I grew up in Chicago, which is a major sports town. Although I live in Orange County now, I still follow all of my Chicago teams. I believe that being a big sports fan has greatly helped me as a writer.
So much of sports revolves around the whole David vs. Goliath tale that is central to scripts, and stories in general. I remember when the 2004 New York Yankees were being compared to Darth Vader and “The Evil Empire.” That year featured the greatest comeback in baseball, and possibly sports in general, when the Boston Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series and eventually become World Champions for the first time in over 80 years. I remember the slogan that year for the MLB playoffs was “You Can’t Script October.” You really can’t script sports, which is what makes them so exciting to watch. However, it makes us remember the importance of suspension of disbelief, and how the unpredictable is the most exciting (Game of Thrones is a perfect example of this).
There is so much emotion that comes from watching sports and being an avid fan of a team. I watched the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox from start to finish and fell in love with the team. I still have very fond memories of the season. It was a great story and re-watching the walkoff homeruns from the season still sends shivers down my spine. After all, the goal of writing is to keep the reader, or viewer, on the edge of their seat. Watching sports does that.
We can look to the greatest games, and comebacks, as sports history, for sources of inspiration in writing. Last year’s Super Bowl, in which The Patriots came back from literally seconds away from defeat to win, was one of the most thrilling endings, and battles of all-time in sports. What if we were able to write a scene between a super hero and a super villain that evoked the same emotion and disbelief? The writers of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones already seem to be understanding the significance of suspension of disbelief, and surprising viewers.