Work in Progress

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geoint

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« on: December 28, 2014, 07:22:25 am »
Im writing an alternate history story set in the 1770s on a fictional landmass west of California.  The colony doesn't join the American Revolution but it also gets largely ignored by the Brits as they focus so much of their resources on the Americans and thus has to become more independent.   

I originally wanted to have the story focus on how my characters survive but as Ive been writing the story has mutated into more of a revenge tale where the protagonist is forced to defend himself from a man wanting revenge for things the protagonists father did to him before emigrating to the colony. 

I honestly have no idea where it will go.  Ill update this eventually after I finish a rough draft. 

MrGanondorf

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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2014, 07:31:01 pm »
revenge is best!  is there tension between all the empires reaching west? Spanish, French, English, idk wut?

locke

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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 07:14:39 am »
what's the reason it's not just a western set in California or Arizona?

I'm not trying to be rude, it sounds like a great start to a story, I'm just trying to wrap my head around why it needs a fictional island ala Liliput?

geoint

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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 09:40:13 am »
 I want the island to be an English colony/territory. The Spanish owned (if you want to call them calling dibs on a map with almost none of their people, ownership) the western US so California is not suitable for what I want to do.  I want it to be English because I want to focus on the island being in effect forgotten because of the Revolutionary War.  And part of me wants the freedom to invent a new little nation.

I actually have toyed with the idea of the Spanish trying to conquer the colony while the Brits are busy in the 13 colonies.  So yes, lots of tension between the European powers.  If I got a third nation/empire involved it would be the Dutch as they were pretty big traders in the orient back in the day, and they were the only nation allowed to trade with the Japanese for like 200 years.

I haven't decided on the type of indigenous population I want on the island, either polynesian islanders or like American indians.  I do know that I want a small Japanese colony already established but I haven't thought of a suitable reason for them being there yet.  Maybe Christians refugees fleeing after the Shoguns tried to crack down on western influences which were encroaching on Japanese culture?  Id love to make them pirates but I dont imagine many pirate ships would take enough women with them.  I do know that I want them to have a much smaller presence on the island (compared to the indigenous people) as their colony was only started less than a century before the English arrived and they had no additional influx of immigrants from the homeland. 

And revenge.  Yes I just think its such an interesting concept to work with.  Right now the backstory I am working with is my protagonist (Ill shorten to PRO) is the son of an english sailor and spanish farm girl the sailor met and fell in love with after being shipwrecked near spain.  they marry but are unpopular as he is not catholic and for his being English.  PRO is born and dad goes back to being a sailor to take care of the family.  When PRO is about 10, mother dies and the landlord steals everything the family owns and kicks PRO on the street.  When dad gets home he becomes furious and kills the landlords family, minus his son, so he can see what it feels like.  He immediately regrets this and is ashamed, but knows that PRO will suffer more if he does the right thing so he resolves to do whatever it takes to keep his son- our PRO- safe.  (This will all be revealed slowly in multiple flashbacks throughout the story).  So they rush to France (they are in Bilbao, in NW part of Spain so not far from French border) and from France they jump on a ship trying to put this ugly thing behind them.  The landlord and his son have not forgotten or forgiven.

The story will take place about 12 years after all that ended with PRO and dad living in the island. PRO is just enjoying young life, when the landlord finally finds them.  This is as far as I am right now. 


Sorry if my response to questions here isn't in any logical order lol.  Im sleepy
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 09:54:01 am by geoint »

locke

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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 05:02:22 pm »
You should read the biography of Alexander hamilton,  there are islands in the carribbean that meet most of those descriptions, and his life was similarly tumultuous and fathetless if less violent in that time period and politics given that he grew up in the carribbean. That should provide some context basis for further research.

Cool ideas about the island throwing together such a trifecta of conflict generators.  Is that early Tokugawa japan?  People expelled during the turnover going into the new Tokugawa regime?

geoint

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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 06:33:19 pm »
I was thinking it would be around the middle of Tokugawa Japan.  They would be a group of underground Christians who fled around 1700 when they were infiltrated and discovered.  This would mean they had successfully hidden for about a century before getting infiltrated/discovered and as a preemptive measure, the guys in charge had a plan to take some ships (fluyts were perfectly sea worthy and common in Japan by that time) and flee to Americas to seek sanctuary with the Spanish. However, they were run aground during a typhoon and have been stuck on the island ever since. 

Is seeking refuge with the Spaniards pretty silly with what we know about how those guys operated?  No question lol.  But these guys only knew the propaganda they had heard from the missionaries over a century previous.

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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2015, 03:09:59 pm »
When I was still taking history classes, I got to write some essays on that period in Japan's life. You've got a fairly consistent explanation for why they're on your island, geoint - from what little I know.

Story sounds really interesting. I hope you're faring well in your efforts.
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