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Bringing Pirates to Life with Cindy Vallar

New for 2018 Bringing Pirates to Life with Cindy Vallar

New this year at SavvyAuthors!
Basic and Premium Members Prices
Premium Members $30 & Basic Members $40

*** Register by September 24 and save $5, use code PIRATESVALLAR at checkout! ***
Characters, Worldbuilding
$5 off Early Registration Coupon-expires 1 week before class starts
Peter Blood in Captain Blood, Long John Silver in Treasure Island, and Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean conjure up images of buried treasure, black schooners, wooden legs, eye patches, vibrant parrots, walking the plank, and swashbuckling swordsmen. Are these accurate portrayals of pirates? Some are, some aren’t.

This workshop explores the differences between the reality and mythology of Caribbean piracy during the mid-seventeenth through the early eighteenth centuries, and how writers can create believable characters that fit within historical parameters. We look at why individuals became pirates, who’s who on a pirate ship, the rules governing pirates, individuals who interacted with or encountered pirates, and other aspects of maritime life an author needs to know to write a pirate tale. Cindy enhances the workshop with writing assignments, a timeline, and resource bibliographies. At the end of the workshop, she offers to provide a free edit of a chapter from participants’ manuscripts involving pirates.
Week 1:

· Welcome, Introduction, Resource List, Participants’ Questions

· Short Overview of the Buccaneers and Golden Age of Piracy (1630-1730)

· Lesson 1: Articles of Agreement and the Crew of a Pirate Ship – Pirates were notorious for their lawlessness and brutality, yet they adhered to the ideals of the French Revolution – liberty, equality, brotherhood – a century before that country’s monarch fell. Their Articles of Agreement set them apart from other naval and governmental institutions of the time because they incorporated principles of democracy, including the election of officers. While pirates dispensed with traditional seafaring hierarchies, they understood the need to have some members lead them in battle. Who were the officers aboard a pirate ship and what were their duties? Whose skills were most prized? What happened if the pirates disagreed with the captain?

· Assignment: Major Character Profile

Week 2:

· Lesson 2 Ships and Seamanship – The definition of piracy requires that these villains’ attacks take place at sea (usually) – ship attacking ship. Pirates required three things from their ships: (a) speed and maneuverability, (b) space for prize crews, armament, and plunder, and (c) shallow drafts. Having a ship wasn’t enough to ensure success as a pirate. Those aboard the vessel had to know how to sail her and to navigate. They also needed to be aware of the hazards awaiting them while at sea.

· Lesson 3: Pirate Havens – Webster’s Dictionary defines “haven” as any port that provides shelter. Pirates required such harbors in order to survive. Why did pirates favor certain spots over others? What sites hosted these villains of all nations?

· Discussion: Picture Evokes Story Idea

· Assignment: Time and Place Profile

Week 3:

· Lesson 4: Associates of Pirates – Pirates didn’t live or work in a vacuum. They required others to fence the stolen booty or to finance their operations. They visited safe havens where women and spirits awaited them. Informants shared their knowledge. Governors authorized hunting expeditions. Merchants supplied them with products they were unable to acquire to plunder. Meet the friends of the pirates.

· Lesson 5: Enemies of Pirates – Pirates might have friends to help them, but by their very nature, they also created enemies. First among those were the victims upon whom they preyed. The outrages they committed stirred merchants, ministers, and governments to seek justice. Governors authorized hunting expeditions. Hunters tracked down their quarry. Victims testified at trials. Once convicted, most pirates met the hangman. Meet the enemies of the pirates.

· Assignment: Minor Character Profile

Week 4:

· Lesson 6: To Be a Pirate – Sand sifting through an hourglass symbolized the swiftness with which time passes. For pirates, it meant life was fleeting, so they played with the same ferocity as they preyed. Yet the dangers they faced were not so different from those of others who sailed during the Age of Sail. The beauty of the sea belied the danger it possessed, for in the blink of an eye a ship became a wreck or a storm swept the ablest of seamen from the deck. If by chance they survived those perils, they might fall victim to disease. If life at sea was so dangerous, why did men become pirates? Was it the lure of treasure or were there other reasons for making a choice that might lead to death by hanging if caught?

· Lesson 7: Tactics and Strategy – How did pirates find their prey? How did they decide whether or not to attack that prey? What methods did they use to succeed in their venture?

· Wrap-up, Free Chapter Edit
Cindy Vallar
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