Working on a historical fiction about the disaster.


Atlantic1987

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May 26, 2017
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I have wanted to do a novel set during the voyage for ages and my previous attempt never got beyond the New York incident.

The story is to follow several parties:

A. The historical crew, wireless operators, Andrews, and Ismay.
B. A four-member Maryland family returning to the US, travelling First-class. (Fictional)
C. Second-class passenger John Harper and his relatives, bound for Chicago.

Weaving plots B and C together is a young painter travelling First, Feodor Nepenin.

---

This idea was birthed out of my reading of Shaara's The Killer Angels. I want to try what he did for Gettysburg with the Titanic: a historically faithful narrative. Being a self-taught Titanic historian for the last twenty years, I've gotten the bulk of the big stuff.

However, in regard to the fictional characters I do want to pay homage to pre-90's depictions of the event. Even though the general reader won't be familiar with the references, more learned people would catch stuff. My only regret in that regard is being unable to track down a copy of the script for The Berg by Ernest Raymond. The closest I could find was in a library somewhere in Australia.

Other than that, I'm hoping for a little advice in this.

Thank you all.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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You should get rid of the young painter. He's straight our of Cameron's flick. At least make him a writer. Or a dog catcher!
 

Harland Duzen

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Why not change the painter to that of an inspiring actor? He could then sneak into different areas by faking his accent and allow a greater area of the ship to viewed (slimiar to the proposed gameplay for Titanic: Honor & Glory where the gamer has to do various roles pretending to be a crew member).

Then again, Jack Dawson did do roughly the thing with Molly Brown in the 1997 film.
 

Atlantic1987

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May 26, 2017
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Why not change the painter to that of an inspiring actor? He could then sneak into different areas by faking his accent and allow a greater area of the ship to viewed (slimiar to the proposed gameplay for Titanic: Honor & Glory where the gamer has to do various roles pretending to be a crew member).

Then again, Jack Dawson did do roughly the thing with Molly Brown in the 1997 film.

There's a twist to this character. I won't disclose, due to spoilers.
But that change to actor or author is still in the cards.

Also, I've made a rule that even though I will reference pre-Cameron depictions of the event, that particular movie is off limits. While it was good on a technical level, plotwise it was pretty two-dimensional: everyone in First was a stuffy rich boring guy while Steerage tended to be lively and fun, mustache-twirling villain played by Billy Zane, heck, one guy said that the ending was spoiled by casting Leo.

So as a disappointment to the younger people who were really on exposed to Cameron (one of my former boss' daughter thought A Night to Remember sucked because it was in black and white and wanted the '97 flick).
 

Harland Duzen

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There's a twist to this character. I won't disclose, due to spoilers.
But that change to actor or author is still in the cards.

Also, I've made a rule that even though I will reference pre-Cameron depictions of the event, that particular movie is off limits. While it was good on a technical level, plotwise it was pretty two-dimensional: everyone in First was a stuffy rich boring guy while Steerage tended to be lively and fun, mustache-twirling villain played by Billy Zane, heck, one guy said that the ending was spoiled by casting Leo.

So as a disappointment to the younger people who were really on exposed to Cameron (one of my former boss' daughter thought A Night to Remember sucked because it was in black and white and wanted the '97 flick).

Makes logical sense and I sorry to hear that someone hated ANTR just because it was in Black & White!
 

Atlantic1987

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May 26, 2017
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The crowds had gathered outside the ship, an alchemy of passengers and well-wishers that just seemed to grow with every minute. A sight sixty-two-year-old Captain Edward Smith knew he wouldn’t see again.

The aging captain left the port wing of the bridge for the wheelhouse.



This is the start of my draft. I'm wondering how to approach the remainder of this, given that it's about 10:30AM on April 10. At that time, Second-class and Steerage mainly boarded.

Not so sure how early Ismay or Andrews would have been aboard the ship. Moody would have been involved with the boarding of passengers. Not sure who else would have been on the bridge at the time. I would have someone remark about her being "the spitting image of Olympic".

Skipping ahead, though, my mind turns to the New York: I've merely seen a diagram of the close-shave, but no full-motion reenactments.
 

