Back in the dark ages when I was in college, I wrote a story for the literary magazine. It was a dreadfully overwrought piece called “To Pass On The Flame”. The idea had come to me while watching the opening ceremonies for the 1984 Games. The story was published and promptly forgotten (thank goodness!) Until the opening ceremonies of this year’s Games reminded my husband, who turned to me and said, “Do you remember that story?” I did remember, and while I won’t be sharing the story here, I found myself toying with ideas for other stories throughout the broadcast over the last several days.
Writers get ideas from all over. One of my favorite stories was born while we were walking around in a Pacific Northwest rainforest, looking at all the green. And watching the Olympics is no different. In some ways, it’s even more fantasy-inspiring. Sports events translate well to speculative fiction, if you let your mind run with it. Ever seen “Rollerball”? Or the pod racing sequence in “Phantom Menace”? And of course, who didn’t want to watch a real-live Quidditch match? Sports can add a rush to your story. This week I’ve toyed with a bunch of entertaining thoughts for stories, all powered by the Olympic Games. Just off the top of my head:
— Five young women, trained since birth to perform the most dangerous dance known to their people, must use their skills together to defeat an oncoming evil by leaping, twisting, turning and posing in complicated patterns in order to build the strongest protective shield ever dreamt of.
— The city of Adelon is surrounded by the forces of the evil sorcerer Eberhever, who has placed six-foot-tall vicious, razor-leafed plants in the no-man’s-land just outside the walls. The Royal Horsemen, an elite troupe of riders, are trapped within Adelon’s walls, but with superior equestrian skills, the troupe stands the only chance of getting past the killer plants and away to the north for help from the neighboring kingdom.
— The world has changed, and food has become harder to find. Young Praten discovers a cave full of fish, but its entrance is impossible to reach on foot. If he can dive from the cliff above the slender opening, he might be able to gather enough food to keep his people from starving. But if he isn’t careful, he could be dashed on the rocks.
— Teenagers are recruited to play on Bomb Beach, to the delight of video audiences the world over. Working in teams of two, the kids must keep a round object from touching the ground, because when it falls, it explodes. The winners become rich and famous. The losers…die.
See? It’s easy. So come have some fun with me…make up a quick story based on your favorite Olympic sport, and post it here in the comments. Take your mark. Set. Go!