Writing is a puzzle, as I posted on my MeWe page. You don't usually have the pieces in the right order, but once sections begin to take form, it gets easier to put the rest of the remaining pieces together.
That happens with every single story. Each has its own spirit, based on the events that take place, which are due sometimes to outside forces but, more often than not, the character's thoughts and actions. The author is the transcriptionist.
More often than not, we will stew on a conundrum or piece that isn't fitting right, and not until we look from a different angle do we see the hidden picture, like a stereogram.
Can you see it?
That's how writing is sometimes. You don't always see the picture right away, but there are details that come up and then the picture jumps out at you.
I was thinking today about one of the characters in my Forgotten Worlds series. When he landed into IN DARKNESS, LIGHT, L'Ni was that key that made the whole picture of the series jump out at me. If anyone wonders why he became so prominent, it's because he was the missing piece that brought it all together. Up to that point, which was still early in my series, I still hadn't figured out how some things were going to fit together. Then he appeared and, in the process of learning about his character, I realized he was the answer to a lot of things, but his appearance also changed some plotlines I had outlined and added a LOT.
So, I have been dropping hints of his potential along the way but do plan to reveal his full background in either book 12 or 13. Sorry for those who want it sooner, but it has to fit in the right place in the series. L'Ni is tight-lipped and stubborn and hasn't been cooperating, so I'm going to force him to reveal his secrets.
I am still planning at least 24 books, although that could expand a little.
I am almost done with Book 11 right now and just had another piece come to me while laying in bed before having to get up for work today. I had felt like something was missing and that I wasn't challenging the characters enough. Then I realized what it needed and am inserting that this afternoon.
These pieces don't always come together in order or when we would like them to fall into our laps as writers, but when they do, it's like manna from heaven for the creative spirit.