Atlantic1987

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May 26, 2017
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Thus far, Martin has been extremely helpful with the finer details on the morning of the 10th. Once again, thank you.

In regard to the B-Deck gangway (Martin, in our convo, said that First-class passengers entered here rather than on D-Deck), based on my copy of the floor plans to the First-class accommodations, there seems to be a pair of blank rectangles on either side of the staircase landing, forward of the private promenades. Is this where passengers came in at?
 

robert warren

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Feb 19, 2016
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Based on what's known, 1st class passengers entered the ship on D deck. There were two entrance vestibules off the reception room. They were very bright spaces with floors in the same pattern as the staircase floors, white paneling, and a sideboard to the side, holding extra chinaware. The inside of the gangway doors were decorated with beautiful wrought iron gates that were previously unknown until filmed in Ghosts Of The Abyss. Norris Williams recalled that the floor was imitation marble,and Edith Russell had a very uneasy feeling when she passed through the doors and stepped into the reception room for the first time.Check out Titanic Honor and Glory for a very cool image of this space. Also I recommend reading Titanic Gilded Lives Fatal Voyage for a more detailed account of the boarding at Cherbourg. Its not quite as glamourous as movies and human imagination have made it out to be. Of course a lot of the younger generation scoff at B and W movies which is too bad. Some of the best movies ever made were in black and white. She probably didn't like it since there was no teenage boy in it to drool over, and no teenage romance taking the lead from the actual story of the Titanic. As far as Ismay and Andrews go. I do know Ismay was on the ship pretty early in the morning. He was giving his family a brief tour before they said good bye.I would guess that Andrews was on board pretty early going over final details and that sort of thing.Hope any of this helps.
 
Last edited:
May 3, 2005
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The crowds had gathered outside the ship, an alchemy of passengers and well-wishers that just seemed to grow with every minute. A sight sixty-two-year-old Captain Edward Smith knew he wouldn’t see again.

The aging captain left the port wing of the bridge for the wheelhouse.



This is the start of my draft. I'm wondering how to approach the remainder of this, given that it's about 10:30AM on April 10. At that time, Second-class and Steerage mainly boarded.

Not so sure how early Ismay or Andrews would have been aboard the ship. Moody would have been involved with the boarding of passengers. Not sure who else would have been on the bridge at the time. I would have someone remark about her being "the spitting image of Olympic".

Skipping ahead, though, my mind turns to the New York: I've merely seen a diagram of the close-shave, but no full-motion reenactments.

ANTR has a scene early on showing Andrews and Ismay with the Captain and Officers on the Bridge before the ships gets underway from Southampton.
Could Andrews and the Guarantee Group have already been on the ship from Belfast ?
 
Last edited:
May 3, 2005
2,599
278
278
There's a twist to this character. I won't disclose, due to spoilers.
But that change to actor or author is still in the cards.

Also, I've made a rule that even though I will reference pre-Cameron depictions of the event, that particular movie is off limits. While it was good on a technical level, plotwise it was pretty two-dimensional: everyone in First was a stuffy rich boring guy while Steerage tended to be lively and fun, mustache-twirling villain played by Billy Zane, heck, one guy said that the ending was spoiled by casting Leo.

So as a disappointment to the younger people who were really on exposed to Cameron (one of my former boss' daughter thought A Night to Remember sucked because it was in black and white and wanted the '97 flick).

In Cameron's film, Ismay has a mustache, but he does every thing but twirl it.
 

Harland Duzen

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Jan 14, 2017
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ANTR has a scene early on showing Andrews and Ismay with the Captain and Officers on the Bridge before the ships gets underway from Southampton.
Could Andrews and the Guarantee Group have already been on the ship from Belfast ?

They did come from Belfast and stay with the ship.
 
May 3, 2005
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In addition to a few (LOL) other errors, the 1953 "Titanic" did not include Andrews and Ismay. It's mainly Julia, Richard, Annette and Gifford.
 
May 3, 2005
2,599
278
278
s
I have wanted to do a novel set during the voyage for ages and my previous attempt never got beyond the New York incident.

