Discussion [ARRRR!!!] The Very Secret, Incredibly Dangerous, And Slightly Ridiculous POTC Thread

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by ophelia, Jul 29, 2008.

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  1. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    [image=http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/7240/potcdmcjo6.gif]

    I love these films.

    It's a strange kind of love--like the love you feel for the friend who shoves french fries up his nose and says "Look, I'm a walrus!" when you're out for coffee at 2 a.m., but it's love nonetheless.

    We've already got POTC fic on the board, so other people here must love them too.

    So, fellow piratical persons . . .

    Which story element of the POTC films are you most excited about exploring? Action/Adventure? Romance? Humor? Creepy/Supernatural? Anybody want to get brave and try straight-up drama?

    What's your current favorite unknown territory of the POTC universe? The creators left us lots of them--from the full story of Davy Jones' and Calypso's romance, to how Barbossa became a Pirate Lord, to how exactly Jack Sparrow got . . . like that. :p

    Where do you plan to start your fic adventures in this universe--or if you're an old sea dog already, what have you already explored?

  2. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    It's a strange kind of love--like the love you feel for the friend who shoves french fries up his nose and says "Look, I'm a walrus!" when you're out for coffee at 2 a.m., but it's love nonetheless.

    Very appropriately put, ophelia. :p I've loved these films from the very first time I saw CotB, and I don't think I'm going to ever stop loving them. As a side note, the sondtrack for AWE is my most listened to soundtrack according to my iTunes account, for which the track "Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho" has been listened to 300 times and I haven't even had the soundtrack for a year. :p

    I think my top favourite elements of PotC to explore are the Action/Adventure and the Supernatural portions. PotC is diferent from the other pirate films because of the supernatural element. I love how they incorporated pirate mythology (Davy Jones, the Flying Dutchman) into the films, plus added mythological monsters. I was extremely excited when they started talking about the Kraken. But, as I've said before, I love these films so I love every element of them.

    Favourite unknown territory... I'm curious about the Davy Jones/Calypso romance, but at the moment I seem to like exploring what happens next, after AWE. :p I haven't posted anything yet, but I have major plot bunnies for a post-AWE full-length fic. I want to explore some aspects of Jack's character, and of course figure out a way for him to get the Pearl back since Barbossa sailed off with it. :p



  3. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    I've got "He's A Pirate" on my iPod's Top-25 most-listened-to playlist. :p I think that CotBP has my favorite soundtrack, although the others have their moments. The Davy Jones/Calypso love song is beautiful, for instance. And the Captain Jack theme is a deranged piece of music that defies all expectation and common sense, and is therefore perfect. :p

    The things that most draw me to the POTC universe are really the action/adventure, humor, and supernatural aspects. At the moment, I'm working on a fic that is supposed to incorporate all of that, although it's damn difficult. 8-} I actually can take or leave the romance part, but oddly, the fic I'm working on now simply would not work without it. I tried skipping it, and for some reason, the mix was off. Elizabeth's actually not even in it--I found she just needs to be a powerful force in the background for Will's character to work.

    There are a lot of things about this universe I'd like to explore, but like a lot of people, my favorite toy is Captain Jack. I just want to watch him do stuff. Anything--I don't care, so long as I can get the outline of his character on the page. I'm actually finding him terribly difficult to write properly--mostly because so much of his character is Johnny Depp's physical performance, I think. His dialogue is also rather . . . eccentric. :p He may be the most challenging character I've ever tried to write--which of course is one more reason to try and write him.
  4. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    AWE's my favourite soundtrack of the three, since it's got all the themes in there. :p Hence the reason "Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho" is on there, but it's closely followed by the "Jack Sparrow" theme, which, as you've pointed out, is perfect. Having also played an arrangement of it in band (ridiculous difficult because it is so deranged :p ), I'm reminded why it's so perfect for his character. It has the drunken swagger feel to it built right in! :p 8-}

    I love the PotC humour. The eccentric dialogue never fails to make me laugh and it's ever so much fun to write. :p

    I'm not too much of a fan of Elizabeth, but the more I study her character, the more interesting she becomes. She's a lot more complex than I originally thought she was so I'm starting to like her again. :p

    Jack is my favourite character from PotC, but he is -- as you've said -- very difficult to write. When I'm writing his dialogue, I need other, more "normal" characters for him to play off of to make it work properly, otherwise it ends up being a mess. Which, of course, makes it difficult for me to write things from his POV even if it is in third person... :p

