1. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London

    How do I write Britain becoming a US State for this general fiction?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Bobby Burrows, Oct 4, 2018.

    Okay, so this is sort of why I'm here, the thing I want to do.
    True, since coming here/joining this online community, that my own writing juices have flown.

    I wrote sketches in somebody's short humour thread FFS as my first two posts here, on this forum, because I'm new and, I really hoped it was a free for all and their ideas just inspired me so I wrote them. 'sorry', lol, to that user who, I know the avatar, but, being new, haven't learned there username yet, but, they seem friendly enough, and it's there, somewhere, if you find it, my sketches I wrote.

    Then old projects of mine somehow rose themselves and it was like, oh sh*t, I'm home!

    But despite all that, (Talking Toilet/UK Asian Buffy the Vampire Slayer set in South London on a constant Autumn) I've really got something new.


    I've got a scene and an idea, the scene is a news anchor reporting on the new police cars coming from Detroit with Surrey Country Police Department and American spec cars around it in the UK with a Commonwealth of United Kingdom license plate that also has something like 'The British State' in a caption underneath.
    I don't know how quite to write the scene of a decal that's sporting that Surrey PD design, on an American police car in the UK. Scotland Yard could have MET decals in London on American police cars in London, but Surrey County, I want to write, in a story that sees the English county of Surrey become the American Surrey County in the state of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) in a post Brexit world.

    But how did we get there? not really, since there was a story called the Fifty First State that said that, no, I want to write, the transition.

    I want to write the change of UK becoming a US State.
    Like I want there to be drama (within our main characters whom are binary opposites; two rich and powerful, two poor and peasant, I want one of the rich and powerful to be the good, and one to be greedy/bad, and I want one of the peasants to be the Heroin, so smart, but also subject to the change and not fooled by any of the jubilation and sees the ugly truths of the dramas from the rich and powerful's struggle, and I want there to be a dependent for the Heroin, like a stupid male friend or something who's quick to join the masses, who she pulls out and saves, and knows and who trusts the Heroin, so it's that trust that saves this stupid guy, for trusting in the right people, and think there has to be a chance meeting that brings the good characters together, that involves them against the bad/greedy protagonist (who wins and the UK ends up just as American as Apple Pie for it, somehow, so, it's not a bad end, but it does mean the end of a country), and I want detail of everyday things like roads and historic buildings and US High Way code and converting to American.
    So, maybe lots of boring construction, IDK, if Jules Verne could do it, why can I? (Be as detailed as I need to be).

    I draw the line at electricity though, I want there to be a footnote about the electrical sockets and the 240Volts thing here not being American, but I want that to be like a foot note, like a minor mention, like, talking about the grid or rebuilding everything, idk, I want to mention it but not write it, I don't want to be too detailed, but I want the things to be present, so the idea of everything changing to American, and vital elements of the logistics and execution of such grand schemes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  2. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    I guess I want to write about rebuilding the UK to being American and issues with the current infrastructure, and a power struggle where the forces that be completely make the UK all American, with UK's old buildings being saved and demolished and everything even the power grid and sockets, all the infrastructure, even the toilets, are American in the end.

    So scenes of replacing a post box with US Mail Box and putting the old post box on the back of a truck.
     
  3. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    Call it

    My American Nightmare
    /
    My American Dream
     
  4. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    Omg, it's a story that has an actual physical change of scenery in it, since it's about making the UK all compliant with American standards, hmmm...
    Maybe I'd need to write in a few more wrecking balls and bulldozers and steamrollers?
    And have my characters literally change everything their selves, from applying Surrey County Police Department decal to an American spec Police Car to Yellow School Busses taking kids to school in the middle of London, keeping the old buildings but having bigger roads, and people wondering why do kids in London who could walk to school need such a bus, IDK.

