I see a world through a glass darkly
I see in a lot of the tutorials that I have found in regards to world-building, that the first step is having a map already in mind: you have the map and then you begin plotting the cities and countries.
I'm sure this has happened to lots of people but I've jumped the gun. I've put the carriage before the horse. I've got the peoples and countries, I've got the cities and their names, I have landmarks, but no land to place them on. So when I begin to describe the relationships between locations, they are always foggy or blurry. I have no physical material to work off of. I am just making it up as I go along with no destination in mind.
So my question is this: How do I come up with a map for a world when I already have countries, their cities, and their geographic locations (one is more north than another, etc.) already made? I have played around with Fractal Terrains but nothing it makes satisfies me (no offense to its author) and I don't want to be pressing the dice button to make a new seed for the rest of my life. To use another metaphor, I feel like I am trying to stick a circle peg into a square hole.