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Any tips on building encounters or adventures themselves?
Don't overthink it. More specifically, don't overplan it.
Each session you'll need enough material for one session. Don't worry too much about having a big bad evil guy for ten levels down the road. Just write a situation that applies to tonight, and run that.
Example of how to do this...
What to tell the players:
"Some monster slinks in from the woods and makes off with one of the town's youngster every few nights. Nobody's seen more than a shadow, and the best witness was drunk at the time, but whatever it is, supposedly it walks upright!"
What you know:
Okay, behind the scenes, maybe there's a lycanthrope in town. Nobody knows because she's been keeping it a secret. She's absconding with the kids, but it happens she's actually just smuggling them to another village about ten miles away, and abandoning them. Why? Because she's got a grudge against the townfolk after <whatever> and just wants to demoralize everyone until the town fails.
What you prepare:
Prep up a end-of-session lycanthrope fight. Prep up some woods monsters. Prep up something to happen in town as a distraction... perhaps a local necromancer or other bad-guy who gets accused and discovered, and is a red herring. Now you've got four or five encounters. Good to go.
How to flow:
Decide what comes next... in vague terms. Where did the villain from tonight's session contract lycanthropy? Maybe... maybe she wasn't ever bitten. Maybe she was cursed by a witch/hag because <reason>. Once you decide that very simple "next step", at the end of the night, tease that when the lycanthrope fight is done. Maybe have a mysterious tattoo, or artifact. Or maybe a voice in the head of whoever kills the lycanthrope "you've destroyed my daughter, but I'll have my vengeance soon!" Or have the lycanthrope revert to human form, released from the curse and she fesses up as she dies. Shrug.
Point I'm making is... worry about tonight. Create a problem (lycanthrope), a situation (village with abductions), and some supporting encounters, as well as an exit (hag). Let the players figure out how to solve the problem and make sure the situation makes sense, so they can invent solutions. You don't need "the way to find out the solution"... just make sure the situation is rich enough that whatever the players do (if it's sensible), it can lead to success.
NEXT session, do the same thing only write your material around the hag, and decide THEN what comes after her.
This requires improvisation. You can learn that. You can learn to be comfortable reacting to the players and letting them guide things, while you simply link situation to situation to situation. The story becomes a cooperative telling.
DON'T try to write an adventure path where things are laid out from 1st to 17th (or whatever). An AP works because there's an understanding between GM and players "there is a fixed story, please play it and discover it, but please follow the hints and guidelines given towards the written end-game". Writing your own is - sort of - losing the best part of home-brew stories: spontaneity.