If I don't specifically need a Foreward and an Afterword, or if whatever would be in one of those can go anywhere, I just have a Word. You know, Word. "Starts with a W, OR in the middle, D on the end. Word." (Riggs, in one of the Lethal Weapon movies)
Below is most of the Word from Golden Dawn. While there aren't any spoilers, a couple of things might come close, so I excised those. (I put the Word at the end of the book to be safe.)
As I mentioned when I began this series, it all began with a dream. All I could recall of this dream was its beginning (which became chapter one in book one) and its end (scenes that inspired the penultimate chapters in this book...) Aurelia, Kenna, Voices, and dragons other than Argyll? I hadn’t heard of them. When I first envisioned Aurelia, she was different, an apparent two-year-old racing about on a warhorse and saving Gerald from things that don’t appear in these books. I find the reality of who Aurelia turned out to be even more intriguing, if more subtle. I had no idea at first who she really was, only that she was not Morgan le Fay.
I’m what’s known as a pantser; I fly by the seat of my pants when writing. There is almost no planning; I just write to find out the story. A few ideas came to me as I wandered back and forth across the edge of sleep, oscillating between dreaming and fleshing out a character or scene. That’s where I met Aurelia and found out how she and Gerald escaped from the Irish Queen.
Whereas the beginning was very true to the dream, the ending was true only to its concept. ... The end also took place by the coast, and I completely forgot that fact until after Year of the Dragon Lord was published, and Gerald was thoroughly ensconced somewhere not on the coast! (The plotters among you are gleefully snickering whereas I both enjoyed the journey and am happy with the result.)
Since I write what I know, I am grateful to all those who unwittingly have provided names, personalities, trades, and more. Hopefully you recognize yourselves.
I look forward to learning (and writing!) more about many of the characters. Let me know who you liked and didn’t like, and whose story you’d like to hear more of.
I knew I couldn’t write a novel; I knew I couldn’t publish. Yet here we are, four novels later. Again I quote Galaxy Quest. “Never surrender! Never give up!”
--  In contrast, a plotter plans things out in great detail. One can also be a plantser—a mix between panster and plotter.