Monday, July 11, 2016

B is for Baseball

Ana muses a bit about baseball.

My grandfather loved baseball, especially the Yankees. I would watch games with him when I was young, and he'd explain the game so it never seemed slow or boring. Its a game of strategy as much as skill.

The hero of my WIP was a minor league pitcher with a bright future until he violated curfew and celebrated a no-hitter by getting drunk and falling off a hotel balcony into a line of sturdy shrubs. The shrubs survived. His peripheral vision in one eye did not. He was let go, but dreams of returning to the game as a medic.

I know enough about baseball to have him describe things in baseball terms, but I'm finding some of my critique loop friends don't recognize the familiar (to me) terminology. So I'm trying to dial that back a bit, but not so much that I lose the hero's personality.

I don't want to swing and miss too many times with readers.


  1. I definitely wouldn't understand any baseball terminology. I've only watched one game once in Canada - a teenage team, and hadn't a clue what was happening or why. It seemed to be a far more complicated (and very boring!) game than the one we have here (which is called rounders and is usually played by pre-teens. or else on the beach!)

  2. It's going to be tricky getting the balance right so that both UK and US readers know what's going on. But I'm sure you'll get there in the end.

  3. It's occurred to me that baseball is probably as incomprehensible to UK readers as cricket would be to American readers!

  4. There is a definite balance between using the correct terminology and making sure your readers understand what's happening. I've often found it helpful to add a child character, so that everything can be explained to them.

  5. My dad's a huge baseball fan. He's certainly living high these days since our Cubbies are doing so well!

    I agree about finding a balance being tricky. I remember doing a ton of research for a skiing book I was doing and some of my scenes wound up sounding way too lesson-like. You just need to find a way to add some 'human-ness' into the scenes.