This will be the page where I write a little something about where the idea for this comic came from and how accurate I'm going to be etc. But first I must find out how this works. I'm a try it and see what happens kind of person.

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Contents

1. Origins

2. Why a Comic?

3. Historical Accuracy

4. Names and Historical Figures

5. Characterization/Influences

6. Book List?

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1. Origins

January, 2010, as a new year's gift, in order to escape the dark and cold my mother decided we were going on a family cruise. My mother, father, little brother (without girlfriend), and I packed up and got ourselves on a big cruise ship. But my story doesn't originate from there, it starts after the cruise. We had about five hours from the time we debarked to our flight out of San Diego, and since the Maritime Museum was close at hand we decided to visit-- or rather, I excitedly urged everyone that we should go.

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I'd seen Master and Commander and had read at that time all but two of Patric O'Brian books the movie was based on, as well as having read some basics about the navy of that period. Therefore, seeing the Surprise was very exciting. Then a tour guide latched onto us and told us many things I knew and a few broad facts and details I didn't know. All the while I wandered in and out of hearing range. As such, the tour guide notices I had some little knowledge of man-of-war ships. He asked my age to which I embarrassedly admitted 23. (I wasn't exactly dressed my age and almost never wear makeup, leading to people often guessing I am younger than I in fact am.) Once he had recovered, he asked what I intended to do with my knowledge. To that question I had no immediate answer. I still don't. I love knowledge and I love understanding things. That's the root of it.

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However, this question did not leave me. I ruminated on it, bemoaned the uselessness of knowledge for knowledge's sake and decided to solve my dilemma by writing a story. Most seafaring plots having been done before, I decided to have some fun and place a girl on board. Secretly, of course, as a midshipman who would grow up to become an officer and even a bit misogynistic. I then realized I always come up with ideas and never ever follow them through. I then abandoned the idea, it was silly anyway. My final conclusion was to become a history professor. Even so, the idea was amusing and did not entirely leave me.

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2. Why a Comic?

The biggest problem (and main reason for at first abandoning the project) was in fact pronouns. In English every person must be a he, or a she, or come off as an inanimate object. I did not want to refer to my main character as a "she" constantly, (or switch off, or use only "he"). It would be unclear which characters thought she was a woman and which a man, or the reader may forget, or not get the impression of the character I wanted. I also eliminated first person perspective because I would never be able to break into other character's thoughts or impressions without first coloring them with the narrator's own perspective. So, for a time, I set the idea aside. That was until I found Smack Jeeves. Here was a way to tell the story without pronouns, excepting those the characters use when speaking to each other. This idea was fresh and exciting. Of course, a comic comes with its own, different set of challenges.

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3. Historical Accuracy

In everything I do I enjoy being historically accurate. Even when I start with a fantasy setting I end up grounding it further and further in realism. This tendency has derailed many of my projects, as nothing reveals how little one knows about a subject as trying to write about it. It's rather difficult to find books detailing customs, fashion, un-fashion, and all those tiny details which make a story as authentic as possible just sitting in a typical book store. I have also come to loathe internet searches.

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With that in mind, I have therefore decided to forage ahead in spite of my lack of specific details as otherwise the project would never go anywhere. It is still true I know more than average and the aim of my story isn't perfection, but it is the presentation of characters and situations I find interesting and hope other will too. Therefore, please forgive my inaccuracies, I am working all the time to expand my knowledge and would gladly accept recommendations (books, websites, and comments are all splendid).

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4. Names and Historical Figures

So far, the most difficult but seemingly simple task has been giving the characters names-- even more so because I have to pick last names, and ones that I like, at that. While I do have a general list of last names, (some from books, some pulled from a website) it doesn't tell me much more than that. Another complication is peerage, and how that can change/add to a person's name, and so forth. Then there are historical and literary figures, fictional and non-fictional, that limit some options. I shouldn't use names that are too famous, especially ones both famous and unusual. Keeping all that under consideration I have decided to choose names that appeal to me: from people or places I know, if I like the sound, after beloved characters, and not worry too much. All characters, at least in the beginning, will therefore be fictional and unrelated to any historical people unless otherwise noted. Just a personal disclaimer.

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5. Characterization/Influences

Now, even though no one is likely to call me out on this, I'm going to talk about it anyway. Eventually I'll bring up Cathrine's age (though I think of her as "Will," her brother's name and chosen identity) as starting at about 13 and not looking too... womanly. She won't for some time. I am not being unrealistic, having been (and probably still am) a "late bloomer" myself. That would make this one of the few stories I've began with some basis in personal experience, which is rather exciting. For all that the main character is similar to me in that respect, she is very different in others. I am going to try and avoid a purely "self-write-in" story at all costs. Besides the fact that the premise of this story is ridiculous, I'm going to otherwise approach the subject as realistically as possible (for me, at least.)

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As for what boys talk about amongst themselves, any dialogue is merely my best guess. If anyone would like to enlighten me on the subject, I would be delighted. I intend for there to be a variety of levels in comfort and knowledge. But hey, penis jokes and talks about sex are going to happen. It's one of the greatest mysteries of growing up. (And, quite frankly, can still be a long time after.)

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For the rest, I'll do my best to make the characters interesting and, at least, authentic to the story's setting and tone.

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6. Would anyone be interested in some of my favorite, relevant books?

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