they made their way across through the crowds. It was a stack of torus-shaped tunnel-corridors, built around an enclosed center, the remnants of the cavern it had once been. Each level was built as three horizontally-concentric circles: inner for living quarters, mid for navigation, and the outer tunnels, which were carved out as far as necessary into the earth and were off-limits to all but Patrol. Those tunnels spiraled like galaxy arms upward to the surface, and branched out to other places she didn’ t know, secret passages to nowhere, or nowhere she was supposed to go, anyway….
The Ministry, to which they were heading, was on Sub-Level 4. She didn’t know what was below that, beyond storage and the mechanical rooms. No one seemed to. Not even Gavin. She’d asked.–Aestus, Book 1: The City
And, of course, that shuttleway goes all the way up to the surface:
Despite the blazing heat, it was always hard to come back down after a day above. Jossey especially hated this shuttle stop and how dim it was. To save energy, the City had cut the lights up near the surface, and workers were expected to bring their own illumination for “emergency purposes.” That meant that the end of their shift found them all huddled in a blazing hot tunnel next to the only light source from here to the first safety gate hundreds of feet below.
Try to walk from here and you’d be in pitch darkness all the way down, with only your little clip-on red safety light to illuminate the path, following the spiraling edge of a pit with a guardrail that Jossey didn’t trust to keep a bus on the road.– Aestus, Book 1: The City
Other things I may eventually make include the various maps Jossey has access to throughout the series. I couldn’t for massive spoiler reasons. But for readers of Book 2, I might try to put together something!