Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B IS FOR BASEBALL


B is for Baseball.  (Skim to the underlined genre or style that best suits you.)

Ideas can’t be copyrighted, so the ideas I will be posting Monday through Saturday during April are free for any of you to use.

If you are thinking Romance, baseball can be a homerun with many heroes. But try something different. Let your heroine be the baseball fanatic. Did the soon-to-fall-in-love couple meet at a baseball game? Was he or she there under protest, to appease a prospective client, or to give his aging grandfather one last big day out in the action?

Baseball can trigger lots of ideas in the Mystery writer’s brain. Naturally, a wooden bat can be quite the murder weapon. But so can a good hard baseball if somebody has a fast pitch and perfect aim. There’s also the possibility that somebody switched baseball bats – maybe one was a relic, used by Babe Ruth back when… Stolen from…. Let your mind take you through the possibilities. Crimes can be committed circling treasured pieces of history like a famous baseball bat just as easily as crimes circling famous paintings.

And if you are talking Literary, consider the symbolism that could be tied to a baseball bat. What would it represent to you, and how does that relate to your character? Are you thinking of a wooden baseball bat with splinters and faded spots, maybe with a crack along one edge, something that can crack even more with hearty use? Maybe it has already cracked once during a really big storm when it was left out on the porch?
 
Does any of this relate to a character you can dream up–somebody a bit weathered? Or are you thinking more of an aluminum bat? Something with a few scratches on it, maybe a dent or two, but still a lot of shine left to it? Maybe this bat, both treasured and despised by your protagonist, is all he or she has linking him or her to the long-lost father he/she never met, or the grandfather who the protagonist has never met, but who has profoundly affected the protagonist’s life.

For Children’s stories, a picture book character might be a toddler who isn’t yet strong enough to use the big heavy bat yet, but wants to. Or a middle grader might have swung the bat, and when he or she let go, the bat flew just hard enough to hit–guess who? That’s where your imagination can kick off into a wonderfully high-tension story. For Young adult realism, consider a story about kids who live on the street. Now the bat isn’t just a means for activity or entertainment. It can mean salvation. In the same way a bat or ball can be a weapon in a mystery, it can be a means for self defense for a street-wise young adult.

Happy Writing!

 

 

37 comments:

  1. Wow, great ideas here. Made me think of aluminum vs wood and the sounds they make. Or baseball cards. What type of person collects these? We could learn so much. A fun workshop exercise.
    Shells–Tales–Sails

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sharon. I appreciate your stopping by.

      Delete
  2. Any suggestions for fantasy? Or popular tropes associated with baseball?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, Loni, this is for you. First, let me tell you that I don’t read sci-fi, but my husband does; however, I LOVE fantasy. I like fantasies like The Wizard of Earthsea and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, as well as some of the newer ones. One suggestion for baseball in a fantasy would be that when the main character practices on a remote baseball field with a hand-me-down ball, he’s chasing the ball that seemed to have gone quite a ways—his best hit ever. He finally tracks the ball down in the trees bordering the field, and when he picks up the ball, he’s immediately transported to somewhere else. Naturally, this will have to reflect some inner conflicts that he will tackle as he journeys through this strange land with strange happenings, and new rules …
      As for sci-fi, I guess I’ll have to think about what my husband’s favorite writer, Stephen King, would come up with. Something weird. I’m thinking that the main character would be the lucky one to catch some famous player’s treasured and coveted ball at a ball game, but once he does and brings the ball home, weird things happen (just as it had to anyone catching a coveted ball before he did had experienced.) People he has known forever don’t recognize him, not even his wife. (Gee, he should have listened to her and stayed home for once.) You can take it from there. Just think up “weird things” and you’ll be in Stephen King mode, I think. 

      Delete
    2. "Just think up “weird things” and you’ll be in Stephen King mode, I think." Ha! I love that.

      I'm not much of a sci-fi book person either. Fantasy is typically where I live. :)

      Delete
    3. Oh, and good suggestions. (Sorry, meant to say that in the previous one.)

      Delete
    4. Fantasy is a good world to live in – I love it. I'm working on one for middle graders, but it's slow going. A lot of revising to do. :-)

      Delete
  3. I really don't know much about baseball, shock horror! (UK resident here!) however I thought this post was great, am I forgiven?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Baseball with its bat, comes in handy in a mystery. Also, a noisy baseball stadium can be one of the best places to hide a body, :) or follow a certain character.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I didn't realize how much I knew about baseball until my son started getting into it. Awesome post and happy A to Zing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, David. I'll check out your blog shortly.

      Delete
  6. What a great idea for a post. Who would have thought baseball could become such an exciting setting for a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Inger. Did you see Silvia's baseball idea above in the comments. Pretty cool.

      Delete
  7. This is fun. I'm drawn to the young adult story idea and already have the heroine and villain swirling around in my head right now. However, I need to focus on my WIP, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know how that is. If I let too many ideas poke at me, my wip sits in my own slush pile. :-)

      Delete
  8. It's amazing the stories that arise from ordinary objects. In my genre, fantasy, the baseball bats would morph into wooden swords the young prince and princesses use for combat/self-defense training. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amazing prompts. If I'm ever lacking for ideas, I'll know where to come, or where to direct others.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, Crystal. I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love how you're incorporating the many genres and what the word can mean in each!

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'll pop over and give your blog a read, too.

      Delete
  12. I've read novels with baseball in all the genres you mention. Our house loves baseball.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Susan. Baseball is pretty big in our house too.

      Delete
  13. Great post! I love the idea of taking the concept of baseball, baseball games etc and applying it to different genres. My "C" story takes place at a baseball game, and a horror baseball story is in my flash fiction collection. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I'm following your blog so I'll watch for that C story. :-)

      Delete
  14. What a great idea. A friend of mine has a novel based on the Baseball Hall of Fame, so a good mystery using baseball need not include a bat or ball. Maybe you just have a villain who's a used-up relief pitcher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a novel I'd like to read. Is it published yet? If so, send the URL. Thanks.

      Delete
  15. Fun stuff! Really love your symbolic questions in the second to last paragraph! Great!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love this post! Never realized there were so many different ways to incorporate baseball into a story -- both literally and metaphorically. And why can't the baseball fan or player be a girl? I would love to read a story like that (wrote one in high school but it was quite flawed to say the least) You've got plenty of great ideas here, perhaps they can be used for a writing prompt :)

    The Pedestrian Writer

    ReplyDelete
  17. Baseball bat as a murder weapon in murder/mystery? *shudders*
    Or a bat that has a life of it's own in horror? *triple shudder*

    ReplyDelete
  18. (Towards the beginning of my B-post, there's a link to Wikipedia which provides more information about the Blook...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I saw that, but I wasn't sure--I'm married to a jokester. And I looked in my Oxford dictionary and my Merriam-Webster, so I thought I'd better ask. You can bet I will find a way to use a blook in my work now, just because it's a new word for me. I have heard it before, but I can't remember the context. Thanks for your post. :-)

      Delete
    2. Many years ago (not that I want to bring up my age) I read a nonfiction piece about a guy who died when he got it in the chest with the baseball during the game. I got hit with one about 10 years ago, but not deadly. Still, it scared me because I remembered what happened to that other guy...

      Delete
  19. I always enjoy the scene in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days when they're at the baseball and Kate's character is really getting into it. Much better than the Celine Dion concert. ;)

    ReplyDelete