In case you haven't heard, the novel I'm writing right now, Brooms, book 2 in the Uncanny Icons Series, is about curling (and witches and lake monsters). Like virtually every other kid from small town Saskatchewan, I grew up curling, both informally and as part of a school team. However, I haven't played for decades, and even when I did play, I didn't have much insight into the game beyond draws and takeouts. So, as part of my writing process for this book, I've spent a lot of time schooling myself on basic curling strategy and tactics. It's been so fun that it's given me a hunger to get back into the game.
To help me visual certain sequences in the book, I found it helpful to create my own curling "rocks" and "ice." The above photo gives you a sense of what that looks like--Lego studs on a crudely drawn curling ring (the page subsequently covered with my scribbled notes from watching curling tutorials on YouTube). It doesn't look like much, but it's been immensely helpful in trying to solve certain story problems. As always, writing is a messy process, and I can't think of a better example of that than my artistic skills--except perhaps for my handwriting.
In addition to visualizing the game and certain shots or configurations of rocks on the ice, I also had to organize a bonspiel consisting of ten teams divided into two pools of five, each pool playing in a round-robin format. That took a bit of figuring, but I created a bonspiel schedule on a spreadsheet to help keep everything straight, and I'm so glad I did! These curling teams have some strange names, such as the Black Mammoth Front, so they would have been too difficult to keep track of otherwise.
The key takeaway is that there's never a right and a wrong way to do this. All that matters is doing what works, and this method certainly did.
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