Worldbuilding Questions: Here or There?
Hello my dear cartographers, felines, amphibians, and other thingies!
I have a hodgepodge of inquiries that I must make. Gidde said I should post them here. I would really appreciate the assistance; I'm all a panick (intentionally misspelt) because I need to figure this out soon!
1) How many towns/cities is usual for a society living in a time ranging anywhere between 16th century to the 19th century?
2) How closely would these towns/cities be? Is it unusual to have them spaced far apart or spaced close together? Is it true that towns/cities tend to appear near water (and how rare is it to live away from water)? The impression seems to be (in novels) that societies consisted primarily of European countryside and only a few towns and cities here and there. I also heard that this impression is wrong. That is the reason behind this question.
3) How many landmasses must exist on an Earth-like planet? In Glumdomy (planet name), there are two landmasses. One is significantly larger than the other. The larger one is Persussa (nation continent) and the smaller one is Bulldosa (nation continent and where my novel takes place). They don't have a separate concept for nation and continent, as the only two nations have full control over the only two continents. Is it plausible to have only two major landmasses? Only, only, only, only~
4) That brings me to question four. There is another nation but it isn't considered a nation by the Bulldosing people (and I'm writing from their perspective). It is an "Island Conglomeration". My question is, how are islands formed? Is it possible for there to be a ridiculous amount of islands scattered all around the oceans, substituting for the landmasses that "should have been" there? How closely can islands be together (as in my island conglomeration)? Also, the Valazi Isles run roughly in a circular fashion around the continent of Bulldosa and I want to know if that is possible and if it is possible, what would need to happen for it to be possible on my planet?
5) I don't understand mountains. Why are these weird pointy-thingies constantly popping up everywhere and what does that bode for Bulldosa (which has mountains in the north [I am not set on keeping the mountains to the north, I just figure, hey, mountains - to the north!])? Is it unusual to live near a mountain? If so, why? If not, why not? Is there a chance that these mountains could be volcanoes? How are those created, again?
6) Early on in my creative process, I decided that the sky is overcast (lots of gray clouds, rumbling, and the like) nearly every day of the year (people know the sun exists, especially when it pops out of the clouds in strands, but also because it does appear in its full glory every now and again). Is this possible? How is this kind of climate even developed and how would it change the composition of the planet (specifically the landmasses)? It can't created by magic (magic doesn't exist there).
7) I've read a lot of the river and water articles. I'm not convinced I understand them, though. Must rivers come from mountains? I intended a sharp cliff somewhere in Bulldosa with a waterfall, but I have no idea why that would even happen . . . @_@ the planet is so amazing . . . how everything works . . . how can anyone be sad knowing such beauty? @_@ Maybe it's the confusion that gets them. Is there a better place to turn to for watery formation information?
I am asking some basic questions that I should probably know already. It's unfortunate that I never had a class in this sort of stuff (and that I didn't develop a serious interest until now). That's my defense (defensive!).
I hope I didn't forget anything~