Did you know that Canada won the first ever World Curling Championship? According to wikipedia this competition was held in Falkirk and Edinburgh in 1959. In curling there's a team member called the 'Skip'. Essentially the skip is the leader of the team. They're the ones that plan out the strategies and tell the team how they need to play that round. They wear two different shoes while they play. One that has a grip, that they generally use to push off from the 'hack' when delivering a stone. The other has no grip, which they use to slide on the ice during the delivery, or to slide down the ice while sweeping.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I thought I would share all the knowledge I'm acquiring for my current novel.
You see, I happened to see a curling game last Saturday. Not in person, or anything, it was just on tv. The thing is, though, I've never been remotely interesting in curling. I've heard it mentioned before, and I had the vaguest idea what they did during the game, but it wasn't something I cared about. Or ever even had an interest in watching. So why was I so very captivated by this game?
I let it slide, though, thinking that it was just a one time thing. I cared only because it was on, and once it was out of sight it was out of mind. Which was generally true.
Except that I kept seeing games everywhere I went. This probably had a lot to do with the tournament of hearts being in full swing, but every time I saw it, I wanted to stop and watch. It hit me when I was sitting in Denny's trying to pay to the conversation, and was instead being distracted by the curling game that was being shown on the tv: it was my character that was making me care about it.
My character (a female werewolf assassin, in case you were wondering) is, apparently, a curler. She's one of those people I was watching going out on the ice and throwing stones. Not professionally, of course. But she definitely does this on her off time.
For me, that meant one thing: research. I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan or research. In fact, if I could avoid it altogether, I will, and I have in the past. I write fantasy novels for the simple reason that the entire world comes from my head. In other words, no research needed!
Now I'm stuck finding out more about a sport that I never cared about before (though after this is done, I might care just a little bit more) all so I can accurately depict a hobby that my character enjoys.
In the meantime, though, I thought that you all might enjoy it if I shared what I had learned so far about the not so well known sport. Like the fact that the team with the last throw has what's called the 'hammer'. It's an advantage in the game, making it easier for that team to score points. If the other team manages to get points instead, that's called a steal.
Oh, the things we do for our characters. I suppose I should consider myself lucky for not having researched anything that will have some unknown section of the government thinking I'm a terrorist or the like...yet...
What have you learned about for the sake of your characters?