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.
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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WHAT NOVEL HAVE YOU READ THAT CONTAINS A SPORTS RIVALRY STORYLINE?
I want to know so let me know in the comments below.
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