I just put the corrected galleys for Hal Spacejock Second Course in the mail. Just two minor things, neither of them important. I then spent more time writing a new bio than I did reading the galleys - or at least it seemed that way.
After I mailed the parcel I enjoyed the feeling of relief for all of five minutes. Then I opened up the Hal 3 file and continued work. This one is currently 84000 words, which is 4k longer than the first two books in the series. My plan is to trim the excess over the next two revisions, tightening up meandering dialogue by converting four lines into two or removing them altogether. (It's amazing how much better dialogue sounds when you trim it back.)
I have two characters to remove, and a minor character I'm planning to promote to major (hah). Book two features a strong female character (Sonya Polarov) opposing Hal, and while I don't want book three to be a carbon copy, there IS a minor character (Lieutenant-Colonel Ortiz of the Cathuan military) with a similar role. What can I say? I like writing kick-arse female characters prepared to take charge of their own destiny.
In the current revision Ortiz appears halfway through the book, but my plan now is to introduce her in chapter three, where a group of soldiers infiltrate a robot plant. That means dumping the two characters I mentioned, who currently run that mission. They also appear in a later scene, discussing the typical fate of movie henchmen, which will be dropped completely. If you want to read it, scour the web for the Bowman Publishing edition of Hal Spacejock Just Desserts. Good luck, as there are only 90 or so in circulation. ;-)
I also have a scene where Hal dresses up as a stewardess after Clunk mis-reads a contract. I'm wavering over this one - it's a bit of a farce, and I usually avoid making idiots out of my characters. Problem is, there are two events during the flight which are significant later, so dropping the whole scene isn't an option.
Oh well, back to it.
Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)