Olympic Ideas

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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!

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11 comments to Olympic Ideas

  • Well, it’s not quite based on an olympic sport, but I do have a sport in my game that is sort of like a cross between polo and paintball…sort of.

    The women in my world play this game, which is called Threshing, based on a legend of a girl on horseback, throwing the magic stones she’s carrying at her attackers. They ride horses through a complicated jump course which they don’t know the layout of until their first ride. A series of targets are set up, some of which they see easily, some of which they have to turn around in the saddle to see.

    The women get satchels of sheep-gut missiles, which are filled with a dye color unique to each player. As you can probably guess, the missiles get tossed at the dummies/targets. The difficult ones are the backwards shots, and it take great skill to be able to hit the targets while riding a course for the first time.

    The women play this sport generally after the threshing of wheat, when commoners gathered the excess wheat into scarecrow/dummies and used them as targets.

    Tada! Medieval, mounted, backwards paintball!

  • Four hikers are trapped in the snow covered mountains when a pass collapses and they are stalked by an ancient beast out of local myth. Their only escape, a corkscrewing tunnel of ice down into the mountain itself that the natives say was made by a great ice worm. Will this death ride take them out to safety or into something far worse? Read Luge, Winter 2012…or not. 😉

  • Alas, I’ll try to circle back with a story idea when I have a split second more time – but I wanted to say that I’ve been working on a novel with a literary magazine as an element, and I have had *so* much fun writing overwrought poetry! Off to think of Olympics ideas!

  • sagablessed

    Two island-States (think Hawaii’ian style, pre-caucasian ‘discovery’)are in terse negotiations for peace. Our story takes place at the one island where the only place an invading force can land in a small cove. Special forces are trained to dive from the cliffs above, twisting and tumbling and turning to avoid enemy projectiles. This elite group will disable the incoming first wave incursion and block the one river that leads inland….should it happen.

    An evil sorcerer has set a spell on an idol, which causes massive drought until the wizard is declared king. The only way to undo the spell is to hit the idol’s heart-stone. but it is surrounded by a pool of acid. Before a warrior can approach he must pass through a zone that kills any male. Our heroine trains in secret with a spear (javelin), as women are forbidden to touch weapons. She has on shot to destroy the Swallower of Thunder. Can she make it through, or will her people be slaves forever?
    Tune next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

  • sagablessed

    Sorry for the spelling errors, btw.

  • Third time’s the charm. I keep getting this half-written and then losing it when the phone rings. Okay, Winter Olymipcs. Small dragons, wings clipped to keep them as pets, sitting atop an oblate blocks of stone. The human and dragon partners work together to make the stone move across the ice sheet. The dragon heats the stone with his fire, creating a small patch of water on which the stone sits while moving, while the human pushes the stone with a large stick. If the dragon gets persnickety, the stone freezes to the ice or the ice melts into a puddle. Curling with magic.

  • ajp88

    My fifth fully plotted novel centers heavily around a sporting event. It’s not an Olympic event, at least not yet anyway. I plan on writing it to completion hopefully sometime in the next several years, but if earlier books stagnate, who knows.

    Anyhow, it’s set in a second fantasy world I’ve created. Limited 3rd person from a single POV. The main character lives in a nation comprised of several islands, currently at war with another. He’s supposed to enlist and help fight, but he has another talent. He’s extremely gifted at the growing sporting event within the world, free running (parkour). There’s a major race in the capital of the enemy nation, and if he can just manage to traverse the war torn lands and enter the race, he knows he could win the purse and save his younger siblings from their impoverished lives.

    Right now I’m calling it The Free Runner, and its project slot in Scrivener has been taunting me for a year. Of course it has the rival runner, a band of friends who help him along his journey to the race, and plenty of political intrigue traversing the world. It’s very alive in my mind and the outline is highly detailed, but for now it’ll be years before I give it the attention it deserves.

  • The Key to Freedom floats above the 12-foot high Wall of Curses. Many slaves, including Jinna’s father, have died trying to reach the key, but their magic has never been strong enough to overcome the wizard’s curse. Jinna has no magic, but she does have an idea. What if she used a tall, supple limb to give her a boost? Could she run fast enough and jump high enough to reach the key and destroy the curses before she fell back to the earth?

  • Faith, curling with dragons just made me choke on my afternoon coffee. 😀

  • TwilightHero

    A terrible conflict of centuries past left one of the biggest cities in the world a sprawling, ruined wasteland…one that is filled with mystic artifacts that can fetch millions apiece from the right buyers. A smooth-talking young treasure hunter comes to the city in the hopes of striking it big; he finds an amulet that is much more dangerous (read: valuable) than it looks, and a foul-mouthed, quick-fingered girl who might just be wilier than he is. But in a place where the wrong pressure in the wrong place can set off chain reactions of collapsing buildings, and the ground beneath your feet can drop you into deathtrap-laden subterranean passages that run for miles, only the fast and flexible stand a chance of survival. They’ll also have to fight off the other treasure hunters…

    Inspired by ajp88’s free running story, actually. I’m not much of an Olympics fan 😛