With NaNoWriMo here, I'm trying to actually write that novel that's been bubbling in my head for the last six years. The problem (two separate related problems, actually) is that I don't know where to introduce characters. The first of the problem is that I don't know when to introduce the main character's mentor/father figure. If I introduce him too late, then he's only there for the big battle that ends the 'first book' and is the main character crossing the First Threshold. If I introduce him too early, then it's almost too coincidental. He's already only joining because he thinks the girl the main character is helping reminds him of the daughter he killed in a fit of Herculean rage brought on by his cursed sword. The second of the problems is when to bring in the villains, or at least how to have them show up and get in the hero's way without feeling like they're dominoes, and that they come when the one before them dies. I want them to feel like they work for the same group, but at the same time I don't want them to come at the hero en mass. Related is the fact that I don't know how many characters I should have. There are seven villains, and likely at least 5 heroes.