With the warmer months here in the Buckeye State, my youngest, the Fishing Fanatic, begins watching the weather for chances to enjoy his favorite sport, pastime, and hobby. Funny how a parent can become interested in a subject just because her kids are. Not that I’ve taken up fishing. But I’ve gone out enough with the Fanatic to tell you about how to use fishing as writing inspiration.
Wouldn’t a book about a mom who has no interest in fishing and has one misadventure after another as she tries to support her kid and his love of the sport be hysterical?
I could write about the mom diving into murky waters to rescue a runaway rod, wading a river to unhook a snag, wrestling catfish, and crossing to a far shore through freezing water in October.
Now that you know what my life has been like for the past two years, take what inspiration you can from it. When I mix nature, animals, and weather into a story, I have the freedom to create all sorts of funny disasters.
The last paragraph above can also apply to adding suspense and tension to a story. The unpredictable quality of nature provides many different kinds of problems for my characters to face.
Fishing as writing inspiration for suspense has another great advantage. It gives my characters an excuse to break out of their normal routines as they head out on a fishing trip. Then I can dump them into unfamiliar settings peopled with hostile characters.
I love film noir, a style of movie making that flourished in Hollywood from 1940-1960. Several movies land their characters in trouble because they are going on a fishing trip. In The Hitch-Hiker, two men are taken hostage by a homicidal maniac. In 5 Steps to Danger, the main character’s car breaks down, and he accepts a ride from a woman with a complicated past and bad guys on her trail. In Act of Violence, a WWII veteran suspects his less-than-heroic act in a prisoner of war camp is catching up with him when he goes on a fishing trip and spots a man in a boat who isn’t dressed for fishing.
Another great thing about using the fishing trip is that I don’t have to know much about fishing. All the trouble can occur on the way to the fishing destination before my characters ever make one cast. Although it would be fun to include the fishing aspect somehow. Such as a criminal, who is on the FBI’s most wanted list, purses two fishing buddies, who stumbled across his hideout in the mountains. With the criminal after them, the buddies have only the contents of their tackle boxes to use as some kind of defense.
Family or Friendship
The bond that can occur during fishing is a wonderful way to explore family relationships or friendships of characters.
A grandfather, who loves fishing, can’t interest any of his grandchildren until the most unlikely one falls in love with it. Two very disparate characters chance upon each other at a secluded fishing spot and begin a friendship.
For more ideas on how to use June as writing inspiration, read my post from two years ago.
Could you use fishing as writing inspiration? What other summer sport might inspire your writing?
All great ideas!
Thank you! I should get something out of traipsing after my Fanatic all these years.
Patrick McManus was so funny; he made a career out of writing humorous fish stories. I remember watching my dad laugh out loud while reading his books.
These are such great ideas!!!!
Thank you! Hope you can use them.