The process of writing is inevitably reiterative, with the attention of the writer being drawn between story development and the various skills, which when taken together, become the craft of writing. I also discovered that although every story “has to start somewhere” there are additional constraints on stories with a strong historical content. It is simply not possible to separate a story from what came before or what inevitably came later.
Therefore, although I have concentrated on the first book, which is concerned with Ximene’s escape from The Château de Foix and her meeting with John Stanley, I have plotted further adventures through to the end of her life.
I am pleased I did. What happens later explains much about Ximene’s strengths and weaknesses and gives valuable insights as a basis for her character development in the first book.
In the same way the exploration of alternative starting points for the first book has given me a much better picture of the dangers Ximene faced and the pressures placed upon her.