    So I want a lot of studying to see how to make the UK all American and how that would be, to write the transition from one to the other, with the people with obvious questions and the logistics and reasoning and logic, so I'm going to see how schools in a London Borough could act like a school district if it were American, and see how the schools could convert, and the police, and the laws, and the justice system.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  5. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    333
    For the purely logistical side of things, you should look into how past countries were "absorbed" into other ones.

    Although, I don't think anyone would want to waste the resources to Americanize historical buildings/sites. Besides, public backlash would kill the project to do so.

    Quick question, what's the point of the book? What messages do you want to convey? What feelings do you want your readers to feel?
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  6. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    That backlash I want to be written about, some people protesting the demolition of a local building in order to re build the road/make the road bigger, and the police who now have to enforce this new law, but being from the UK, having a point where they'd reject this idea, but it'll be too late, and the end is American.
    The reason why this policeman had to enforce this new law could be mentioned as a historical fact to tell the reader of something being signed in Parliament making the police now work under Federal and State Law, or something, perhaps. I also want London to be State Capital because of Westminster and Parliament, so the Houses of Parliament still control the UK which is now controlled by Washington D.C.
    Perhaps that backlash could be a grass roots protest and that's where we meet our Heroin?

    I also love this idea of Ireland and America having a border.

    I guess there'd still be an EU in this story, so I'd make Ireland still the EU, but from a reading perspective, Ireland'll be Ireland and Northern Ireland'll be part of America, and I want there to be a border in my story about an US/Ireland border, and people in Ireland suddenly faced with a hard border with America on the other side to it.


    Then a follow up as the story ends, IDK, apendix, Ireland can be united and the whole of the British Isle is a State of America 'just because they got jealous and wanted to become American in the end', THE END? IDK.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  7. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    333
    Why do the main characters exist? With your story, do you want your audience to empathize with them specifically? Or do you want them to identify with the British people who oppose joining the US? This should be something thought about hard. Even though both the heroine and the British people might hold the same beliefs, the story will be different based on who you decide is more important.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  8. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    333
    What do you want your audience to feel when they read this? What message are they supposed to take away from it?
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  9. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    Horror, maybe a little comic relief, but mostly horror, and to in the end love the UK for my story aims to take it away from them, so I want my reader to love appreciate the UK by taking it away from them, and giving the UK an American face lift ;and, I want it to exercise a look into the British/American 'Special Relationship' by showing the UK becoming American and having Americans not really accepting of the British State/Loving the incorporation of the British State, and celebrating the two in a dark way, with a drama that in the end makes UK indistinguishable from an American state. (Might have to film it in Canada for that shot). .


    I say reader, but I'm thinking really audience, and actually writing the scenes and working out how to show it and what tricks might be done to do it on the cheap so it could be sold maybe.
    So, I want to write the screen play, and make it producible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  10. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    333
    Okay, but what's the message? Is it: "Americanization is bad"? Is it: "Britain shouldn't change"?
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  11. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    It's taboo, it's of UK's love of America given to them beyond their wildest dreams; so it's that part of every Brit who ever wished they were American (if ever)... and giving it to them... but then for it, see how they loose the UK, so the message really is;
    The protagonist wins, but in that victory, life isn't bad (if you like being in America).

    Like, Surrey I want to write about the county Surrey, England, in a the event of that happening, becoming Surrey County, UK, USA - that's the genesis of this idea, writing that happening.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  12. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    333
    Ah, then maybe you shouldn't focus on one single heroine and her sidekick. I think your message might be more powerful if you instead focus on a sort of anthology. It would be a bunch of short stories featuring a mix of people who want it and people who don't, with the "evil guy" being in every story. He wouldn't be the "evil guy" in every story, however. How he is written would shift depending on who is the focus of that story.

    For example:
    Chapter one would focus on a waitress who profits from the increase in tips (I'm pretty sure that's mostly an American thing, right? With waiters/waitresses getting more tips than in other countries?). This story would paint the "evil guy" in a positive light, as what he did helped this person.

