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Making of a Novel, Part 4


This is a continuing series of posts about the writing of my novel, Starveyors. You can start at the beginning and catch up at your own pace, or just read on and try to figure it all out on your own.


The hero of Starveyors is a young woman of mixed race. She’s half human and half Votainion. She also has a talent for solving differences. Whether its because she was raised an orphan and is looking to please those around her, or the fact that she looks enough like both races to win their trust; she’s got a proven track record for bringing former Empire planets over to the Alliance. The Votainions know her as the Peace Maker, but her Alliance commanders simply know her as Commander Cryse. She’s a member of a mixed race, Votainion warship serving in the Starveyors, a new combined unit of the Alliance Fleet.

She’s ordered to come to the Peace Talks with the Votainion Empire, after the talks become stalled. A second person joins her at the request of Admiral Alba Mayer the person in charge of the talks. That person is a civilian Historian who has been writing the definitive history of the Great War – Rachael Kelley. She’s bookish and much older than Cryse but she has a very deep understanding of the war and of Votainion society.

The third member of the team arrives late and is a Silicant or sentient android. Vomisa was first introduced in Starforgers. Vomisa is representing the Silicants and their leader, Seventy-three. The Silicants have an interest in ending the war too. But there are other things that interest them. Like just exactly who the Ancients were and why archaeological expeditions around the galaxy are finding evidence of an advanced race of people who colonized many worlds millions of years before the humans and the Votainions.

There are two opposing Admirals that face each other at Voton. Admiral of the Fleet Dal Richter for the Alliance and Commodore Khidan for the Votainion Empire. Khidan and Richter are longtime adversaries in the war. Each has been trying to kill the other for over twenty years. Now they must find a way to set aside their personal vendettas and bring peace to the galaxy.

One of those Silicant archaeologists is Saibot, also first introduced in Starforgers. Saibot is searching for evidence of the Ancients on the dessert moon of Ocherva. The moon has been mined to an extreme condition by the Silicants because semiconductors made with the silicate from that moon, allows androids to become sentient. They don’t know why. But there is a Silicant who opposes any digs by Saibot, its name is Eighty-eight and it is in charge of finding more silicate. The two Silicants come to odds over a stretch of land that is sacred to the humans who still live on Ocherva. Saibot receives permission to stop the mining in order to excavate a site deep inside Ocherva that was sacred to the Ancients.

Those are the principle players of the novel.

Primary – Cryse, Kelley and Vomisa

Secondary – Mayer, Richter and Khidan

Secondary – Eighty-eight, Saibot and Seventy-Three

I didn’t plan on there being three sets of three, but that’s how it ended up. There are lots of other characters intermixed; President, Emperor, diplomats, soldiers and other bit players. These nine are the most important.

These characters didn’t all just spring from my head fully formed and realized. Some of them changed names, origins and even sex before I settle on them. At one point Cyril, the daughter of Szeredy, from Tyrmia was to be the hero. That was until I realized that there were multiple references to the war being over in Tyrmia. So I had to change her name and where she came from. But in the end, I wound up with a much better character for this novel. There would have been a nice tie-in with Tyrmia, but it was not critical. This way the universe is opened up a bit and new characters deepen the experience for the reader.

The other character that has changed a bit is Rachael Kelley. She’s been in every book of the series as quotes from her seminal history book. But I had her being in the Starveyors as a commander and at one point she had Admiral Richter’s back story. Finally I realized that I needed her to be a bookish expert and definitely a civilian. This way she could contrast with Cryse who is more strong tempered and military. Her Ambassador title comes at the close of this novel.

The Silicants are all the same characters from Starforgers, but they’ve evolved in the past thousand years. So they will no longer be treated as machines, more like living entities. This will let me imbue them with interesting quirks and personalities than the cold, calculating machines they were in the first novel.

Next time I’ll talk more about character motivations and other details.




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