Over the course of the rewrites and sitting down to do plot designs, character designs and even ship designs, I came to realize the Nighthawk needs more than just three pilots.
As is already described by the Maverick Mk V in the chapter Training Grounds, the craft requires two pilots; one to fly the ship and fire weapons, the other for navigation and targetting. The Nighthawk is going to be a larger ship. As it will be described, technically it’s classed as a small escort vessel, will have two decks, and two “shuttles” on the wings so they can be launched to attack. When the ship isn’t in attack mode, the two shuttles will remain as a part of the ship, and will have power, engines and even life support integrated with the main ship.
Those shuttles might be able to be piloted by just one pilot, and even then it’s better if there are two in the cockpit. The main ship, however, will require more than just one, and even more than just two. The perfect crew compliment for the Nighthawk would be nine. Which means that the first members are going to be four, not three. Senia, who will be in command of the ship, Hardy, Clarfax and Aria Sharpspear. Over the course of the third and fourth book, Senia will request more crew members, being given one each time and bringing the number up to six by the sixth book.
The fourth crew member won’t be someone Senia knows, but is in fact a graduate of the Academy in Sandicia, the nation covering a section south and east of Foxburrow. The other crew member will be someone Senia knows, and graduated with at the Academy in Chattingham.
There’s going to be a number of characters “left behind” after the first book is done. That means they won’t appear in the second or third books. Those include Captain Mallard, Air Marshall Collinsworth, Reverend Rosewood, Lt. Philburt Collinsworth, Jada Hawkspur, Claudia Whitefur, Robert Quickfoot and Gilbert Shortclaw. They may, however, appear in future stories. Jada and Robert, for example, I’m planning on having in the fourth book.
The length of time I’ve been writing this, there’s been a large number of changes that have taken place. Which is fine, considering a book in it’s early life should evolve in some way. From characters to ships to the setting itself.