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A fictionalized, modern retelling of history



Which historical era/event would you choose as the setting?

Poll ended at Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:11 pm

The French Revolution
1
8%
Italy during the Italian Renaissance
0
No votes
The Salem Witch Trials
8
67%
The end of the Ptolemaic dynasty
1
8%
The Princes in the Tower
0
No votes
The Imperial court of Heian-era Japan
0
No votes
The ladies of the American Revolution (suggested by Elinor)
2
17%
 
Total votes : 12


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Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:54 pm
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Kassiani says...



Full disclosure: I've never done a Storybook before and I've also never participated in a YWS RP, so I have no clue what I'm doing, and something like this has probably been attempted on here before. (But even if it has, there's always room for another, right?) Anyway, here's the pitch:

It’s a Hamilton/Six-style retelling of a historical era or specific event, wherein each participant claims one or more historical figure(s) to write from the perspective of. But, like those aforementioned musicals, this story would take some creative liberties. Namely, we would use modern—not period-appropriate—language. (I mean, you could use some old-timey sayings here and there, but the vast majority of dialogue and writing would be in a contemporary voice.) Additionally, while we’d be following the actual biographies of our characters somewhat closely, certain things could be changed—for example, it could be a racebent or genderbent version of a historical figure, and unfounded rumors about your character(s) could be included as canon (in other words: you’d be inspired by the facts of their lives, but you wouldn't have to stick to only the precise and proven truth). Also: while most of the story would be told through the perspective of actual (if fictionalized versions of) real-life people, some additional, new characters could be created and added to the narrative, particularly if you want to write from the perspective of a marginalized person whose name and story might not have been properly documented/preserved.

I’ve been tossing around historical eras and events for the setting, and I really like the idea of centering it on the French Revolution (credit where it’s due: we RP’ed as various French Revolution historical figures in a college class I took, and it was SO MUCH FUN), or perhaps Italy during the Italian Renaissance. I’m open to other ideas though! Maybe something set during the New Kingdom of Egypt, or the Ptolemaic Kingdom (the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty would mean CLEOPATRA—think of the possibilities)? Or maybe the Salem Witch Trials or the lost colony of Roanoke? There are tons of options.

Would anyone be into this? Before you answer, keep in mind that you don't need to be an expert on history in order to participate—at a minimum, you'd only really need to look up the person you're portraying and get a sense of their life, and (though I wouldn't recommend it) you could just read their Wikipedia page for that. This is not about rigorous historical accuracy (hence the modern language), it's more about embodying the idea and spirit of historical figures.

UPDATE: I've come up with some additional ideas for settings and fleshed out the existing choices. Please vote in the poll for your favorite!
Last edited by Kassiani on Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:15 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:02 am
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Magebird says...



This sounds amazing! I'm not sure I would do it myself, but I would love to lend my experience with storybook creation/running a storybook if you want it.

Edit: I just reread your post and realized I somehow skimmed over the mention of the Salem Witch Trials. I've been to Salem for a day and I'm fascinated by the history there - so if you did that historical event, I'd definitely join. :)
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Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:12 am
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EditorAndPerks says...



I always love things like this!! I had a love/hate relationship with the Dickinson Apple TV show but it was enjoyable to see that interpretation of Emily, and so something similar to that would be really interesting!!

I’d definitely want to join this!
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Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:16 am
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Elinor says...



I would love to join this! Now, to choose a historical figure...

In the vein of Hamilton, I also think an American Revolution-set piece focused on the ladies could be awesome as well.

Edit: If we do the French Revolution though, dibs on Marie Antoinette.

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Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:28 am
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



This sounds really interesting! Unfortunately, I won't be able to join because I've already got a lot on my plate, but I will probably be lurking.
  





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Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:12 am
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Kassiani says...



Wow, thanks everyone! I'm thrilled this is getting a positive response. :D

Magebird wrote:This sounds amazing! I'm not sure I would do it myself, but I would love to lend my experience with storybook creation/running a storybook if you want it.

Absolutely! The guidance of an experienced Storybooker would be immensely helpful.

I just reread your post and realized I somehow skimmed over the mention of the Salem Witch Trials. I've been to Salem for a day and I'm fascinated by the history there - so if you did that historical event, I'd definitely join.

I totally agree, it's such a bizarre and fascinating chapter of history.

