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Greetings from Malaysia

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Greetings from Malaysia

Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu September 30th, 2010, 5:17 pm

Hi to all. I've been lurking in the background for months, reading other guys's posts, their drafts etc. Time to get out into the clear now I think.

I'm a fan of ancient history. Perhaps you can see that from my nic. My writing hero? David Gemmell, I think, for now.

I'm sort of writing, not sure if you could call it that yet, something - a trilogy, actually - based on the South East Asian region, in particular the Malay Peninsula, of the 11th century. But books 1 and 3, will have 2 - 3 chapters revolving around the main proganist's foreign sojourn to Ghazna/Byzantium and Goryeo (ancient Korea) - respectively - making friends, building relationships/alliances, networking, learning war strategies, acquiring weaponry, gaining life/battle experience etc.

They're princes, you see. Protagonist 1 (book 1) is trying to restore his fallen small ancestral kingdom and win independence for it, while Protagonist 4 (book 3) will be his great grandson (their dynasty now already restored to the throne of their small kingdom) fighting to liberate the entire Langkasukan Federation in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula from Indonesian Srivijayan hegemony.

The bulk of what I've got now is in Malay, about 30 odd chapters (Book 1) of roughly 15 - 20 A4 pages each.

But I'm also aspiring to write an English version for the English-reading expatriate as well as indigenous market in Malaysia and the nearby region. I've in fact done like 5 - 6 chapters (draft) in English. I gave 2 draft chapters, chapters 8 & 9, of Book 1 to a friend, and she quite liked it, saying that it had some 'touching' scenes (she wasn't too keen on the macho 'action' parts though) and that she thought it could sell locally.

Going global, though, is rather still a bit of a pipe dream for me, right now, with me not yet (I don't think) in possession of a native speaker's English language proficiency and writing standard. I think I'll just focus on the Malaysian and nearby markets first. I don't know. What do you guys think? Do you reckon something about the Malay Peninsula in 11th century could be of broad enough interest to make it worth the effort?

Well, for one thing, being located smack bang in the path of land and sea east-west trade routes, it was a hotly contested area for dominance/supremacy between the then re-emergent Cambodian-based Khmer Angkor empire, the long-reigning Indonesian-based Palembang Srivijayan empire and the rapidly emerging (or re-emerging) new-kid-on-the block South-Indian based Tamil Chola Mandalam empire, with various shades and degrees of alliance, rivalry and subordinateship/hegemony touching and overlappping between them.

Anyway, I'll get a native speaker to go over the final draft of the English version, when it's ready, before I submit it to a local publisher.
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Thu September 30th, 2010, 6:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu September 30th, 2010, 6:11 pm

Welcome, Shield! (Hope you don't mind the contraction, it's a long handle you picked)
I read HF from all sorts of places -- although I am a native English-speaker, I'm afraid the main English/European themes have been done to death. What counts for me is, can the writer tell a story? If you can, 11th century Malaysia sounds fascinating. Bring it on!

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu September 30th, 2010, 6:24 pm

Thanks, MLE, for your quick response.

I could shorten my handle, no prob. Only it then becomes SOD. Oh well.

I'm still working to hone my story-telling skills further. Frankly speaking, I still have a long, long way to go. There're still many things I'm still trying to get the hang of. Like the POV thing, the 'Voice', the world building, the plot, characterisation, imagery, avoiding info-dumping, among others. I hope to get some useful tips from you veterans in here.

I'll see if I can find any credible parts of my draft which are postworthy enough.

P.S.
MLE, I note that you have a special interest on the topic of slavery. You see, my 1st protagonist went to Constantinople in ca 1010 AD. I've been trying to get a good estimate for the price of a slave there in that sort of time period without much success. I've used 2,500 - 3,500 drachma as a rough estimate for a young (12 year old) Saxon slave girl. She got caught by some Barbary pirates with her grandmother, during a time of Anglo-Danish turmoil in Anglia, right, and she ended up in Constantinople. I wonder if you could give me some ideas on this (her likely price).

BTW, my hero bought her (well, she pestered him to buy her, because he looked like he'd be a kind master, while the slave merchant was a cruel guy) and a child boy slave, then freed them both immediately, so I guess he played his part in anti-slaverism, right? But they still opted to follow him back to his homeland and serve him for pay, the girl to be his horse's groom/trainer due to her knowledge and experience of horses in Anglia. He had bought Norman destrier warhorses in Constantinople to beef up his family's fledgling private army in the Malay Peninsula, you see.
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Thu September 30th, 2010, 7:26 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Thu September 30th, 2010, 6:30 pm

Glad to have you de-lurking! Welcome!
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu September 30th, 2010, 6:50 pm

Thanx, BoswellBaxter.

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donroc
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Post by donroc » Thu September 30th, 2010, 6:57 pm

Welcome and enjoy.
Image

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu September 30th, 2010, 7:05 pm

Thanx, DonRoc. Will do.

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Thu September 30th, 2010, 8:14 pm

Welcome, SD. Hope you enjoy it here!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Thu September 30th, 2010, 8:57 pm

Hi Shield. Greetings from Prague.

Malaysia! Great. I lived in Malaysia for half a year back in '98. I was in Penang specifically. One of the greatest experiences of my life, I love everything about Malaysia. Where exactly are you from, if you dont mind me asking?

Just my opinion, but HF on Malaysia would be really interesting. It seems an untapped gold mine of potential. I only recall reading one HF book on Malaysia. I forget the name but it was set in the 1950s. As mentioned by another poster, Asian history is nowhere near as tapped out as European history (in English, of course).

Best of luck and I hope you stick around.

Just the mention of Malaysia reminds me of how much I miss the food. except the durian, of course :-)

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LoobyG
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Post by LoobyG » Thu September 30th, 2010, 9:06 pm

Hello and welcome Shield!

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