Stereotypes and Inner Critics
It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about writing, mostly because I feel really, really guilty that I have flubbed my daily word count. I had the week off, and I didn’t write a single new word on the pirate fantasy. I’ve been cleaning and rearranging to prepare for the new job. Honestly, I’m also considering the sheer stupidity of writing a pirate fantasy.
I read a fabulous book about pirates, Caged, by Bey Deckard, and it didn’t even get a mention in the GoodReads M/M Reader’s Choice awards, though it was nominated. I know part of the reason is because readers don’t like menage, but then it didn’t get a final mention in the polyamorous category, either. That makes me consider that we’re maxed out on pirates.
The mere mention of pirates summons the image of Johnny Depp in heavy guyliner and dreads.
I like Johnny Depp, don’t get me wrong. I found Captain Jack Sparrow hawt and amusing in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. After that…not so much. He annoyed Legolas (Orlando Bloom will always be Legolas to me) to no end. Who wouldn’t want to be Ms. Elizabeth Swann, with Captain Jack and Legolas fighting over her? This girl. To me, Captain Jack and Legolas need a movie all their own.
There are no dreads in my pirate fantasy, and no elves of Middle Earth. There’s just a potter’s apprentice and a pirate crew with elemental magic that the crown wishes to exploit for nefarious means.
So why the struggle to find words? As with any project, when I get to the middle, I second-guess myself.
I”m writing a pirate fantasy to make it easier on me–I respect history, but it bores me. History is all about facts and dates, and I like making shit up. These are not historical pirates. They live in another world, where they use elemental magic to hide them and defend them, if necessary. I thought it sounded like fun!
Unfortunately, I did the equivalent of reading the comments by reading some reviews of women writing M/M, and that made me doubt everything: the genre, the voices in my head, and the decisions I made when writing my first series, not to mention writing this novel. I didn’t know there was a gay pirate stereotype, first of all. The idea of a simpering, flamboyant pirate is ridiculous to me, (and to W.A. Hoffman, author of the Raised by Wolves series.) However, it exists, and it is a thing that I must consciously combat if I want my book to succeed.
But, with the added bonus of FANTASY, there are women on the ships, too. No suggested “gay for you,” or “I’m straight, I only fuck guys at sea.” So, in short, this novel will be whatever I make it.
My inner critic needs to feast on the edits of my edgy YA and keep his grubby hands off my new stuff.
And while we’re on the subject of magic and ships and boring history…
Still happy to confess I’ve never watched it forward all the way through, though I have seen Demon Knight more times than I care to admit. Billy Zane’s best work…