    Chapter two would focus on a t.v. provider. The "evil guy" would be written like he were a bad guy because people don't have to pay for t.v. licenses under American Law, so they wouldn't gain that extra revenue source.

    Chapter three would focus on an American who came to Britain without needed a travel visa because it's now an American State. The "evil guy" would be good in this chapter because this person gets to go to Britain, a place they've never been to before, without needing to go through all the hassle of travelling internationally.

    The chapter would go on like this, each one focusing on a different member of society with a different viewpoint on the change, until you've properly discussed everything you wanted to. I don't know if this'll work for you, but it's what I'd do.

    Edit: Each of these chapters shouldn't have anything to do with each other. I mean, like, don't make a character you featured in one chapter feature in another, because that runs the risk of being the exact same chapter. The point of this is that you can explore every nook and cranny of this new idea without having to worry about repeating yourself.
     
    Oscar Leigh and Bobby Burrows like this.
  13. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    I want to keep the main cast small as can be.

    I've got a Hero who dies and Heroin to live on.
    But I want the end to see UK looking like America and being American.
    - call it a fantasy, and aim it at a UK audience.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  14. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    I honestly got stuck trying marry my shot of Surrey Country Police Department's new Detroit built police cars and the logistics of rebuilding a road as a news anchor who I wanted to open with the headline of Britain joining the Union (and only showing the people celebrating/not showing the struggles we'd see) to the audience and maybe cut away to a field reporter in Surrey reporting on the new cars and changes, and how the roads will soon be rebuilt/ made to fit the cars at the very beginning making this not a story of how this happened, but of it happening...
    I of course intend to reveal how by reference to events and perhaps even flash backs real quick, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a story of the change being rolled out on to the UK.


    Then I got confused on if it was British News or American, and in my mind I'm toying with both.

    Then I was toying with using the news anchor just read the news to my audience at plot points maybe, and invite the audience into the news of the universe this story's set in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  15. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,338
    Likes Received:
    13,066
    I feel like you're going to need a reason why America would do this, because I think the reaction, if America were given the UK as a gift, would be to squeal, "Ooh! Pretty British things!" If anything, I could see them tearing down modern buildings to put in cottages and hollyhocks.
     
    BayView likes this.
  16. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    I guess for that question about TV license, the BBC just ceases to be or, all of a sudden, just has telaphons to fund it,and becomes public access or something.
    But I am not writing anybody missing the TV license money and that being anything.
    That's so not an issue, in my opinion, if this ever happened, it'll just be scrapped when aligning with American law, and if the State TV/The BBC is the first victim; so be it.

    If the mainland/America doesn't have evil TV people, neither should the State of UK.

    The evil people should be the greedy power hungry people who doesn't care either way, and only seeks money and power.

    Being greedy and power hungry are key traits to my villain who ends up winning and the UK ends up being American.
     
  17. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    333
    Then don't marry them. Keep the two separate, in their own sections of your book. You're trying to explore a complex topic with many implications, so you'll need to keep it simple or you risk confusing a lot of people, even yourself. This is why I suggested the anthology; it's one of the easiest kinds of stories to write, in my opinion. With an anthology, you don't have to worry about long, overarching plots. You can have them, but they aren't needed.

    You can even keep your main characters, just have them be a part of their own story in the anthology. It could be the biggest one in the book, with the most meaning for the whole story. I just think that you might have problems exploring this whole new society with a small main cast that you have to stick too. It'd be easier to show everything you need to show if you venture out a bit and focus on minor, one-off characters who only exist to show this one aspect of your story.

    Okay, I'm about to talk about a cartoon in comparison to your story. It sounds weird, but it applies.

    The cartoon Steven Universe is an excellent example of how not to write this kind of story. While it isn't actually this kind of story, the same logic applies. The cartoon is so obsessively focused on Steven that he is forced into a lot of stories within the show. This takes away from those stories, making him seem like he's the only one that matters. It also stunts the world-building, as we don't see nearly as much as we need to to understand the full context of the story.

