You don’t have to be a Cubs fan to have enjoyed last night’s World Series, you nonsports fans. (Read on, there’s a lesson for you here.)
You don’t have to be a baseball fan, either.
You don’t even have to be a sports fan.
Last night was an example of DRAMA and TENSION – and your story needs those.
How the World Series works is, the two best baseball teams schedule seven games, and whoever wins four games first is the World Champion.
The Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians each won 1 game, and then Cleveland went ahead – winning three games to Chicago’s one. That means if Cleveland wins any one of the next three games, Cleveland is the world champ. So the Indians had three chances to win the World Series, whereas the Cubs had to win ALL the remaining games.
That’s a lot of pressure on Chicago.
And what happens? The Cubs start winning. But Cleveland didn’t lay down. They went into the last game, tied it up – and went into extra innings.
(Nonsports fans: normally a baseball game ends at nine innings, but it was tied so they had to keep playing.)
In other words, the verrrrrrry last game goes into overtime to determine who the winner is going to be.
After one team was all but out of it.
And that team, Chicago, who had to win three games in a row to a team they were losing to, battled back to tie the series and then to take it into extra innings.
Any mistake, and you cost your whole season and your whole team the World Series. Any lucky hit, and you could be the hero that wins the World Series. Each pitch, each swing, each decision every single player makes – could determine the outcome.
And it did.
(This is a little technical – barely – so feel free to skip down to where it says “Chicago did their part.”) Instead of trying to strike out some guys, Cleveland decided to walk a few good hitters to get to a bad hitter. That is chess match type drama. Because who knows, the good hitter might hit a home run in the game. The bad hitter probably won’t. Maybe he will strike him out and the other team will win.
TENSION??? Each pitch is deciding the world series.
Each swing by the batter is deciding the world series. Do I swing and try to get a hit? Do I wait for a better pitch – and strike out without swinging? Do I…
Every player in the field: where do I go for the out? MY DECISION ON THE NEXT PLAY COULD DETERMINE THE WORLD SERIES. If it’s a ground ball, which base is the play at? If I don’t catch the ball, the game is over and we lose.
Chicago did their part. They got in a few runs and that made the difference.
But that middle part is technical.
The beginning and the end of what I just wrote is what mattered.
A lot of people who weren’t baseball fans stayed up waaaayyyyyyy past midnight to find out what the heck was gonna happen because it all came crashing down for one team and it all went skyrocketing high for the other.
Drama at its finest.
Nail biting tension – if you write it that way.
That means you can write stories that have those elements no matter what the topic. Even something as notoriously boring as baseball.