Supreme Commander Laurie Draft Two, still in progress, is already 27 pages and 7,858 words lighter. Overall the energy’s high and the story arc’s where I want it; I don’t see holes, extraneous junk, or need for major architectural work. Several chapters written by interstellar anti-hero Mickey Mal Michaels in his bloated, bombastic Fathom the Doomboat Stars anchor the novel in a quirky way I hadn’t foreseen. In fact Heroes and Villains of the Thirties robot Michaels forced his way into major character status without my express permission.
Background should be an energetic part of a story, not just authorial anxiety to pack in exposition. My first draft was saturated with references to the earlier Jack Commer, Supreme Commander series as if readers really needed to catch up on all that backstory. But though set in the same universe, Supreme Commander Laurie isn’t beholden to the old one. Some basic JCSC background may be needed, but it’s much less than expected when I started this project, and I’m delighted to keep removing nonessentials.
I’m rolling through Draft Two via one editing rereading after another, integrating the full story arc. I’m open to drastic changes that might arise, but right now the novel seems to be more or less itself.
I had a surprise last week updating my character list, which usually divides characters into:
- 4-5 main ones who each have several chapters of narrative omniscience.
- 3-4 other main ones without narration duties.
- A supporting cast; spaceships need lots of crew, so there can be several.
- Necessary walk-ons and mentions; I try to limit these, as they can confuse the reader.
Through most of Draft Two I’d listed Jack and his wife Amav, pillars of the JCSC series, as main characters. But Laurie Lachrer, star of the series, must compel those two to gracefully exit this book. As I tied up the characters file, I was startled by how easily I shifted Jack and Amav to secondary cast.
As Amav tends to Laurie’s cut, Jack can take in the sight of his wife in her tight red flight suit. When Laurie created the Typhoon VIII out of thin air, her ship specifications called for uniforms and fight suits for everyone, and Amav had marveled at the huge selection of red flight suits at her disposal.
Now let me tell you that Jack’s now wondering what the hell he ever saw in Laurie because Amav Frankston-Commer, with that long lustrous dark hair and that tall lithe figure, is so absolutely flawless, so beautiful, so sexy, that it’s only been Jack’s being Supreme Commander that’s kept a hundred thousand USSF officers from propositioning her, and you gotta believe that at least one of ’em would’ve had the balls to press his case until she finally gave in, maybe just to be polite. As it is, about a hundred fifty guys have hassled her, to no success of course, over the forty years of her marriage to Jack. That narrows the odds and it looks like she never was unfaithful to old Jacko. But all that’s another story I’ll tackle in a future novel.
Okay, I never laid eyes on that sexy piece; Jack met her just a couple days after yours truly bought it along with five other Typhoon I crew at Mercury. But of course as a HAVOTT robot I interacted with numerous other Amav Frankston Commer robots, and believe me, they’re all masterpieces of intoxicating raw eros. Anyone who’s seen the illegal surveillance videos on SolNet, made by tiny flying robots infiltrating the Commer Marsport home, before the vids were yanked of course, will agree that the nude Amav Frankston Commer is a sight to fuck entire civilizations. In any case, none of us HAVOTTs, even the Jack Commer HAVOTTs, could imagine Jack Commer really deserving Amav. And yet somehow, this utterly sensuous creature seemed to fasten on Jack and they’ve been together since 2034.
Aw, hell, who am I kidding? Is this account of Day Three on the Typhoon VIII even slightly accurate? This Jack dude has Amav Commer, after all. Don’t you remember that Amav got the Six Months’ Erotic Teachings from the Martians and knows everything? So naturally there’s no way Jack would really want this skinny Lachrer bitch.
Goddammit, maybe there’s some glitch in NovelProg. Maybe something in my own programming interacting wrong with NovelProg.
Copyright 2023 by Michael D. Smith