Writing Pirates - A Resource List

A helpful list of resources for all your fictional victorian piracy needs, brought to you by writingandresources! 

(The sources on this particular list is mostly relevant to European pirates of the 16th and 17th centuries only, not modern or Asian pirates. Some sources are from the Victorian era (1800’s) but should help put things in perspective. Take with a grain of salt, and keep this in mind even when writing fantasy stories!)






How I became “That Antisocial Girl” in my weekend letterpress class.

Comics are beautiful and intricate stories and artwork that you can HAVE so EASILY for way less than they’re worth, and if you’re going to steal them anyway, please just don’t talk to me about it or call yourself “into” them thanks.

(This guy was a “designer,” too. No excuse.)

But letterpress is really fun.

thebeatmesa said:

Do you have information on Caribbean pirates that weren't white dudes? Or slaves brought to the Caribbean who became pirates? Books I'm reading mention that they existed, but don't give me any details.


West Indies

I really don’t know who came up with the idea that the Caribbean was somehow devoid of people of color, considering that’s basically the majority of people who lived there. Not that pirates were necessarily from that area, but yeah the ubiquitous whiteness idea is a far cry from the truth. As is the “everyone was men” idea.

Rough demographics of pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy

"Piracy's No Different Than Checking Out a Book From a Library"



Stop right there. 

Piracy and checking a book out from a library sounds the same to you, because to you, there is no difference. Either way, you’re not paying. 

But there is a HUGE difference. Because when you pirate a book, the author gets NOTHING. The value of books go down to the publisher, resulting in fewer books produced and smaller advances for authors. Piracy actively hurts the sales of books. Yes—there are some people who pirate books and then go on to purchase books. Yes—there is an argument to be made that people discover books via piracy, leading to more sales. But for the vast majority of authors, piracy hurts everyone in the business—there is no statistical data that I know of that disproves this. Anecdotal evidence based on that one guy who buys a copy of every book he downloads doesn’t count.

Libraries? Libraries HELP everyone in the business. A library sale is significant and directly supports the authors and publishers who make the books. If a book you want isn’t in the library, requesting it leads to a sale. If it is, checking it out leads to more future sales for the author. A library sale leads to more than just profit—it leads to exposure in significant awards markets, promotion for the author in trade show and librarian market shows, and much more. Library books are free for you to check out, but not free for the library to purchase—so when you check out a book, you’re contributing to the purchase of the book, to money in an author’s pocket. The more a book is checked out, the more an author gets—books have to be replaced, and check-out date contributes to future advances and sales for the author. Every book checked out from a library supports authors, supports publishers—and what’s more, it also supports libraries and the communities—the people inside those communities. More library activity = more tax money to support the library = more community involvement in the library = greater educational opportunities throughout the community. 

To you, it’s a free book. Maybe it doesn’t feel different how you procure the book. But piracy at best gives an author exposure and at worst actively hurts the exact people who are trying to make the very books you’re stealing. Libraries actively work to support authors and the very community you live in. 

Saying that piracy is equal to libraries is the same as saying that you don’t care how other people are affected if the end result is the same to you.

Okay, but can we talk about the time that a game studio released a pirated version of its game (a game development sim) on The Pirate Bay that basically made the player lose more and more money due to piracy until they inevitably went bankrupt. 


And then players went to message boards etc. to ask about how they could stop losing so much money to piracy and it was basically the most beautifully ironic thing that we will ever witness in our brief lifetimes.



The independent film world is a fragile ecosystem. It allows for unique experiences and challenging stories to be told by bold filmmakers in adventurous and often unproven ways. Studio films do not take the same risks. But this adventurousness, this ability to surprise us, is why we love indie movies. By supporting this ecosystem, we are supporting the possibility of original, rewarding experiences that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Ti West

Filmmaker Ti West (The Sacrament, The Innkeepers) on why piracy hurts indie film.