Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Writer’s Pentathlon

To work off the insane amount of pie I eat, I’ve been swimming for a number of years.  When the pool I use closed for renovation, I started running.  So guys at the gym started saying things like “get a bike and you could do a tri” meaning triathlon.  It is true, but why stop there.  What about the modern pentathlon.

What about the modern pentathlon?  Part of the Olympics since 1912, the event comprises swimming, show jumping, running, fencing and pistols at 10 meters.  Designed around Swedish Military cross-training, it reflected skills an infantryman would need in the field.  Oddly enough, these are probably good skills for a science fiction / fantasy writer to master as well.  Going to the range or picking up a sword changes how you write about such things.  If, however, you go down that path you may decide on a different group of sports altogether.

I’m proposing a post-modern pentathlon, more in tune with 21st century society.  These are the skills a current infantrywriter needs:

Running and swimming (to clear the head and clear out the donuts and Scotch)

Shooting (at some point, your fiction will demand it)

Driving (after your trilogy’s made into a set of feature films, and you retire to a farm in Vermont, you’ll still need to get to the bakery)

Tweeting (it's the new fencing)

My training starts . . . now. 

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