    I usually end up acting a lot of the scenes out; it helps a lot to read the lines and attempt to follow the actions, I think. At least, for me, being a theatre student, it does. 8-} Of course, that made me want to write a screenplay instead of a novel. :p When I started writing, I also had some very clear scenes in my head along with the dialogue, so I wrote those down first, just the dialogue. It helped me quite a bit to concentrate on the dialogue first and then work in mannerisms and descriptions of how the characters say things. :p

    I'm actually finding him terribly difficult to write properly--mostly because so much of his character is Johnny Depp's physical performance, I think.

    Very true. You should watch the writer's commentary (or even any commentary) for CotB -- lots of insight on how they thought the character was going to be, and then Depp does his own thing and it works out wonderfully even though it's not what anyone was expecting. :p

    His dialogue is also rather . . . eccentric.

    I keep thinking of all the improvised bits from the films (which you find out about when watching the commentaries :p ).

  5. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    I like the idea of acting parts out. I usually only do that for action scenes that need some detail in them, but acting general things out might be useful in this case.

    I have tried reading Jack's dialogue out loud, but oddly what sounds good when you say it is not always what looks good on the page. I'm not quite sure how that happens.

    I did indeed watch the writers' commentary for CotBP, and the one with the director and Johnny Depp. Those were both very helpful.

    I also sometimes grab images off the web and stick them in my image editor for a while, so I have a visual reference of what I'm writing about.

    Personally, I'm not ready to tackle Jack's POV. I'm not too sure what the world looks like to him, but I bet there are a lot of blurry double-images involved--broken up occasionally by the appearance of something shiny. :p

    For the moment, I'm only presenting him through other people's eyes, which allows him to be mysterious and confusing. And annoying. You can't forget that. :p I do like to push characters to their limits, however, and at some point I'd like to try Jack's POV. I think it could be done, you'd just have to have the right story for it.

    Oh--and I have this file called "weird insults" in my fic folder. It's two lists: adjectives and nouns, and the idea is to stick them together until you have Captain Jack invective that sounds right. My benchmark is of course "belligerent homunculus." How many times do you have to be hit in the head before you even think of that? :p
  6. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    Or how many times you have to get hit in the head with a paddle? :p Or how many bottles of rum do you have to drink? ;)

    I think I need a weird insult folder now. :p

    I act things out all the time for every fic that I write, just because it does really help me and fits with the way I think. It helps me find the character and I usually end up changing the dialogue that I've already written and basically improvise some extra parts. Though, as you've pointed out, not all of it looks good on page. It's a kind of a funny process that needs a lot of room for changes to be made. 8-}
  7. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    Coming from a person who likes these films, I say that I like the action/adventure and humor, because they just seem to be my favorite genres. Also, "He's a Pirate" happens to be on my Top-25 playlist; it's a great song. Also, "Parlay" from AWE seems to have that "twangy" feel to it.
  8. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    I checked: "He's a Pirate" is Number 19 on my Top 25. Quite a good position, considering how much music there is on my iTunes account. :p

    Parlay is a good track; I love the electric guitar in it.

    Anyone actually listen to the Pirates soundtracks while writing PotC fanfic? :p I do -- all the time. 8-}
  9. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Yep--I have an entire playlist just for listening to while writing POTC fic. It's actually got a fairly large collection of things on it . . . I'm a huge fan of the Early Modern era anyway (note username), :p and I've got a lot of music that was written around that time. Mostly it's been jazzed up quite a bit for the modern ear, but that's fine by me.

    I wonder if I could create one of those public iTunes playlist things . . . I've never done it before. [face_thinking]

    Oh--and The Shakespearian Insult Generator is a good place to start for all your TOS-compliant, vaguely-piratical terms of abuse needs. :p
  10. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    . . . Blast it, now you lot have convinced me I should rewrite and post my old POTC epic. It's in desperate need of one, I originally wrote it in 2003, savvy?


