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Thread: Ice Dancing Novel - Advice?

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    Ice Dancing Novel - Advice?

    Okay. I'm not an ice skater (or an ice dancer), but I absolutely love the sport. I wrote a novel about a brother and sister duo who ice dance, but feel like, even though I did a TON of research, I'm missing some things. Would anyone be willing to help me?

    If you're interested, post on this thread or PM me and I'll PM you the sections that need work. Thanks so much!

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    ALSO. Some of the advice I need is just general skating stuff - like what the official name of the guards for skates are called and how much practice someone generally needs to do a day so that they can succeed. Anything will help!

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    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Hi! If I can, I'll help you! I'm a single skater, not an Ice Dancer, but let me know if you have questions that I can answer to!

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Check the bios of some top ice dancers. One of the items in the bios is how many hours a day they practice in the low & high season. Don't forget to give them time in the gym, time taking ballroom, time taking ballet or modern dance.

    The bios are on the www.isu.org site. Go to singles & pairs figure skating and at the bottom of the page are links, one of which is to skater biographies.

    Another thing to do is read the Fan Fest threads here for dancers. Many articles & interviews are linked in each thread about those particular dancers. What V&M, D&W and the Shibs do is what would be typical for Canadian & US ice dancers. The two non North American teams in the Fan Fests are Ilinykh & Katsalapov and Cappellini & Lanotte.

    Which reminds me-why the heck have we no thread for Pechalat and Bourzat not to mention Weaver & Poje and Bobrova & Soloviev and Chock & Bates?
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 10-02-2013 at 02:46 AM.

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    Thank you SO much! I'll definitely check into that - from what you said, I already know I have to make a few changes regarding practice time. : ) And D&W are my favorite, so I'll go there first. : )

    I have another question. How long does it typically take you to come up with, practice, and perfect your dance? I've given them about three months - is that enough?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    At what level are your skaters? Are they like trying to get to the Olympics, or just doing club competitions?

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Here's a nice interview with Igor Shpilband, and it includes what his day is like, as a top dance coach:
    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...an-ever-before

    At the same time, here's Pechalat & Bourzat doing a Q&A about putting together programs:
    http://www.ice-dance.com/main/news/g...fabian-bourzat

    And yes, I started a Fan Fest thread for them here:
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...Fabian-Bourzat

    They so deserve one. I've included links to all their ODs, SDs & FDs that I could find
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...Fabian-Bourzat

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    Doris, what interesting information! I'm going to get a lot out of it, too, even though I'm not preparing a book. (One day, however, when GS does its figure skating movie, we can refer back to this....)

    Nikki, good luck with your book. There can never be too much figure skating-based fiction.

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    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Nikki, good luck with your book. There can never be too much figure skating-based fiction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    At what level are your skaters? Are they like trying to get to the Olympics, or just doing club competitions?
    Well, their goal is to be in the Olympics someday, but for right now, they're just doing competitions in the US. At the beginning of the novel, they get first place at an unnamed State competition, then move to Nationals, where they get second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Here's a nice interview with Igor Shpilband, and it includes what his day is like, as a top dance coach:
    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...an-ever-before

    At the same time, here's Pechalat & Bourzat doing a Q&A about putting together programs:
    http://www.ice-dance.com/main/news/g...fabian-bourzat

    And yes, I started a Fan Fest thread for them here:
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...Fabian-Bourzat

    They so deserve one. I've included links to all their ODs, SDs & FDs that I could find
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...Fabian-Bourzat
    Thank you!! I'll definitely be looking into all of that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Nikki, good luck with your book. There can never be too much figure skating-based fiction.
    Thanks so much! Heehee - that's what I was thinking, too.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikkiscott View Post
    Well, their goal is to be in the Olympics someday, but for right now, they're just doing competitions in the US. At the beginning of the novel, they get first place at an unnamed State competition, then move to Nationals, where they get second.
    Qualifying for US Nats is done via regionals and sectionals, not state competitions. In addition, if your skaters are good enough to be second at Nationals, chances are that they will have been doing international competitions rather than regular qualifying - JGPs if they are juniors, senior Bs or GPs if they are seniors. Unless this is a YA or children's book with younger (e.g. novice level or lower) skaters. It is really important to get the details right, otherwise you end up with the equivalent of skating competitions done in spotlights like they always have in the movies

    Since your main characters are siblings, I would focus especially on articles and interviews with sibling teams. These can usually be found in Wikipedia references. You might want to look for articles about Maia and Alex Shibutani, Madison and Kiefer Hubbell (who are no longer skating together), Sinead and John Kerr and Alexandra and Roman Zaretski.

    Do you have a blurb and a first page that you can post? What genre is your book in?

