I watched the US v Brazil Women’s World Cup match today. Wow.
The second half spelled disaster for the US, again and again. They were down a player and down a goal. But they kept fighting. It ended in a tie, sending the game into overtime. Brazil scored quickly, but the US kept fighting, still short one player, and scored in the final seconds to tie it up yet again. This took the game to a shootout. One player versus the goalie. No team mates, no second chances. One shot. Well, five shots, but each of the five players selected to shoot got one shot. No rebounds.
The US made all five shots and their keeper, the amazing Hope Solo, blocked one of Brazil’s. The US won!
White knuckle ride, nail biter, roller coaster…it was a fun and nerve-wracking game to watch. See the ESPN highlights here on YouTube.
Why am I talking about this on a writing blog? Other than to let you know that I’m a big soccer fan? Because as nauseated and anxious as I was during that game, as emotionally drained as I was for hours afterward, it is an amazing story. The level of play was top-notch. The triumph over adversity was sweet and satisfying. Seriously, Hollywood couldn’t have scripted a more exciting game.
It’s what I look for in books, too. Yes, I like quiet, sweet books as much as I like nail biters, but no matter what is going on, the stakes need to be high to the characters. There needs to be a ticking clock and a disadvantage.
I hope I deliver this when I write. I hope I’m cruel enough to my characters to drag them through the worst, most exciting muck and emerge victorious.
Is there something you look for in books that you wonder if you’re able to replicate in your own writing? And did you see that game?!