    Dana
  11. jedipati Jedi Master

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    I've mostly been writing potc fic for the past year- it's a lot of fun. I'm very much attracted to the supernatural aspects of the films, especially the Dutchman and her crew.
  12. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    I actually worked on my own fic these evening (go me!) and I've got the Dutchman and some creepy-crawlies in there. I confess that I'm mostly using it as a plot device, though. The Dutchman has some useful abilities that I'm exploiting . . . or rather, Jack's exploiting. :p

    The Dutchman has its own set of interesting things about it, though. There's the love story angle, and the Lovecraftian creepiness angle, and there's a kind of poetic justice angle in there too . . . people who get greedy and try to use the Dutchman to get more than they ought to have end up doomed.

    Do you have a favorite aspect of that ship's story, by any chance?
  13. Quigonjecca Jedi Youngling

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    I've loved the POTC saga since Dead Man's Chest. I was a scared little child when I was younger, so CotBC really scared me when it first came out. Then... for some reason I went to see Dead Man's Chest a few years later, and loved it. And like a lot of you, I own all three soundtracks, and AWE is definately my favorite.


    Personally, my favorite characters would have to be Calypso/Tia Dalma, Jack Sparrow, Gibbs, and Davy Jones. I think Will and Elizabeth are both kind of sissy (I think that of Orlando Bloom anyway, but let's not get into that...) and don't have enough personality quirks to really get me going.

    I've written one sort-of-piraty fic-- a crossover with Star Wars-- and people who read it said that I had characterized Jack very well, which surprised me, but I'm happy with it! I'd love to write more pirate-only fanfiction, but... well, I've never written anything but Star Wars, so I'm having trouble bending my brain around the concept. Savvy? :p

    Ah! And I forgot about the ships-- I want to write more about the Black Pearl and the Dutchman. They are probably two of the most unique things in the saga (other than Jack, of course). They are both veery intriguing, and I think they deserve some little fics of their own.

    Come on plot bunnies! Hit me with your best shot!
  14. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    The ships really do have a life of their own, don't they? :p I'm sure I'll get ship!plot bunnies some time, but not now. I only have one PotC fic in the works, but more will probably come. I'd be interested to read/write something about Jack's earlier adventures prior to CotBP -- especially about how he got to impersonating a cleric of the Church of England. :p
  15. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    Now that would be interesting. "The Tales of Jack Sparrow: How He Became Infamous", or something like that would be a good title. Anyway, I'm writing things from a lesser-known/exploited perspective, which shines a light on lesser characters.
  16. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    Especially since we know all the stories about him are blown out of proportions (re: sea turtles and how he really got off the island when he was first marooned :p ).

    The great thing about the PotC verse is the wealth of minor characters. There's a lot of potential for so many different, interesting stories. I really do like what you've written so far about the minor characters, JEDIGUNSHIP -- those are great. I'd love to read something that shines light on the pirate lords seen at the Brethren Court, though my two favourite "lesser" characters are Pintel and Ragetti since they're such awesome comic relief. [face_laugh]
  17. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    (Erk! Response to Idrelle above)

    . . . and an officer of the Spanish Navy. :p

    I'm curious about why he went and sold his soul to Davy Jones in the first place. He got a better deal for it than most people--Will's poor father just ended up as a slave to Ct'hulu's younger half-brother.

    I think one of the writers said something about Jack being "in a very dark place" when he made that deal. Which place was this? We've seen Jack desperate, but not quite that desperate--or quite that stupid.

    I have sort of an idea for a fic about that. It would require Jack to carry an unusual amount of dramatic weight on his own, however, and I'm still struggling to write rather standard, run-of-the-mill Jack. :p It's tempting to believe that because Johnny Depp has a very wide dramatic range that Jack Sparrow ought to as well, but Depp brings off his trick so well in part because he's extremely careful about the scripts he'll accept.

    That means the burden's on the writer to carve out a niche where it's possible to make a character play farce and drama at the same time. In that environment, you might be able to open Jack's engine all the way up, and see what he can do. (Metaphorically, that is.) Very difficult from a writing perspective, though. [face_frustrated]

    Edit: Seconded JEDIGUNSHIP'S interesting take on secondary characters. I wasn't actually planning to give Pintel & Ragetti much of a role in my story--I'm aiming for a story with speed to it, and I thought they'd slow me down.

    After reading about their escape with the dog and the Bible, however, I felt like throwing them in. Which I did. Nearly literally. :p
  18. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    [face_laugh]

    Yes. I cracked up the first time I heard his charges, and I still do. But it's really the cleric impersonation one that gets me every time. :p

    I think one of the writers said something about Jack being "in a very dark place" when he made that deal. Which place was this? We've seen Jack desperate, but not quite that desperate--or quite that stupid.

