My objective in this season was more about establishing how the girls would live from season 2 on and use all the remaining essays to tell the girls story until this point, something that I kinda did, but I recognize I was not capable of adding this "tension" as you said, this is the mistake of many stories out there.
I'm not a professional storyteller, I begin this as a hobby and realized that you said only after years of work and with readers feedback, so, yeah, I focused only on telling the story and growing the girls, like the original ideas from cheap tricks 3, 4 and 5 I had in mind 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, for those who appreciate a good storytelling Cheap Tricks didn't evolve as it looks evolved, I mean, I relied only on the old essays
Maybe because of it, I gave a lot of attention to Domina's Valley that had months of story development before it first chapter.
Something good came from the extra development in Domina's Valley because, without knowing, I developed a subplot that people liked a lot - witch huntresses vs Domina's Valley - I kinda learned to recognize it and merged it into the main plot and it worked very well.
THen, for Cheap Tricks, since chapter 11 I begin to develop the next plot under the story, unfortunately, we will see it working for real only on the next season