Okay, so step one. Initially I had this great idea to make a whole continent in the shape of Scandinavia. That fell through on two fronts. 1) It's too recognizable as an actual landmass on Earth. 2) It kinda looks like genitalia; no offense to people who live there, but it does.
However, back before I discovered this nifty way to make random continents (on this site, of course), I didn't know how to approach making landmasses that were natural and realistic and detailed enough. My first few attempts bombed. But then I hit on a new idea. I gathered a bunch of different maps of different landmasses of Earth, then scaled, rotated, skewed and flipped to my hearts content. Afterwards, I traced over them on a new layer to get the correct shape and maintain consistent levels of detail between, say, a tropical island that became a continent, and a continent that became an island. Afterwards, I made some custom changes to the shapes to differ them even further, and viola! World map.
As you can imagine, this took FOREVER! Future maps shouldn't take near as long, thanks to tricks learned here. In fact, utilizing OldGuy's awesome technique, already the coastline looks exponentially better.
Anyways, here's Stage 1:
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