    I think it might have had to do with the fact that the Pearl was sunk at the time. Davy Jones raised it back out of the depths for him, but only one the condition that he'd serve on the Dutchman for a century after thirteen years of being captain. It kind of sucks for him that he was captain for only three years before getting marooned and losing to Pearl to Barbossa, but Jones still counted it (they have a bit of a dialogue about it in DMC when Davy Jones is first introduced).

    You know how Jack is about ships, it's a symbol of freedom for him, so that could have easily been his dark place -- having his ship sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

    I have sort of an idea for a fic about that. It would require Jack to carry an unusual amount of dramatic weight on his own, however, and I'm still struggling to write rather standard, run-of-the-mill Jack. tongue It's tempting to believe that because Johnny Depp has a very wide dramatic range that Jack Sparrow ought to as well, but Depp brings off his trick so well in part because he's extremely careful about the scripts he'll accept.

    Yeah, I'm struggling with that a bit on my own as well (though in a different way due to subject matter). My problem is that I've given Jack a situation that he's not quite sure how to deal with and it can be quite a serious situation, too. He's not very... serious about anything at a given time, but still we do see flashes of a darker character (I'm thinking of in CotBP when he threatens Elizabeth, or in AWE when he's talking to Barbossa about how "the world's still the same, there's just less in it.") It would be great if I could find a way to fit in that dramatic weight, but it just doesn't fit properly with his character.

    So he's kind of trying to ignore the situation, even though it's staring him in the face every chapter. :p

    That means the burden's on the writer to carve out a niche where it's possible to make a character play farce and drama at the same time. In that environment, you might be able to open Jack's engine all the way up, and see what he can do. (Metaphorically, that is.) Very difficult from a writing perspective, though.

    Still, lots of fun, right? It's been a while since I met such a challenging character to write, to be honest, since I've gotten so used to my usual Star Wars characters. [face_laugh] This PotC fic I'm working on it is the first fanfic outside SW I've written in four years. :p

    Pintel and Ragetti are a must for me. They're too much fun to leave out, plus they play off of some of my OCs very nicely. :p


  19. LadyLunas Jedi Youngling

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    You know, it's interesting about the ship discussion. PotC is actually my main fandom, so I read a lot more in it than anything else. And the ships, especially the Pearl, have been fanon-ized into being semi-sentient, depending on the author and the story. So for Jack, the ship means freedom, but there's the possibility for a deeper connection there.

    It would be great if I could find a way to fit in that dramatic weight, but it just doesn't fit properly with his character.

    Jack, I think, is one of those characters that is very hard to write (I can't write him). It's not just his attitude, but reallly how he looks at the world. And I'm convinced that the personality he shows the world hides a lot of emotion and hurt. It's half a mask he presents, and it's only when he's facing himself and the darker aspects of reality that the mask starts to fade.


    As for my stories, I have the vignette series I'm posting, several other vignettes, and a small chaptered story. Those are finished, ready to be posted. What my current project is a long alternate universe starting with the simple question: What would happen if Norrington survived AWE? I've been working on it, when I have the time, for just over a year now. One day, it will be finished.
  20. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

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    I totally agree. Jack is one hard cookie to crack and to write well. Even then, I can't figure him out.

    My friend used to be the Jack Sparrow at Disneyland, so when I do write Jack, I tend to write him as my friend portrayed him. It's easier, though it's not Jack, if you get my meaning.
  21. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    No way! What were his secret professional secrets, if he ever told them to you? Did he have to tone down the drunken lechery for the kiddie crowd, or did they just keep him reasonably far away from people? :p

    And I agree that it would be possible to write Jack in a somewhat less ridiculous manner . . . or perhaps a different sort of ridiculous manner. :p You do see flashes of something "else" in Johnny Depp's performance, and I think you're supposed to . . . in the commentary he did on CotBP he talks about image and reality, and how pirates (like modern rock stars) were people who lived for the image. The reality might be sort of a letdown, or perhaps not. It depends. (I won't debate the historicity of pirates as rock stars here--for POTC purposes, it's completely true.)

    We don't exactly know what is behind Jack's image--unless you want to take that really strange desert scene in AWE as absolute gospel about what goes on in his head. (A chicken? Deep inside his mind, Jack is . . . a chicken?)

