This weekend I finished the last story for my pirate anthology. You have no idea how nice that felt. I originally wanted this book ready by May but reality and work kicked that idea in the nads. As I kept missing my own deadlines, I wondered if this was ever going to be written.
Which I think is an important lesson to all you amateur hobbyist writers out there – Don’t give yourself deadlines. It is good to have goals and a schedule but seriously, I beat myself up emotionally for deadlines and I am my own boss. What is up with that? You know what is a better deadline? Write it till it is good. That’s your deadline.
Speaking of good, one of my original goals was to have twenty-four stories set on this pirate ship. Why twenty-four? No good reason. It just seemed like a round fat number. Around story 18, I realized that I was about out of good ideas. I had four plots that were doable, but they were not exactly exciting. I started writing a few of them before I realized that they read like filler. I was trying to reach my own self imposed goal of twenty-four stories instead of just tying it up when I was out of good stories. Don’t pull a Shon and do that.
Once I decided to stop at eighteen stories, I came up with two more. For story nineteen, I recycled an old favorite of mine about a pirate named Lucky John. I rewrote it a bit and added him to the crew. I wanted to have only new stories for this book but screw it, this is a good story. It deserves a second read.
For my twentieth story, I hacked and whittled at an idea I had till it was a story as good as the other nineteen. I like it. It has an orgy. It centers on the Captain and is from her point of view, something I carefully avoided throughout the whole anthology. I like Captain Kate O’Plenty and I think you will too.
I would like to go on the record and say that my biggest regret with this anthology is that I never wrote a story for the cook of the ship. I had a few character ideas in mind but no story to go with it. BDSM cooks are a favorite of mine but in six months, I couldn’t come up with an angle that brought anything new to the genre. Oh well. Maybe now that the stories are written, my brain will relax and come up with an idea.
Just because the stories are written doesn’t mean they are done. I need to go back through each one and rewrite them so that all of the characters remain consistent from story to story. I also need to polish and fine tune the three sea shanties I had written and see if I have it in me to write the Pirate Code for the ship.
The funny thing is that after all this, it goes to my lucky charm proofreader, Bridget, and the real editing and rewriting begins.
In the meantime, I can start writing about another ship, this one set in space and where everyone is a Hell of a lot meaner.
The picture was drawn by Joe Gravel. The guy makes wonderful pirate sketch cards and I wanted something epic from him. He certainly delivered.