If you’re a writer, do you write about the things you love doing?
If you’re a reader, do you gravitate toward novels with themes/settings/characters that share your interests?
For my next novel, (it only took me 10!) I’m finally combining my love for hockey with fiction writing. I’m not sure why it took me so long. Probably because I usually lean toward writing about things I don’t know a whole lot – they teach me new things and transport me to distant lands, so to speak.
Hockey is something I’ve had in my blood since I was a kid. I’ve only been playing it for about 14 years, however, because there weren’t many opportunities for girls to play hockey in the 1970s and 80s. But in those 14 years, thanks to some good coaching, I’ve learned tons more about hockey than I ever could have gleaned from watching it. From my own playing experience, I know the thrill of a two-on-one or a breakaway, I’ve felt the satisfaction of a one-timer that finds the back of the net, and I understand the adrenaline-infused stress of trying to protect a tenuous lead. Playing a puck possession game? Check. Knowing how to cycle the puck? Check. Backchecking, forechecking… check check check.
So why not put that knowledge and love for the game to good use? Why not, indeed. The romance novel I’ve just started writing, called “Delay of Game”, will feature two characters on rival teams at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
I’m not very far along with the project yet, but one thing I’m already finding is that I really have to focus on some of the more banal things about hockey I don’t usually think about. Things like the fine shower of ice that arcs into the air when you stop suddenly on your skates. The crunching sound of cold hard steel on ice. The burning sensation in your lungs and legs when you’ve just spent the last two minutes skating as hard as you can. If I don’t break those things down, I can’t describe them to my readers, many of whom may never played hockey.
When we know something so well, or have been doing it for so long, it’s an interesting challenge to have to analyze it and break it down in ways others can understand and appreciate.
Try taking something you love doing and writing about it. It’s not as easy as you might think!
Tracey is the author of nine novels with Bella Books. www.traceyrichardson.net; Twitter@trich7117