EditorAndPerks wrote:I always love things like this!! I had a love/hate relationship with the Dickinson Apple TV show but it was enjoyable to see that interpretation of Emily, and so something similar to that would be really interesting!!!

Yeah, I'm a total sucker for any kind of offbeat/modern re-interpretation of history. I somehow still haven't seen Dickinson, but it's high up on my must-watch list—probably the only one of Apple's shows that piqued allll of my curiosity as soon as I saw the trailer. :P

Elinor wrote:In the vein of Hamilton, I also think an American Revolution-set piece focused on the ladies could be awesome as well.

Ooh, that's a great idea!

If we do the French Revolution though, dibs on Marie Antoinette.

Haha, you got it. :wink:

TheMulticoloredCyr wrote:This sounds really interesting! Unfortunately, I won't be able to join because I've already got a lot on my plate, but I will probably be lurking.

That's understandable. Lurk freely, and lmk if your plans change. :D
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Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:46 am
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Lia5Giba says...



This sounds awesome. I'll have to do some research, but this looks like it could be really cool! If you'll have me, I'd love to hop in! (And if I completely mess the history up because of a screwy source, you can kick me out, too. :D Seriously.)
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Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:00 pm
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Kassiani says...



Lia5Giba wrote:This sounds awesome. I'll have to do some research, but this looks like it could be really cool! If you'll have me, I'd love to hop in!

Of course! I'm stoked to have you onboard, @Lia5Giba. And the same goes for @Elinor and @EditorAndPerks.

I'm tagging you three deliberately because I just added a poll to this thread, so you can now, formally, vote for your favorite setting. :D

Also: if any fence-sitters see this, you're welcome to vote too! You don't have to be a committed participant to choose your favorite, and if you're not yet ready to sign up but you're interested and considering joining, feel free to cast a vote—especially if one idea is particularly exciting to you.
Last edited by Kassiani on Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:28 pm
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sheyren says...



psst, dropping my name down here for practically any topic chosen in the vote because this sounds like so much fun
  





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Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:18 am
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Kassiani says...



The poll doesn't officially end until tomorrow, but it seems that our setting will be the Salem Witch Trials! I think this is a great choice.

I was going to start work on the SB and DT right away, but my real life’s distracting me at the moment, so it may be a little while before they’re up and running. Sorry for the delay. Once the threads are posted, I’ll be sure to tag all the people who’ve expressed interest in joining. ^_^
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Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:09 am
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Magebird says...



That's great! :)

I'll be happy to join this storybook - whenever you end up making it. <3

(I'm not sure if this is too soon to say, but could I claim Abigail Williams? I'm just really fascinated by what happened with the girls that led them to accusing everyone of witchcraft, and all mention of her stops after 1692 - which would make for a very interesting story. :))
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Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:55 am
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Lia5Giba says...



[Nooo, I can only pick one? They all looks so good :D]
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Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:23 am
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Kassiani says...



Quick update: I’ve realized that I’m not in the right headspace to take this on right now, so I’d be glad to cede leadership to anyone who has the time and interest. Sincere apologies. I shouldn’t have floated the concept until I was ready to actually do it. I guess I was blinded by my own excitement and failed to take into account the fact that I’m not in a position to manage this sort of creative endeavor right now.
Spoiler! :
I hope that doesn’t sound like an excuse. Honestly I hate the fact that I’m just dipping, especially after multiple people took the time to comment on this thread, vote in the poll, and/or leave a like. This is not how I usually operate at all, and it kills me to be “that person.” But I’m currently not doing well, and my gut instinct is that it would be a mistake to take on any new commitment when I’m… struggling, for lack of a better term. I really am sorry for dropping the ball though. Y’all have every right to be annoyed—I would be too.

Anyway, I welcome anyone else to take the reins from here. I’m touched by the positive response this idea received, and I still believe it would make an awesome Storybook. The only thing I ask is to be tagged and credited with the idea in the project description, if possible. <3
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Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:12 pm
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Omnom says...



@Kassiani don't worry about it! I totally understand that, and I'm sure everyone else who commented on this understands as well, and we're all more than willing for you to start this only whenever you're prepared to do so :D take all the time you need ^^
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Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:26 am
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Kassiani says...



Thank you so much, @Omnom. That's such a relief to hear and I really appreciate it.
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