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08/19 – WALT MUSSELL – JAPANESE INSPIRATIONAL HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Monday, March 25, 2013

Overheard on... Romancing the Genres


“She cleared the bleachers and saw him make his way around the side of the stadium where he spotted a pair of brothers playing catch with their young dad. The camera and Max were indistinguishable.”

My lovely writer friend, Kathy Dunnehoff has managed to bring us older women back to school in her book, BACK TO U.  By doing this, she is able to draw from, and recreate the nostalgia of college days- including the fun and craziness of college sports games. In this scene the hero and protagonist are competing to see who can take a better photo of the game. Gwen, the protagonist, can’t imagine Max taking anything but a gritty shot and he is trying to prove her wrong.

Although BACK TO U isn’t strictly a sports romance, it uses the role of sports as a third character in the book. Through the football players Gwen befriends and her growing appreciation for the sport, we watch her character change and develop. At the same time, Ms. Dunnehoff is able to use the tension (see how I got that in there) that derives from our idealized version of sports (the two kids playing catch with their dad) versus the reality (cracking skulls, cheering- sometimes drunk- crowds, winning at all costs). Through this tension we get to see the boy that Max was vs the man that he has become, just as we observe a transition occurring within Gwen.

April is Romancing the Genres sports romance month. We will have some great sports authors visit to show us what it takes to use the sports theme in romance. I hope, as part of this, they will explore how sports help them develop character and story tension.

Meanwhile… here are some nostalgic sports pictures. If you are up for the challenge, try to list the sweet, idealized themes in the picture, and then compare it to the reality of what was probably happening. As always, I love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to leave a comment with what you encountered while completing this exercise.

7 comments:

deanne said...

Bus picture
The idealized: They are celebrating after they won regionals for the first time in 20 years.
vs
The gritty: Meanwhile, half the kids are drunk, the bus driver is almost going to crach because they are being so obnoxious, and at least one cheerleader is crying in the back of the busbecause her drunk boyfriend is making out with one of the other cheerleaders.

What can you come up with?

Sarah Raplee said...

50 yard line picture:

The idealized: Leading the odds-on favorite team onto the field to play in the Rose Bowl.

The Gritty: Concentrating on running onto the field without a limp because right knee is shot.

Sarah Raplee said...

Forgot to say I loved the excerpt from BACK TO YOU. This sounds like a many-layered story that I will enjoy.

Also enjoyed the writing exercise. Things are not always what they seem, in sports as in so many parts of life,

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for bringing back memories of T-Ball, Little League, Babe Ruth and Senior Babe Ruth and Football.

Team photo
Idealized: Friends playing a sport together.

Gritty: The coach just broke up a fight and nothing he did got everyone to relax and smile.

Diana Mcc. said...

50 yard line photo, 1) Opening game of the season just before the team runs on to the field!

2) end of season and the last minutes before the lights go out.

Great post. Your book excerpt is awesome, I'll have to buy it for sure.

Mindy Hardwick said...

Team photo

Idealized: They've just won the championship soccer game and beaten a team no one said they could beat.

Gritty: The coach is dating one of the Mom's, they've just had a big argument because another parent told the Coach that Mom and her son are moving and she hadn't told him yet, and after the game, there is a big fight scheduled in the park between two of the boys on the team

deanne said...

Wow... I love all of the great writing conflicts. Mindy, yours made me lol. Thanks for all of the contributions... let's comment on someof the APril sports writers and ask them to do the exercise as well.
cheers,
deanne