Well, I did it. This morning I finally posted a short story on Figment. It’s FAR from perfect, but if I’d tried for another draft it would never have seen the light of day. It’s called A Lady Strong and Bold, and it’s about pirates. (Or, more specifically, a girl who disguises herself as a boy and accidentally joins a pirate crew—terrifically original, I know :)) It’s also different from my other stories in a couple of ways.
First (and foremost), it’s co-written. My sister, Claudia, wrote the original draft a few years ago, but it never really clicked for her (even though I adored it) so she abandoned it. I’ve always loved pirates, and a few months ago she told me I could rewrite the story if I wanted to. I just got around to it this week, and even though I changed names and personalities and fleshed out the plot, I kept a lot of Claudia’s work, especially her wonderful dialogue. It was absolutely a collaboration.
A Lady Strong and Bold is also much more lighthearted and character-focused (I hope) than my published stories. We wanted it to be fun and even a bit fantastical, so it’s not particularly historically accurate. The main characters are Margaret McCreary, who longs to escape from her social-climbing aunt and sail to Jamaica, and Bartholomew Swill, a “most singular gentleman” and pirate captain. They were a TON of fun to write together, and I’d love to write some sequel stories—maybe even a series of short stories—featuring them. In the meantime, you can read the first story here.
And here’s a playlist of some of the music I listened to while working on/thinking about it. Not all of the songs directly inspired this story, but they all helped me focus on a nautical/piratey mood.