The name is lengthy and unpronounceable, I know. I invented it when I was much younger and it needs redone. Anyhow.

I made this map over last night and this morning. I was going to proceed to add mountains/lakes/rivers/etc, but then a friend critiquing it pointed out a few horrible flaws that made me realize... I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm feeling entirely in over my head, but I want a map that, even if it's ugly, I can be proud knowing at least it's feasibly realistic.

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Basically, I took an old outline I drew years ago, traced it in Illustrator, made adjustments, brought it into Photoshop and started coloring it one layer at a time (ocean, then sand, then grasslands).

I showed some friends what I'd done thus far (pictured above) and it was noted that the landmasses kind of end to nowhere... rather than the caps/bands of land you see at the top/bottom of a map of Earth. There are a few other concerns due to the theme of the world I'm trying to create.

So, as a total newbie at this... I just decided last night that I wanted to do it... how should I go about developing a realistic land mass? Climate/geography/etc?

There are two particulars I should note. One, the world was essentially still a pangaea before a magical spell went awry and basically nuked it, resulting in the central ocean, with those middle islands being an 'eye of the storm' deal. Second, it's rather crucial to the theme that those center islands are the only practical way between the two major land masses (another concern with the current layout is that this isn't currently the case).

So... where do I begin making this remotely realistic, barring the two caveats above? I've read a lot of things about mapping out the plates of the planet, considering ocean currents for climates, all that, but... I feel entirely in over my head.

And my apologies if asking for this amount of help is bad form when I'm so new.