I am not a sports fan.  I never have been.  At best, as a spectator I liked sports that were “pretty”–gymnastics, figure skating, that’s pretty much it.

However I am a writer and stories can go in odd directions.

In a current work in progress, my main character is returning to college.  A young woman who is one of the main supporting characters has a brother who is on the football team.  Oh, and her boyfriend is also on the football team.  Only I come to realize as I get well into the story that the college I was basing this on doesn’t have a football team.

“But that’s okay,” my muse says.  “Because you see…” (but that would be telling).

So, instead of football just being an “oh, he plays football” kind of thing, a “tag” for a character, it’s now become a significant part of the story.  Other characters get involved and…

I don’t know anything about football.

“I insist that this is how the story goes,” my muse sais.

I.  Don’t.  Know.  Anything.  About.  Football.

“So learn,” My muse says. “And be quick about it.”

So…here we are.

So we start with what are all these people running around on the field?  What do they call that guy over there as opposed to that one way over there.

Fortunately, in this day of the internet, there is help.  To start with, a friend points me at the Football for Dummies (USA Edition) Cheat Sheet.  Yay!  I now know what the player positions are called, have a rough idea of their roll and an idea of where they typically start.


Normally, I wouldn’t care about any of this.  I don’t think I’m going to become any kind of football fan.  But you go where the story takes you and if you’re at all serious it behooves you to try to get it right.

So this was an unexpected direction my story is taking me.  What unexpected directions have yours taken you?


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