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Fitzwater Hughes: Character Development

Well, I’m on track to finish this novella on time! I plan to begin edits on August 1st. Another primary character in this book is a Texas Ranger by the name of Fitzwater Hughes. He’s a new Ranger and currently assigned to Sgt. Bright for training. Prior to his assignment with the Rangers, Hughes worked as a Highway Patrolman in West Texas for a little over ten years. So he has plenty of law enforcement experience and is comfortable working cases alone.

His friends and colleagues call him Fitz and he’s an imposing figure to look at. Fitz stands nearly 6’7″ tall and is lanky, weighing in at only 200lbs. on a good day. He has jet black hair and coal-black eyes. He prefers to wear his mustache in the handlebar style that was popular with Rangers back in the early days but unlike his cohorts. he dresses in corduroys and a dress shirt with a jacket. He grew up an only child to a single Mom in East Texas where she home-schooled him. He didn’t have many friends growing up and he never really dated until he graduated college. His dreams were to become a Texas Ranger, get married, and have a large family in that order. He hadn’t had the fortune of having large family holiday gatherings and looked forward to having those as a grown man.

When he was chosen to become a Texas Ranger on his first application, he was so excited, the first thing he did was call his Mom. While the other candidates were out celebrating with each other at the local bar, Fitz was at church thanking the almighty for helping him meet his goals. When his orders for Company C arrived, he knew that would bring him closer to home and his Mom and he set his sights on his second goal of finding a girl to marry. That didn’t take long because apparently there was a girl by the name of Becky already looking for someone like Fitz. She happened to meet him at a Company C family gathering and while it wasn’t love at first sight, it didn’t take long before they were the talk of the Company and Fitz’s Mom was helping Becky plan a wedding. One of the internal issues that affected Fitz was his adversity towards meeting new people, especially in personal situations. Fitz’s Mom, Ms. Hughes, always described him as a little odd while he was growing up, but the fact was Fitz was on the autism spectrum.

Fitz had no trouble with passing written and oral exams, nor did he have any issues with following orders. In fact, his superiors often had to order him to give citizens a little latitude when dealing with traffic law infractions. But when it came time to investigate more serious crimes, Fitz was like a bloodhound. He never missed a clue and he had an uncanny sense for telling when someone was lying to him. So it was only natural for him to be selected for Ranger duty.

Well, that’s all I have on Fitzwater Hughes at the moment. I haven’t given him more than a secondary role in this first novella, Gabriel’s Sword, but I have left the character room for future development, should I continue this series with additional stories. I think it would be interesting to write a complete story about a Texas lawman that struggles with a handicap like autism. Time will tell! Toodles! JAL

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