Basic 3 Does Not a Triple Toe Loop Make

I don't know anything about ice skating.

Thin Ice is all about ice skating.

These two facts alone cause no stress or anxiety. Put them together, and you have...issues. For instance, how does one go about learning what one needs to know. This is Texas; it's not like I can just walk to the nearest skating rink and observe. None of my friends are professional skaters whose brains I can pick. Nope.

For some reason, I chose to write a book about a sport that does not exist where I live. A sport that I watch every four years. Heck, I know more about football; at least that's on every weekend during said season and is the topic of discussion, well, everywhere.

But no, I chose ice skating. I chose ice skating because it's a team sport with a small team, a team of two. (Also a guy and a girl, but that is another matter entirely.) A team small enough to have their emotional traumas described adequately. Two people, with only each other to trust, alone on a treacherous stage. It's the perfect setup. The only other competition like it is ballroom dancing.

I've been watching Dancing with the Stars for the first time this season. (Watching is not accurate. I've been monitoring the YouTube videos of a certain team. It's all Evan Lysacek's fault for being so likable and making me smile. Now I have to watch him every week.) I have realized that I know absolutely nothing about ballroom dancing. Nothing. Not a clue. The crowd starts clapping before I know that they even executed something difficult. I'm clueless.

At least with ice skating, it's pretty obvious when they mess up. Fall = points reduced. The end. That's why ice dancing frustrated me. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how it was scored. They all looked relatively the same. I could tell when they weren't in sync, but past that... I like figure skating. It's really easy to tell where they go wrong. It's easy to the viewer to see who will get gold.

Yet I know nothing about it. More than ballroom dancing and ice dancing, but nothing useful in a book. I need at least two short programs and two long programs choreographed for Rau and Lottie. Not every part of every piece, but pretty close. It can be vital to the story, and I want to look like I know what I'm talking about when a skating guru reads it. (If they read it.) It probably took me an hour yesterday discovering that the short program was 2:50 and the long program 4:30.

Granted, I can make some changes since they live in a world very different from my own. The rules have obviously changed a bit. The scoring can be different. The requirements for each skate. The judging, too. But I have a feeling that a double axle will be a double axle, a triple toe loop a triple toe loop, no matter how the political boundaries of the earth change. (What's the difference between those two? I'm...not sure. In one you spin around twice and the other three times...I think. Which one's harder? Which one would Lottie be less willing to try? Which one would the world applaud?)

I don't know! I don't feel like doing research; it's so boring compared to the creativity I could be exercising. Here, I'm going to write a story. No, you're not, you're going to read this three-inch book on figure skating after you spend days on youtube watching gold medalists from the past twenty years. Yay.

I'm trying to convince myself that it's worth it. That it's part of a writer's job description. I have a love of accuracy. It's torturing me now, because I can't just let it go. I will not be like the actor who has obviously never touched a violin in his life. And while I have touched skates (Basic 3 graduate, baby!), I have never done a double axle. And Basic 3 does not a triple toe loop make. I'm glad I know what I know, but I need to know more. And that is work.

A part of me says it doesn't matter. In one week exactly, I shall brave a look at Ivolet again. Then will begin the great REVISION. I can't allow myself to have my head in another story. It's dangerous. Ivolet would never receive her third finishing. However, it would be an excellent time to research whatever topic needs to be researched for the *ahem* next book.

Yeah. Thanks for that tip, self.

Do they even make a three-inch book on figure skating? My other self says I need it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said, well said...and this one was funny!