The other day I was contacted by a fellow pirate fiction writer (which is brilliant in and of itself!) asking whether we could exchange thoughts about the historical research. However, I’m afraid the historical research I’ve made is rewatching Pirates of the Caribbean and Captain Blood. Since my story is set in a fantasy world, the historical and geographical reality of our world is mostly irrelevant, and I assure or warn readers that my pirates themselves are not historically correct pirates. They are matiné movie pirates, only much more R-rated.
That being said, I’ll never think writing fantasy should be used as an excuse for being lazy about relevant research. Things that have no magical reason for being different should work properly. If there are rabbits, they should be called rabbits and not smeerps. (There are no rabbits, though, sorry.) I’ve done research about things like names for the parts of a sailing ship and Caribbean food and plants, and, for reasons you’ll find out, Music Hall songs. And that gods-damned cat o’ nine tails, about which I’m finding wildly inconsistent and contradictory information. Twelve lashes? A hundred? No one agrees. But there seems to be a lot of leeway depending on the kind of cat, so I’m aiming for probability.