As I write and develop Book 3 of the Aglaril Cycle, I find myself weaving in many different threads into the story. Some of planned and some are not. The planned threads include providing information to the reader that he or she needs to understand the story and the individual plots of all the characters.
The unplanned threads are the results of character interaction. Some of these threads I can work into the story easily because they support what I'm already doing. But some open up areas of the story I had not foreseen.
This happened in Book 2 as well when I suddenly realized that Iriel's mother had sided with the evil elves. I did this so that in Book 3, Iriel could encounter her and deal with all the hurt and pain from her mother leaving her at a young age. Since I had planned on the main characters encountering evil elven scouts, this was an easy one to fit together.
But I'm now finding a connection between Brashani, my fire mage, and the stranger the main characters rescued at the start of Book 3, Nancy Overton. Nancy is a sword master and works for Duke MacPherson training the knights in the MacPherson's court. She was ambushed by brigands on the open road after being separated from the group she was traveling with. The main characters came to her rescue and since they were all traveling in the same direction, Nancy joined the group so she could get home safely.
But Brashani does not trust her and tells Sir Ahlan this. Ahlan manages to communicate to Nancy that her recent actions may have upset the wizard so she apologizes and offers to buy Brashani a round of drinks once they reach town. But Brashani is suspicious and so am I. Does this scene have any purpose? Should there be a connection between Brashani and Nancy? Can she help the mage with his efforts to be more accepted by the others or does she need him for some reason?
I have no answers to any of these questions but I do know that I'm going to leave all the scenes related to this thread in the book for now to see where they go. At worst, this is just a small side plot which helps character development. At best this is part of a larger story which I don't see the whole picture of yet.
The moral: let yourself experience with your character to see where they go and what they do. You'll be surprised and it will make your story better and take in place you never thought of.