I've been working my way through a science fiction series where, prior to recently, I've only read occasional books, which led me to say so, when did THAT happen? and what are these people talking about? I finally figured okay, make the effort, read the whole damn thing.
In reading the series -- I'm up to about 12 or 13, and I think there are about 20, overall, -- I find that the author, after the first eight or so, has some rules of thumb -
- when nothings going on, find a clan with a bone to pick with the most powerful leader, and start some kind of clash
- if REALLY nothings going on, muse about the origins of the conflict. Feel free to back two hundred years.
- every third book or so, rehash the last two, and then give a bit of a preview of the next book. Throw a little extra material in the middle to pad it.
Really, this is getting a little old.