Article by Carlton Bennett
As you can image, sports fiction, like any other themed novel requires a certain amount of knowledge and passion on the subject. Those who read novels about sports will most likely know a good deal about sports themselves, and want something more than facts and fan trivia to keep them turning those pages. If you decide to write fiction novels that revolve around sports, you must know your audience as much as you know your subject. To generate a large audience, you must develop characters that are relatable. Most successful sports fiction novels make it because they incorporate a character or characters that exhibit an array of personality traits that the readers can relate to personally, or even remind them of people they know. Books that are able to find depth in a seemingly simple storyline enables the reader to feel a personal connection and sentiment to the story, even though the story may not have many clear parallels to the reader’s life. Even the unsentimental readers tend to respond more positively to a story that allows them to reminisce on good times and fond memories with their friends that they don’t often do. As previously stated, sports fiction books are geared to a specific audience. While most contemporary fiction is geared to a general audience, sports fiction is very specific. This means a lot more planning will have to be involved to make the novel work. It was mentioned earlier that your audience would be those interested in sports, which means they will most likely know the facts. It is up to you as the writer to do your research about what your story is going to be about. Even if sports are just a background in a significant plot, you have to ensure that the timeline of your story and the timeline of the corresponding sports history show accuracy. For those who are interested in writing about a specific sporting event at a specific time should do as much research you can, in addition to interviewing those who might have experienced the event. Whether or not you happen to be a devout sports fan, those who know one knows that even the slightest mix-up, or falsity in sports history will not be ignored. The problem many people have when attempting to write novels about sports lies in the tension between fact and fiction, real and make-believe. As fiction, we know the story is supposed to be made up. When gearing your story to a very specific audience, who are passionate about the subject, you must keep in mind that unless sports history plays a significant role to the plot, you must not alter it. There have been examples of sports fiction novels that have played around with facts, like historical fiction does, which purposely changes historical sequences as an imperative aspect to their plot. This, however, is an exception to the rule; so do not play around with the facts unless you have a very good reason for doing so. For a good example of excellent sports fiction books, check out Sports Fan Chronicles by Kurt Weichert. This book tells the story of two friends, and their experiences with sports professionally and socially. It is Entourage meets Animal House. Part of Kurt’s writing success comes from his ability to connect his audience to his very relatable characters. If you are looking to write novels about sports, reading other sports writing is a good way to start. Good luck!
About the Author
For those wishing to write sports fiction novels, remember that planning and research are your priorities. Novels about sports attract a very specific audience and it is important to know the facts in addition to having a great story. For a terrific example of a sports novel, go to http://www.sportsfanchronicles.com and read the first few chapters of SportsFan Chronicles online.
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