    A really skilled author could get a lot of mileage out of him, I think, but the further you got from complete intoxication in some flea-bitten dive somewhere, the more skilled you'd have to be.

    My .02, anyway.
  22. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    Ooh! Ooh! Something I can actually say in this discussion!

    Jack, for a very brief period of time, had actual honest employment and a ship called the Wicked Wench. He accepted a cargo for the EITC, with whom (according to the writers), he had a short-lived apprenticeship with that mapmaker who was painting the wall in Beckett's office.

    Anyway, he picked up the cargo from Beckett, and realised they were actually slaves. (Some of this is in the AWE novel.) He told Beckett that people weren't cargo and he took the slaves back to Africa and let them go. Beckett was unhappy with this and sank the Wicked Wench with Jack on board.

    Jack, on the verge of dying, made a deal with Davy Jones to get the Wicked Wench back. When he did, he renamed her the Black Pearl because the fire had left her black on all her beams. He had her for about two years, and then Barbossa stole her. The rest we know!


    Dana
  23. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    Ooh, thanks for the background info, Dana. Very interesting. :)

    I suppose Pirates Wiki is also something handy to have. :p

    We don't exactly know what is behind Jack's image--unless you want to take that really strange desert scene in AWE as absolute gospel about what goes on in his head. (A chicken? Deep inside his mind, Jack is . . . a chicken?)

    [face_laugh]

    Maybe he thinks so.

    I didn't like that very strange desert scene at first, but now having watched AWE several times, it's grown on me a lot. I'm still not exactly sure what to make of it, except that it seems to be portraying the various aspects of Jack's character as he sees it -- chickens and all. :p

    Hey, well, anyone whose played Chicken Time Bomb in drama class can claim to have some chicken in there somewhere, too. 8-}

  24. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    I'd actually heard parts of that backstory, but not the whole thing. I was actually thinking about ficcing it at some point. I still might.

    But yes, there are all kinds of odd little backstory tidbits lying here and there--they seem to come from all sorts of places, the writers, Johnny Depp, the video game designers, whoever updates the POTC page at Disney. There's even a young adult series of novels about Jack's youth--put out by Scholastic, I think (they sold them at our school book fairs last year). I liked what I read better than I liked the JA stuff, back in the day, but I've pretty firmly decided that they're apocryphal. :p

    I tend to pick these background bits up, play with them a little, put them down, and then pick some of them up again.

    I still don't know what I plan on doing with them, if anything.

    I don't think they solve any riddles about the character, but then, I don't think they were supposed to. Jack does seem to like his mystery. :p



    Edit: . . . Chicken Time Bomb . . . ? :p
  25. Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master

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    I think it works best if there's mystery about his character. Kind of like you never really do know how he got into that prison thing at the beginning of DMC, or what exactly he was doing there, except you do know that he came out with the drawing of The Key. :p

    I think there's something in the video games that expand on that, but I'm not inclined to take every single little thing that comes out outside the films into account since PotC EU seems kind of flimsy at times, if that makes ANY sense. 8-}

    Like you, I've read bits, played with them and then left them alone only to come back to them again when I felt like it. :p

    Okay, and here goes:

    Re: Chicken Time Bomb

    This is how you know you have a theatre student on your hands. :p

    Chicken Time Bomb is a game teachers like to throw at their students during the first few days of class. Basically, you have to be a chicken for a certain amount of time. The more chicken-like you are, the more the teacher likes you. :p I got to the point where my chicken self was laying eggs, but that's beside the point. 8-}

    After several minutes of being a normal chicken, your teacher starts counting down from 30. When he/she reaches 0, a bomb is going to go off and you have to act appropriately.

    Now see, the catch is that your normal human self knows about this because you were told about it before you started the game, but your chicken self is a chicken. Chickens don;t know what bombs are.

    So, the people who fail the game are those who have chickens that get more and more animated and freaked out as the counting goes down, because that means that their chickens know that the bomb is going to go off, except that chickens can't know what a bomb is. Therefore those people aren't authentic chickens and they fail the game. :p

    The people who win the game are those who are chickens who continue to go about daily routines in a normal chickenly manner and when the bomb drops, they die in an exciting manner.

    Apparently many people fail this game. According to my drama teacher last year, Marlon Brando was one of the few actors who actually passed the game on the first try.

    8-}
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