A funny thing happened while I wrote the wizard’s story. I discovered that I wrote his lost love into my trilogy, but I didn’t know it.
She was a throwaway character at first—someone my protagonist meets at a ball. She was a minor thing. She barely even needed a name.
Her role built up slowly. My main character accidentally slighted a lady. I figured I might as well use her. The reverberations of this slight will hit my protagonist in book three. Now, this lady needed more of a backstory. I found I liked her.
As I wrote the wizard’s story, I was surprised to discover that this lady was the exact age of the wizard’s lost love. She was perfectly placed. There was no reason why she couldn’t be the character I needed.
Bonus: she already had a name, so I didn’t have to figure out one for her.
I learned some other things as well. For example, the main character does meet the wizard, although she doesn’t know it. I also learned that the wizard could not have planned things as I had written. I set up the story all wrong.
Great! That means that I have to rewrite my first three chapters. Again.
Ah well. The story makes a whole lot more sense now, or at least it will once I get around to making the right edits (read: rewrite the whole thing).
Have you ever been surprised to find what you were looking for already in your story? Or am I just crazy?