    There's a poster on FSU - I don't remember if she's posted here or not - who wrote a trilogy involving figure skaters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Qualifying for US Nats is done via regionals and sectionals, not state competitions. In addition, if your skaters are good enough to be second at Nationals, chances are that they will have been doing international competitions rather than regular qualifying - JGPs if they are juniors, senior Bs or GPs if they are seniors. Unless this is a YA or children's book with younger (e.g. novice level or lower) skaters. It is really important to get the details right, otherwise you end up with the equivalent of skating competitions done in spotlights like they always have in the movies

    Since your main characters are siblings, I would focus especially on articles and interviews with sibling teams. These can usually be found in Wikipedia references. You might want to look for articles about Maia and Alex Shibutani, Madison and Kiefer Hubbell (who are no longer skating together), Sinead and John Kerr and Alexandra and Roman Zaretski.

    Do you have a blurb and a first page that you can post? What genre is your book in?

    There's a poster on FSU - I don't remember if she's posted here or not - who wrote a trilogy involving figure skaters.
    Ok. They're Junior level - 15 and 17. It's a YA book. I'll take another look at it and try to work in some international competitions for them. : ) (Heehee.... Spotlights....)

    I have them doing a few interviews, but I'll see if I can bump that up a little. The thing is, the novel is more about their relationship than it is about them skating, so I have to keep all of the technical stuff down to a minimum.

    Here's the synopsis I gave a friend: "BASICALLY, it's about these siblings named Alec and Nikki who are ice dancers, which is one of the only things they have in common because their relationship is in fragments. Then, the brother has a swimming accident and loses his memory. The rest of the story is about the sister, who decides to take the advice her friend gives her and try to rebuild their relationship. That's Becoming Nikki in a nutshell. " See? Like I said, while I want to get all of the details right, I need to keep it to a minimum so that the majority of the story is spent on Alec and Nikki's relationship. (Nikki Scott is the main character, so I picked her name to be my username.) I can PM you the first chapter, if you want it. I'd rather not post it here for copyright issues.

    Hmmm.... I'll have to find her! Thanks!

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikkiscott View Post
    Ok. They're Junior level - 15 and 17. It's a YA book. I'll take another look at it and try to work in some international competitions for them. : ) (Heehee.... Spotlights....)

    I have them doing a few interviews, but I'll see if I can bump that up a little. The thing is, the novel is more about their relationship than it is about them skating, so I have to keep all of the technical stuff down to a minimum.

    Here's the synopsis I gave a friend: "BASICALLY, it's about these siblings named Alec and Nikki who are ice dancers, which is one of the only things they have in common because their relationship is in fragments. Then, the brother has a swimming accident and loses his memory. The rest of the story is about the sister, who decides to take the advice her friend gives her and try to rebuild their relationship. That's Becoming Nikki in a nutshell. " See? Like I said, while I want to get all of the details right, I need to keep it to a minimum so that the majority of the story is spent on Alec and Nikki's relationship. (Nikki Scott is the main character, so I picked her name to be my username.) I can PM you the first chapter, if you want it. I'd rather not post it here for copyright issues.

    Hmmm.... I'll have to find her! Thanks!
    Is the amnesia necessary for the plot? It sounds like you have enough going on with their skating careers and their relationship without adding that. Also, is he a swimmer or an ice dancer? There are so many skaters who are injured in on-ice accidents that it seems strange to rope in another sport. As for interviews, I suggested using those to gain an understanding of what it's like for siblings to skate together, not in order to have your characters doing more interviews in the book.

    Obviously this is your book and your story - I just think that you need to have a good understanding of the sport you are writing about and the audience you are writing for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Is the amnesia necessary for the plot? It sounds like you have enough going on with their skating careers and their relationship without adding that. Also, is he a swimmer or an ice dancer? There are so many skaters who are injured in on-ice accidents that it seems strange to rope in another sport. As for interviews, I suggested using those to gain an understanding of what it's like for siblings to skate together, not in order to have your characters doing more interviews in the book.

    Obviously this is your book and your story - I just think that you need to have a good understanding of the sport you are writing about and the audience you are writing for.
    Well, yeah, the amnesia is essential to the plot. The story is that their relationship is faltering. Alec is treating Nikki like she's just another person in his house. When he gets amnesia, Nikki is able to help him restart their relationship from the beginning. Also, no, Alec is not a swimmer. They're an upper-class family and have a pool. He's injured when they're swimming as a cool-down after practice. And I got what you said about the interviews when I was away from my computer - whoops.... I've been looking at interviews for siblings, though! Thank you for the suggestion!

    Thanks for the advice. That's why I posted here - I need help with the ice skating part! And it's a Christian teen contemporary novel, so I'm writing to an audience of teenagers, whether or not they ice skate. When I'm done editing it, the main focus should be towards Alec and Nikki as siblings and their relationship with each other, not their careers. That's what I'm hoping for.

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