For those following along with the serialization of Persona, here is the Fact vs. Fiction page for Chapter Three.
So far this whole experience has been incredibly fun! If you’re just hearing about it, Persona is my WWII novel that is currently being serialized online for free. You can find it at its Wattpad address or at its story blog.
But here’s the battle of Fact vs. Fiction in Chapter Three!
Chapter Three – Fact vs. Fiction
Fact: When I was in high school I took German as my second language. (We totally watched The Sound of Music and The Great Escape during school. It was awesome.) But I remember our teacher Mr. Vanburen (yes, I totally snagged his name because he was one of my favorite teachers and I wanted to immortalize him somehow) said that there were different dialects in the German language. It is much like anywhere else, I imagine, with different accents coming out.
Doctor Who fans will remember the Ninth Doctor being accused of coming from the north (of Britain) and his response was; “Lots of places have a north!”
So! The idea of Uncle George’s “language game” isn’t too far-fetched. It’s a little weird, but that gets explained as time goes on. Uncle George isn’t the most honest of fellows, after all.
Fiction: I shoved Megan into a converted storage room on board the ship because I really didn’t know where they would keep a stranded girl on board. I always imagined it was positioned just beside or inside the sick bay so that Herr Schuler could see to her. Let’s face it, this sequence of events is very fictional and I doubt they had a manual for what to do when they picked up a half-drowned woman.
Fact: There really is a place called the Jade Bight. In Germany it’s called Jadebusen and it’s a bay just south of Wilhelmshaven. I had to mention it somewhere because, quite frankly, that’s the coolest sounding name in the world.
Fiction: This is only a quasi-issue because Megan isn’t in the military and really doesn’t know what’s going on, but in the event someone was taken on board a ship like this they would most likely be kept alive. The whole “remand her into custody of the port authority” is semi-realistic. VanBuren would need to give her to his superiors, who would then direct her to military intelligence for interrogation and then relocation to a camp. (More about this in Chapter Four.)
Fact: My original draft of this story had four other POW’s on board the ship, which Megan was kind of interrogated through because Wycoff forced her into the same room with them and then listened to see if she revealed anything. She then set about trying to help rescue these four men, which she managed during a bit of a battle, but she still got stuck going to Germany because she had to act as a distraction in order for the men to run.
It was a fun sequence, but after quite a bit of research I dug up the fact that it was very unlikely for prisoners to be taken on board ships like this. Which meant if I had Megan rescued then I had to dump the other four guys. I mean, I was already stretching the whole suspension of disbelief, so I needed to trim it down.