I was reacting to complaints that hadn't yet happened.
Let me explain.
While doing the last editing pass on "Brianna and the Three," I found
myself starting to change things not because I thought the story could
be made better but because someone might be upset...something that
should never be done.
A bit of background: the main character of
the story is a woman named Brianna Pandora. She holds the rank of
Archangel in the military of the mid-79th century, the Angel Corps.
Those who hold the rank of Archangel are both soldiers and teachers,
with each Archangel responsible for a squad of twelve Angels, from the
Senior Angel down to the neophytes, who are just out of the Academy. For
some assignments, the Archangels work alone, rather than bring their
squads along. Each Archangel is assigned an AI, who maintains contact
with the Archangel via a small portable unit usually worn on the belt,
and via a neurolink, a web of circuitry implanted in the Archangel's
brain and allows private communication with the AI.
is well regarded within the ranks of the Corps, she does have some
insecurities and neurosis. She tends to be very hard on herself and
takes criticism very personally. She doesn't like making mistakes and
often chastises herself when she acts on instinct rather than stopping
Early in the story, after a meeting to discuss her
assignment to rescue someone from kidnappers, Brianna heads out and
cruises the downtown district looking for some companionship for the
night. The trouble is, she can't decide what kind of companionship she's
looking for. ("I was becoming discouraged. I didn't see anyone I wanted
to get to know better. My own fault, really. I couldn't decide what I
wanted to get me through the night. A male companion? A female
companion? Both?//It was starting to look like the answer would be
At one point, Brianna dreams about her
great-grandmother, Antandra Pandora, who also served in the Angel Corps.
(Part of Brianna's insecurity comes from the fact that she is
constantly being compared to Antandra.) During the dream, Antandra
suggests that maybe Brianna should find a regular companion instead of
constantly hiring companions.
Without giving away too much more
of the story, I'll just say that Brianna's insecurities come back to
bite her in the ass...and almost cause her death. But she overcomes them
and successfully completes her assignment.
So what's the problem?
With a female protagonist, who happens to be bisexual, I found myself
seriously thinking about removing any hint of insecurity and neurosis
from the story so that Brianna wouldn't be perceived as weak...even
though I show her as being a capable soldier, subduing seven of the
kidnappers without much effort. There was the point in the dream where
Antandra suggests Brianna find a companion, as if suggesting that as a
woman she needs to have a companion...even though Brianna does function
quite well on her own. I also found myself thinking about removing any
hint of Brianna being bisexual because someone might think I was pushing
a particular lifestyle...even though it plays no real part of the
story, (In all honesty, all my characters are straight until they tell
One of the reasons I became an indie author and
started self-publishing was the freedom it gave me. I could tell my
stories the way I wanted to tell my stories. My characters would be the
people I wanted to talk about, with all their faults and fears.
So I stopped worrying about complaints that haven't even been made yet.
If someone doesn't want to read the story because of some of her
character traits, too bad for them.
Wow...I've rambled on quite a bit. Does any of this make any sense at all?