At least that's what I understand they say in Hollywood.
At long last I have finished the first draft of Leatherjacket Soldier, the story of Don Fernando Rivera whom I have written about on this blog.
This is one of those characters who, as a story teller, I find creates himself, even across the centuries. My task was to ensure accuracy and to keep to the historical timeline. At the same time, I worked to bring he and his companions to life so readers can enjoy learning about him as much as I.
Stories sometime present themselves in the strangest way. Don Fernando played a role in my first novel, The Sailor and The Carpenter. He became even more involved in The King's Highway. But, as Timothy and Jaime were my main characters, Don Fernando clearly had to play a much more minor role.
I finished The Missions Bloom and started the fourth and final, The Missions Wither, when I did the three part blog post on Don Fernando. It was then when I realized his life deserved more attention. In conducting extensive research, I found myself admiring and respecting his professional and dedicated life as a founder of European civilization in the Californias. How many had every really heard about him? Or understood who he was and what he represented - a Soldado de Cura - or the Spanish heavy cavalry.
My task now is one most writers/authors dread - the editing and revising. Trying to clear up the extra stuff that comes out as our ideas go down on the page. Even with spell-checkers and automatic word clues, things pass that we either fail to see or become so deep into what we're trying to say we simply ignore it. I will do a quick grammar and spell check and will then set it aside to let it cool off. Fortunately, there are two or three who have indicated a desire to read it, not for a line-by-line edit or comments, but to review and comment on it. That provides an invaluable service for writers - to get some feedback from others we don't know and have no personal agenda.
Sigh. I enjoyed it so much that I'm kinda sad it's done - at least for now.