&amp;lt;img src=”https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5c9e7b772727be5d26d3c4c4/1600806542970-IFDLJ7EBUH410QSVS1QE/May-June2010+1110-1.jpg” alt=”May-June2010 1110-1.jpg” /&amp;gt; My original hand drawn map used in the frontispiece, on the left, and the digitized version of the same map that I ended up using, on the right. I created these maps at the completion of the first draft in 2018. Photo of a photo taken back in the 1990’s ice fishing at Chocorua Lake. The fish house in the back was built by my brothers, Grandpa Tinker, and I, at his home in West Ossipee. He was a ridge-runner and storyteller, an inspirational force behind the book, as noted in my Introduction. There is something comforting about writing with pencil and paper. The process allows for a hand-written first draft that is edited into a second draft as you type it into the computer. I have 3 journals filled with the manuscript and 2 notebooks from research, notes and thoughts. I ended up with 7 drafts before the master file was completed. I am a visual writer. Here is a brief snippet on my process of getting thoughts on paper/screen.
Visualization is the only way that I know of writing out scenes, picturing the setting, the characters, and then trying to capture the moment in words. It is also helpful to visualize your characters speaking the dialogue and their body language to see if it makes sense. I’m sure other people have insights into how they like to write, but I wouldn’t get through the first chapter without it. When researching the Campbells in Scotland, I used old maps of Ayrshire and battle maps from the first Jacobite Rebellion to figure out how to approach various scenes. Old maps and paintings of Portsmouth NH were also a great reference to layout routes for the antagonists as they made their way to the frontier. The old cliche about a picture being worth 1000 words is multiplied by another 1000 when it’s the only insight you have into historical settings. Big Rock Cave in the Sandwich Mountain Range. As Chocorua leaves to confront Atenah and the Mohawks at the Battle of Deer Run Ravine, his family retreats deep into the mountains and Big Rock Cave. The process of writing the book was extremely lonely. Sometimes it felt like working in a box with no windows. It was not until the last six months when I hired Paul Martin from Dominion Editorial that I had an in-depth edit of the manuscript. I also thought it was important to have a cultural editor, so I hired Abenaki author and historian Dr. Joseph Bruchac III to proofread the manuscript and offer cultural and linguistic edits. Freelance editor,Sarah Johansson, helped me break down the first chapter, after I had revised several times, and cut out extraneous research that I over-indulged in. Here are my thoughts on the arduous process of writing the project after completion of the first draft. I was naive enough to think I was actually done back in 2018:
“Write that book” scrolls across my screen saver. It’s there every day; a constant reminder, staring back at me after the blue screen of activity gives way to procrastination, frustration or the words become insurmountable walls of gibberish piled on top of each other. F or me, the process was similar to thru-hiking the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail-only much harder. And just like life on the trail, there comes the point, early on, when the struggle gets real, and you probe your soul to find the answer to some simple questions: Is this worth it to me? Do I want to commit months, even years, of precious time to fulfill this goal? Why? Straightforward questions, with loaded answers depending on the circumstances. And just like that first thirty mile stop on the trail, you can either quit with the majority or persevere because something at your core is telling you to keep going no matter how difficult. T he one thing that I can promise is that your reason for writing will regularly be scrutinized and tested until the very last sentence is written. There will be hundreds of peaks and valleys and some of those icy river crossings where the cold water penetrates into your boots to soak your last pair of dry socks. T here will also come periods of jubilation where the writing takes on a rhythm of its own. When the research, story, and characters come to life in ways that you never imagined. And in that dimly lit room at 2 am you will eventually reach your trails end, the figurative Mount Katahdin