My story Glory Whales is now up at Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores. Here I want to talk for a minute about relationships between main characters, and what I found special about Dominic and Maya’s.
It’s quite common in stories having two or more primary characters that part of the drama in the story arises from friction between those characters. One character has hurt or betrayed another (or is about to in the story), and they’re then forced to find an accommodation so they can together overcome the primary obstacle facing them.
I see this so often–which isn’t surprising since it’s usually pretty effective–but I personally do tire of it. I like teamwork. I like seeing a group of individuals pulling together to achieve success. And not with the caveat that the group members first had to “set aside their egos” and come together. No, there’s no egos to set aside, because they’re good, mutually supportive individuals from the get-go.
This is a big factor in why I like Marko Kloos’ Frontline milSF series. His main character, Andrew Grayson, works well with the others in his unit, and is also quite fond of his wife. Interpersonal friction does happen from time to time, but never seriously amongst that core group closest to him.
THAR SHE BLOWS! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GLORY WHALES!
The main characters of Glory Whales, Dominic and Maya, are a happily married couple that have been trucking around the solar system for a decade and a half. This idea appeals to me. They’re not crotchety with one another, they’re not sick of the long hauls, the tedium, of each other. They’re not on the verge of going their separate ways–embarking on this trip in a last-ditch effort to salvage their relationship.
No. They’re a “happily married couple that have been trucking around the solar system for a decade and a half.” They chose this life, they enjoy it, because of what it is. They like each other. They respect one another, count on one another, look out for one another. They’re teammates, partners, and lovers. These are the kinds of story protagonists I like to see, at least now and then.
And when a comet carrying tangible proof that life exists beyond our solar system blows up in their face, they’re dropped into a life-or-death struggle to survive. They have to pull together to do everything they can to keep themselves and what they’ve found alive. It’s not just the big, thrilling, desperate efforts they pursue to save themselves, but also the simple caring for one another, the encouragement and mutual support that is essential. There are critical tasks that require relentless, tireless effort; but quiet breaks to recharge and renew are just as important. Both Maya and Dominic have each other’s backs throughout this ordeal. Their love and joy and perseverance makes me happy.
I’m grateful that Glory Whales found a home at Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores and I hope those who read it find it adds a bit of joy to their life.