The story is to follow several parties:

A. The historical crew, wireless operators, Andrews, and Ismay.
B. A four-member Maryland family returning to the US, travelling First-class. (Fictional)
C. Second-class passenger John Harper and his relatives, bound for Chicago.

Weaving plots B and C together is a young painter travelling First, Feodor Nepenin.

---

This idea was birthed out of my reading of Shaara's The Killer Angels. I want to try what he did for Gettysburg with the Titanic: a historically faithful narrative. Being a self-taught Titanic historian for the last twenty years, I've gotten the bulk of the big stuff.

However, in regard to the fictional characters I do want to pay homage to pre-90's depictions of the event. Even though the general reader won't be familiar with the references, more learned people would catch stuff. My only regret in that regard is being unable to track down a copy of the script for The Berg by Ernest Raymond. The closest I could find was in a library somewhere in Australia.

Other than that, I'm hoping for a little advice in this.

Thank you all.
The 1929 movie "Atlantic" is said to be based on "The Berg" . As far as historical content is concerned, it probably has very little.
It is available on a DVD. It's mostly 1929-ish. There is an accompaning audio re-enactment of the U.S. Inquiry proceedimgs.
Gloria Stuart ("Old Rose")plays the part of a passenger.
Bernard Hil (Capt. E.J.Smith) portrays Capt. Stanley Lord
 
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Atlantic1987

Member
May 26, 2017
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Bizarrely, the 1929 film ''Atlantic'' according to wikipedia was shot on White Star Line's Majestic (1914). How they got permission for that is a mystery!

I've read that that was the Comorin.

Saving the First-class characters for Cherbourg. Approaching the New York incident.

Noon.

The great steamer was let loose of her moorings and finally began to move. Half a dozen tugs pulled her from the berth as her three large propellers finally began to turn.

Cries of “Goodbye!” and “Bon Voyage!” were hurled from the crowds on the dock as the adjacent brass band’s peppy rendition of “Rule Britannia” transitioned into “Heart of Oak”.

Passengers swarmed the port side to the liner to give out final farewells.

From the A-Deck promenade, nearest to the stern, John and Nana watched as the gantries and bollards slogged past them.

It was such an incredible sight for the child. She’d never been on a ship before and this departure was quite something. She looked all around, everyone seemed to be basking in the moment.

Save for one.

Nana caught sight of a young man standing further forward of their position. He seemed to be looking directly at her. She couldn’t make anything out about how he looked facially, but what she did notice was his hair and clothes.

He wore what appeared to be a skin-tight black suit with some kind of green disc in the center of his chest, framed by a silver ring. His hair was a deep blue, almost violet, and it covered his ears.

Nobody seemed to notice this stranger but her.
A loud blast of the ship’s whistle distracted Nana. By the time she got her eyes back in that direction, it was as if nobody was ever there.

In regard to this bizarre figure, I'm not going to spoil a thing. You'll have to figure out why this guy looks so bizarre and why Nana (for now) is the only one who can see him.

I hope this doesn't contradict historical fact. In one source I had, it said that there were (to paraphrase) "no speeches, no bands", yet others say that "Britannia Rules The Waves" was played by a dockside band.
 

Atlantic1987

Member
May 26, 2017
27
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s

The 1929 movie "Atlantic" is said to be based on "The Berg" . As far as historical content is concerned, it probably has very little.
It is available on a DVD. It's mostly 1929-ish. There is an accompaning audio re-enactment of the U.S. Inquiry proceedimgs.
Gloria Stuart ("Old Rose")plays the part of a passenger.
Bernard Hil (Capt. E.J.Smith) portrays Capt. Stanley Lord

In addition to a few (LOL) other errors, the 1953 "Titanic" did not include Andrews and Ismay. It's mainly Julia, Richard, Annette and Gifford.

In regard to those two films, the concepts I'm drawing from are character roles from the invented players. I will only use historical sources for the stuff pertaining to the overall sequence of events and the people who were actually there.

I'm not going to have, say, Philips release a canary as the ship sinks (Nazi) or have a siren go off over the course of the sinking (1953). Pretty sure there wasn't an alarm bell ringing during the order to get passengers into their lifebelts (Atlantic).
 

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