Pirates. They are compelling in fiction. We love them. We root for them. We want to see them succeed. We want to see them redeemed. What is it about pirates? Perhaps it is the swashbuckling, swaggering way they walk through their stories, with confidence and aplomb we perhaps wish we had. Maybe it is that dangerous feeling that we’re not sure we can trust them. Maybe it’s just because we like the idea of living on the raggedy edge of the law… but are also happy to keep them safely in the fiction-verse.

Whatever it is, we cannot deny that stories containing pirates have a certain appeal.

And what’s not to love, really?

They add an instant interesting element to any story:

They follow their own code… which may not follow the law of the common man…

They have no fear, no matter what the circumstances are

They never try to sugarcoat the truth…

They are supremely confident in their own skills and abilities

And all the best pirates have a human side, a tenderness you wouldn’t expect… but love when it shows up, a side that makes you root for them, even if you don’t agree with most of the things they do…

They often have interesting back-stories…

My favorite characters in fiction tend to be pirates… which is why pirates feature heavily in my next series: The Turrim Archive.

What about you? Do you like pirates in fiction? Which ones are your favorites? Have a happy “Talk Like a Pirate Day!”

~ jenelle



Problem is that real-life pirates are, in general, really horrible people! One of my old WIPs is about a fictional pirate captainness, and doing the background research is horrendous. I wonder how and why pirates got such a glorification in fiction….



Yes, this is true. Which is why I specified that they are compelling in fiction. There they get to be the redeemable anti-hero with tragic backstories and all they really need is a mother (thank you, David Barrie) or someone to believe that they are capable of nobility and other heroic traits. :)

Interesting question… I have no idea as to the answer…

Madeline J. Rose

YES. PIRATES ARE AWESOME. I wish there was more books about them. You don’t see many pirate stories in the YA genre. Maybe I should write one… *puts thinking cap on*

And happy (late) Talk Like a Pirate Day! ;)


It’s true… there need to be more pirate books. (Apparently there are quite a few in the Clean Indie Fantasy group… as I asked people to tell me about their books with pirates in them over there the other day and got a pretty sizable response… will have to go check them out!)


Funny…I don’t think I’ve read many books with pirates, at least not in recent memory, but I did enjoy quite a few of the on-screen ones you had in your gifs. You’ve hit the nail on the head for all the reasons I like them, epsecially the redeemable ones, and I actually have the first chapter written on a sci-fi book involving a snarky lady space-pirate (and lady space cadet, much to the pirate’s chagrin :p) which I hope to finish someday when I’m done with the things I’m writing now, not the least because she’s a fun pirate to write. :D


I haven’t read a lot of books with pirates either… they need to be more prevalent! Peter Pan books, of course, and the Aeronaut’s Windlass had a sort of pirate/privateer element, but in a way that totally made sense as to why he was a “good” guy.


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