I read an article about the loss of the U.S. women’s soccer team to Japan. And as usual, I couldn’t help but take away some apt comparisons. Maybe it’s because I played soccer in high school and college. I remember the defeats way more than the victories. That feeling of utter disappointment and loss.
Stories that stay with me after weeks or years of reading them contain heart, heartache and loss, even if it has a happy ending. A character’s journey when meaningful and full of heart sears into my emotional memory.
If you didn’t know, the U.S. team lost in penalty shots. One of the hardest ways to lose a game, especially after possessing the ball more and having more shots on goal. How could I not appreciate what these girls were feeling as the winning goal (for Japan) hit the back of the net? #thinkaboutyourrejectionletters
For your character, the higher the stakes the bigger the loss and heartache – and the bigger the impact on the reader.
Confidence and state of mind.
I wonder at the state of mind of the U.S. women’s team going into the game. In previous World Cups, U.S. beat Japan every time. Every. Time. They were probably feeling pretty confident. That with a good game, at the end of the day, they’d be walking away with the winner’s trophy. #thisdoesaffectplay
Japan came in as the underdog. They knew from the get go they’d have to fight harder for the win. They didn’t feel the pressure of having to win. And their country was still reeling from a tsunami, so they wanted to bring home a victory. Give their people a reason to smile and cheer.
It wasn’t about who wanted it more. It was about state of mind and expectations.
Do you consider your character’s state of mind during their journey and how this affects their decisions?
Do you consider how confidence (not over confidence) might affect your writing?
Something to think about.
What books have stayed with you over the years? Why?