Alright, the first draft is done.
Sounds kind of funny saying that…first draft. If you take a look at this book’s folder you’ll see why:
At this point I’ll go through and book and look for typos.
I’ll do more than that, however.
- Character descriptions, mannerisms, and short back stories will be added. I’m terrible with describing characters and won’t do much with that, but I will add in clues as to what’s going to happen to the people. These are things you can only do when going back through the book.
- Hooks are fun things that ‘hook readers in and I’ll add some. Again, when you know how the story ends and how certain characters end up you can do these things. It adds tension, suspense and anticipation. Those are key ingredients for getting – and keeping – a book on the Amazon charts.
- NAME and PLACE and TRIBE will be taken out. I have a lot of that in my books when I first write them. The reason is simple – I don’t have to get out of the flow and go to Google or my notes to find an answer. Instead I can keep on writing and get another 500 or 1,000 or however many words.
For that last point, this is what my manuscript looks like:
I’m willing to bet not much.
- Probably that John Colter was out on a river and got caught by some Blackfeet.
- Then they stripped him naked and made him run.
- He killed one, hid in the river from some others, and then got away.
That’s pretty much it, right?
Well, then why the hell do I have 58,000 words taking up 232 pages?
There’s a lot more to Colter’s Run than you might think.
- First of all, what was Colter doing before the run…why was he on the Upper Missouri, and where exactly was he?
- Next, why did the Blackfeet capture him and not just kill him right then and there?
- Then, what was the situation like in Montana – or what would become Montana – in the summer of 1808?
- Finally, what did this run mean long-term for both mountain men and fur trappers like John Colter, as well as the government’s relations with the western tribes?
These are all great questions, and I’m willing to bet you don’t know the answers.
Thankfully you can read this book.
Or you can read one of the 137 books that touch upon Colter’s Run in one way or another.
Yeah, lots of stuff there – I especially like “Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had.”
While I’m sure that title and others will appeal to many, I don’t think it’ll appeal to you.
Nope, you want action, adventure, thrills and spills. You’ll get that in my version of Colter’s Run.
So what’s the book about?
Well, take a look at the Table of Contents:
1: Setting the Stage
Part One fills us in on what happened in the last two books and also how Manuel Lisa’s business interests are faring.
We also meet some of the other men at Fort Raymond. This is paralleled with what the Indians of the region are doing, primarily the Blackfeet.
2: Going Out
Part Two concerns itself with Edward Rose, a mulatto trader in Manuel Lisa’s employ.
We also take a look at what the Blackfeet Nation is doing, which is made up of three tribes: The Blackfeet (Siksika), the Blood, and the Piegan (I further divide the latter into Piegan and Pikuni).
The tribes are riled up by the white presence on their western border and mean to do something about it.
Colter also goes out in this section to trade with the Crow and a huge battle takes place, as it did in real life. Again, this is probably something you don’t know about.
Part Three takes a look at the end of Manuel Lisa’s first year on the Upper Missouri. He’s taking stock and loading up, ready to go back to St. Louis.
Alas, there’s some trouble with the men…and things get quite explosive.
4: The Run
Part Four is all about the run that Colter did that July on the Jefferson River. It’s very detailed, follows the primary source material closely, and has lots of action.
This is movie-style stuff right here and you’ll love it.
5: The Escape
Part Five is about Colter’s 11-day trek after the run. What happened during that time?
We have no idea, as Colter didn’t talk about it. So this is pure speculation built upon the characters and situations I’ve spent the whole book creating.
It’s fast-paced and the text is broken up with lots of character point of views.
Yes, thriller fans will be up all night.
That’s a rough look at what Colter’s Run is about. Here’s a look at some of the main Indian characters that I have:
I’ll go ahead and give away the ending on this book too – Colter doesn’t die.
Yeah, who would have thought?
I’m going to go out on another limb here and say that you have no idea what John Colter did after his legendary run from the Blackfeet.
No problem – “Colter’s Friend,” “Colter’s Revenge,” and “Colter’s Escape” will fill you in on that.
Colter’s Run will be released on October 27. Get ready for one exciting ride!