September 30, 2023


football player carrying brown football
Photo by football wife on

Rivalry in sports are a given and easily identifiable. Because there is an instantaneous villain and hero. You have one team against another . And boom there is rivalry . The stakes are high. The competition is fierce, and it is somewhat cutthroat rather  than life itself. Pain. Heartbreak. Corruption. Victory. All the perfect concoction for a great novel all rolled  up into one chaotic sportsmanship bow .  

I only  found a few novels while researching that has all the ingredients of the most  competitive sport   rivalries known to fiction. The ones that I could  find were about high school sport rivalries .

  • Troy High
  • Tiny Pretty Things

Some that weren’t  high school  sports rivalry fiction were

  • 40 Love
  • Corpse de Ballet

Troy High- tells the story of  Cassie  whose school’s team,  the Trojans football team rivals with another  school  the  Spartans .  When  the  head  cheerleader Elena  of the Spartans  transfers  to  Cassie’s school  and becomes  a trojan, falling in love  with Cassie’s  brother , Cassie is thrown in the middle of   two  warring  opposing teams.  It’s basically the  classic  tale of  Homer’s Iliad  retold  as a high school sport  rivalry  , competition story.

This story is by far the easiest example of the classic sports rivalry in fiction.  And easiest  type of sport rivalry for the writer to write .

The next novel  I found was Tiny Pretty Things,  which tells the story  of  3  ballerinas  from 3 different point of views  who all  dance  and are rivals at the same ballet  school. From what I read  of the synopsis  of this  book  it is  ridiculously intense and brutal. The rivalries extend  far for achievement   and  to become center stage in this novel. I mean spoiler from what I read of the synopsis ( ballerinas are literally pushing each other off  the roof  to  destroy  the competition)  Oh  crap, right? 

I think I would  actually  read that  for a  study in writing  teenage ballerinas rivaling .

This book seems to step up the rivalry game within sports making  the competition of it all thrillingly extreme.

This type of sport  rivalry  in  fiction may be  a challenge  for writers  to write but the challenge is worth it if  taken with  care and written well.  

The one thing that all four of  the mentioned  books have in common  within the sports  rivalry   fiction  genre is that the writers  add  a mystery  story plot to the  mix of the novel .   So it’s not strictly  just about the sport rivalry . Also  40 Love, Corpse de Ballet and Troy High all  add a romance story plot their main plots after  the sport rivalry  storyline.

I think that can be another  ingredient added to the sport rivalry  fiction .      

In my work in progress  werewolf novel , During the Blue Hour,  I also have a sport  rivalry storyline  thrown into the mix .  Although  not my  main  focus ,  the sport  rivalry  of ballet  can be seen  throughout my novel  between  my main  character Sirena  and her  nemesis Helene  who  battle it out  at the beginning  of the novel  for a scholarship  to dance  at the most  prestigious  school in  the fictional town  Stella  City.

grayscale photography of women on stage
Photo by Fabrício Lira on

Similar to but not intense or extreme  as Tiny Pretty things( I mean there  is not  anybody  throwing each other  off buildings  for the scholarships )  there  is  a lot  of ballet  rivalry none the less .  There is a lot of bullying,  deadly  secrets , lies  and betrayal  between  my main character  Sirena  and her nemesis Helene that will be  slowly unraveled throughout the  novel. Helene  will  go far and to the  extreme  to get the scholarship and stop at nothing  or let anybody  get in her way.  But of course  My  main character Sirena  will not back down either to  obtain her  dream of dancing , especially  letting Helene  continue to bully her  into  giving  up the scholarship.   

There  is even a little storyline I have added  that  wasn’t  in my 1st draft  where  they were once close  friends  but then something tore  them apart . This will  all tie into  Sirena  finding out about being  a werewolf . But  I don’t  know yet  if they will make up at the end and become  friends through.  

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