Help! Feel like I've reached a dead end with my world map! Advice needed.
I've been working on and off on a realistic world map for years now. It seems I do quick bursts every now and then and then leave the project for months and months.
I'm really happy with the layout of the continents and landmasses. I've got a written language and back story all written up. I've ideas for history, economy, and politics.
What I'm really struggling with is finalizing the map itself. I'm a stickler for realism, and I think sometimes it can be quite the disadvantage because I get so preoccupied with the details that I end up making no progress.
Currently I'm trying to work out a way to create a proper topography, instead of the various height shades I have on the map currently. I've experimented with wilbur and photoshop, but I can't get it to look right (or maybe I'm doing it wrong). Is there a good way to make or generate realistic looking mountains from the shaded height guides I already have?
I'm also slightly struggling with the rivers. The planet is highly dichotomical, and I'm envisioning that the far North will be a sort of steppe climate. But I can't figure out how to place in rivers, as there is neither mountains or a sea to drain into in the North. I don't particularly want it to be a desert up there, is there a way I can bring water to the North realistically?
I'm struggling too with climate, and how the dichotomy would alter global wind and rain and temperature patterns. Does anyone have any advice or resources?
I'd also love some advice/criticism/suggestions on the map as is. How do the current state of the mountains look, for instance? I'm open to changing pretty much anything as long as it further makes the world believable.
Thanks, and feel free to ask questions!