Taking research seriously … with pirates

Pirate ResearchYou’ve heard the expression, “Writers write.” That is very true. I have a slew of story ideas I’ve been cultivating for the past year. One of the stories is a pirate tale. The goal is to create a story which can be turned into a graphic novel. Writing a pirate story is not as simple as it sounds. Most of my knowledge of pirates came from movies, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World. I wanted to learn more about real pirates, not just those in fiction. But I also wanted to maintain peoples expectations of pirates as well.

Jack Sparrow, the fictional pirate in the Pirate of the Caribbean movies, gave people a different view of pirates. Although his character is purely fictional, characters such as Bartholomew and Morgan, the two pirates who wrote the fictional Pirates Code, are actual pirates. Pirates did live by codes, but each Captain  did have a set of company articles, or rules. These rule were often very fair to the pirates, even compensating them financially for missing limbs.

As you can see, I take my research for stories pretty seriously. I’ve watched true documentaries of pirates, I’ve watched at least 7 different pirate movies, and I have read several books on pirates, pirate lingo, and even a pirate handbook.

I’ve also found that inspiration can come from anywhere, including a few replica pirate coins. When I wrote Eartha the Sea Turtle, and Steven the Vegan, I used photographs, plus a few visits to locations where the real animals resided, for inspiration.

I can’t tell you when the story will be done, but as always, I will keep you posted.


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