Fishing as Writing Inspiration

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.

Humor

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.

Suspense

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?

Writing Tip — Writing in Time: June as Writing Inspiration

hikingw-3402199_1280Where I live, there are not a lot of holidays in June. But that doesn’t mean June as writing inspiration isn’t overflowing with possibilities. Some of the ideas below I mentioned last June and others I have expanded on.

Father’s Day: It can be a setting for exploring male relationships within a family. Like I wrote in May for Mother’s Day, you can write a story, only set on Father’s Day over a number years, to show how the male characters change.

Summer Solstice: This year summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21. Last year, I wrote about some of the folklore associated with this day. These stories can also inspire speculative fiction.

Or you could use the length of day as a key plot point in your fantasy. Certain people are born with special powers, perhaps commanding the four elements, and these powers increase with the amount of daylight. The power itself is neutral, so during the summer solstice, the good and evil characters can have a day-long battle at the peak of their powers.

Adventure: For some reason, June seems to me to be the perfect month to set an adventure story, or at least start one. The month is especially appropriate if your characters are young enough to have a summer vacation, which would allow you to stretch the adventure over the whole break.

Possible settings for contemporary adventures:

  • Ocean: I love the sea, swimming in it or sailing on it. I’ve visited the eastern coast of America each summer for several years now, so the sea and the history attached to this area is ripe for adventure. Your main characters could own a sail boat and investigate whether a local legend about buried pirate treasure is true. The eastern coast is dotted with islands, both inhabited and not, so there are plenty of places for your characters to explore.
  • Mountains: I am most familiar with the Appalachians, so I might set family camping trip there, one that Goes Horribly Wrong. The characters have to fight the elements, or perhaps a human threat, without any outside help due to being cut off from technology.
  • Road trip: America is a wonderful setting for a road trip. Give your characters some reason to drive from coast to coast or some other great distance. A road trip presents almost limitless possibilities for introducing conflict, characters, and plot twists.

How would you use June as writing inspiration?

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