    How does that compare to your story? If you insist on only focusing on that cast of characters, your world, which is supposed to encompass Britain as a whole (At least, I think. That's what I took away from your posts, anyways.), will feel fake. It will feel like your main characters are the only ones that matter. Most stories don't have this problem, because the main characters generally are the only ones that matter when it comes to the world around them. Your story, however, focuses on a huge topic that holds many deeper implications and asterisks than it seems. Logically, something of this nature will cause: protests; riots; judicial problems caused by the changing laws; the logistical problems of swapping Parliament for a state government; deportation; people leaving Britain of their own accord; people entering this new American state; a clash between British t.v. channels competing with American ones; the currency changing; driving laws changing; policing laws changing; border laws changing; press conferences; and how this change affects future elections. All of this is way too much to reasonably expect a small cast of main characters to experience without it feeling like things don't happen without them around.
     
  18. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    333
    Why not? That's a mandatory thing in the UK, and it provides extra money for the BBC and other things. Those benefactors would fight against this tooth-and-nail. It would definitely be taken to the public to talk about as well. I think that it's more significant of a change then you're giving it credit for.
     
  19. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    Brexit.

    But if anyone asks, they can read The 51st State by Peter Preston which I heard has Britain leaving the EU then joining America.
    [​IMG], but to set my story apart from that story, have my story focus on detail and change, and have my story be about the execution of it happening. I want somebody to represent the masses (Heroin) and somebody in a position to do things (Hero and also the Villian who ends up killing the Hero and getting away with murder), ending with a more American looking UK.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  20. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,338
    Likes Received:
    13,066
    I should clarify. My point isn't "Why would America want to own the UK?" but "Why would America change the UK to look like America, instead of making it a really really big British-themed Disneyland?"
     
  21. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    Because it's Socialist and the whole concept is details of moving away from that.
    I feel focusing on an out of work Television License Fee collector isn't where I want to focus on, at all, but to focus on buildings and roads and cars and the American highway code being rebuilt into Britain, replacing and changing everything, in the literal sense, to fit with US specifications.
     
  22. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    You can have both, in the end, I want Britain to look and feel like an American TV show.
    So maybe film the last shot in Canada and call that Devon, and maybe a small set somewhere that can be built to look like London with American roads and signs and cars and having this UK State License Plate shown more and used and remarked and referenced.
     
  23. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    London
    This is that Peter Preston story;
    Inspired by the patriotism of his dying father, Rupert Warner uses his position to lead England out of the EU, and almost accidentally into the United States. Even more accidentally, he finds himself running for the Vice-Presidency, and who knows where that might lead.

    [​IMG]






    but my story isn't about all of that, but the assumption of the change being as sure as Brexit is now; knowing Brexit's going to happen, not quite knowing how; In my story, I want the UK to become American and know the change is coming, but finding out along the way just what that means until it's too late and UK's American, that's my story.
     
  24. Lemie

    Lemie Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    2,685
    Location:
    UK
    @LostThePlot - I have a feeling that this might be relevant to your interests.

    Should I put the kettle on?
     
  25. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    12,511
    Likes Received:
    24,331
    Location:
    Seat 29e, Air Gradia 452
    For the original question....There was a point when Churchill had a certain admiration for Hitler; Fascism was seen by many in Europe as a bulwark against Soviet Communism. So perhaps the UK sides with Germany in the war, not under Churchill, you could give him a heart attack or something and dig up an alernative PM. After the war (which takes a lot longer), the US decides that it's too risky not to have a solid foothold in Europe, or at least the "unsinkable aircraft carrier" off the coast, and annexes the UK.

    The thing is, to do this, there are no half-measures. You've either got to do years of research, go full Harry Turtledove / SM Stirling, or just sort of wave it off and hope that people will run with it.

    Just random little hints like that, and let the reader fill things in on their own.
     

Share This Page