Q&A with A.C. Crispin - #4

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Q&A with A.C. Crispin - #4

Unread postby Liz » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:20 am

ONBC: I read that Disney presented you with a lot of information from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise so that you would not write anything that conflicted with the movie story lines. Also, you have written that you wanted to stay true to history and as much as possible not to conflict with the facts in that regard. Were you free to use your wonderful creative mind when writing TPOF or did Disney have a specific outline to follow and you used your creativeness to fill in the blanks? Is it difficult to be truly creative with so many rules and requirements surrounding the fiction you write? Or does it become like a puzzle or a game to make everything fit properly, with a thrill of victory when your fiction and the guidelines all fit together? Were there as many requirements for accuracy with the other prequels you have written? Does this feel like writing formula fiction or something else?

Ann: When Disney finally decided, after a lot of back and forth, that I should write the story of Jack’s time working for Cutler Beckett and the EITC, culminating in his bargain with Davy Jones, I was given a paragraph-long summary of this taken from one of the gaming books. I was also given the enormous “Pirates of the Caribbean Mythology” notebook, which is a Disney internal document. I was responsible for keeping continuity with both, but I’ll admit there were times I had to alter some stuff because it just didn’t jibe with the story I was creating, and worse, didn’t make any sense.

For example, the paragraph about how Jack made the bargain with Davy Jones said something to the effect that that when Cutler Beckett found that Jack had betrayed him when he forced him to take on a cargo of slaves, and had stolen the slaves, planning to set them free, Beckett took his EITC fleet and went after Jack, catching him 200 or so miles off the coast of Africa. Beckett’s ships then proceeded to fire on the Wicked Wench, sending her and all her crew and “cargo” to the bottom. Jack alone survived, in the water. Desperate to save his ship, JACK SPARROW DIVED DOWN AND TRIED TO PULL THE WICKED WENCH UP OFF THE SEA FLOOR WITH HIS BARE HANDS…and then, as his life ebbed away, made the bargain with Davy Jones.

Excuse me?

Do you know how deep the water is, 200 miles off the West Coast of Africa? Evidently whoever wrote that scenario didn’t know or didn’t care that the water there is many fathoms deep. You couldn’t dive down to the ocean floor even wearing modern scuba gear!

I found this scenario completely unsatisfactory as an intro to the Davy Jones bargain, so I rewrote the situation so it made sense – and I had Jack succeed in freeing the slaves. Otherwise, it’s very depressing, no? All of the slaves and crew dying?

But all of the stuff about Shipwreck Cove, the rogue pirates, Zerzura, the treasure, the labyrinth, Esmeralda, Ayisha, etc…that was my story, my creation.

Writing the book certainly didn’t feel at all “formula.” Only the last chapter or so was something I had to write toward, so the book “felt” like a real book, a real fantasy novel, as I was writing it…but it was more challenging because I had to be historically and nautically accurate.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Q&A with A.C. Crispin - #4

Unread postby Jackslady » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:43 pm

Goodness, Disney's idea about the loss of the Wicked Wench seems franky, nuts! Am so glad you used your own ideas there Ann! Plus It is amusing to me that Disney wouldn't allow us to see Jack doing any "true pirating" yet would sanction such a depressing storyline where almost everyone on board dies? How odd!
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Re: Q&A with A.C. Crispin - #4

Unread postby ladylinn » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:01 pm

Ann you are certainly the glue that put all the pieces historically and fantasy and nautically together. Well done Luv well done. :capnjack:


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