Why are there so many characters in this book?
Is what my hypothetical reader might say. Well, I'll tell you, Hypierre: I like characters. And I hate extras.
If there's a pilot, give her a name! If there's a board meeting, at least describe the other members on the board. Anybody who merits individual inclusion into a scene gets some characterization. Because nobody wants to be Policeman #3.
The book is about a crew of competent people who meet another group of competent people, and then the groups merge and split off into missions of competence. And since they have a whole planet (solar system?) to do these missions in, sure, there's going to be a lot of characters. But there's a lot of fun plot for the characters to be doing. Haven't got to the clipper ships yet, but it's coming up.
"Hypierre" is now a character on this blog, the stand-in for all my hypothetical readers.
I'm a sucker for a good line. The man walked through the door and fired once, twice. I fired the third shot, and it hit him hard. I leapt up, and the story rolls forward, Who? Why? Then again, I hate mystery. James Troika, mob enforcer, rolled in his guns blazing, I took him out and thought: "I'd better get that paperwork to the clerk of court fast!" The deadline was noon, and it was already Half Past Eleven.
I referenced the title in the first paragraph. Flying Golem Award!
500 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long To Die" - chapter 9