Good luck on your book, Sam! My book is coming from a similar desire just to write a book, but I'll admit, I'm hoping I might make a little bit from it if I do manage to pull it off.
Are you reading my mind on the "aha" moment? That is what's going to happen. The twins are going to find themselves in a predicament that will make the younger sister (and a previously unmentioned older brother) realize how much their siblings actually mean to them. At that point, the younger sister will open up more to her sister about her feelings, which will give a bit of resolution to that aspect of the story.
I don't know how much other figure skaters might play into the story, but if I see that they will, I'll certainly take up that suggestion to help develop them. And who knows, if I have any success with this book, I may need it in the future. I've already come to the conclusion that I really like my main characters, so if I write more than one book, I could see them returning as protagonists.
I've decided that the younger sister will be struggling with her double flip, instead turning it into a "lip." She hasn't started work on the double lutz, yet. So, that brings me to another question. I've read that a lip is technically a lutz jump since it takes off from the same edge as the lutz. So, what is the difference between a lip and a lutz?
While the edge would make it seem that a lip is a lutz, the edge alone does not determine that. When a skater is doing the flip, they skate in the direction of the rotation of that jump. When a skater is doing a lutz, they skate in the opposite direction. If a skater lips, then they will take off on the wrong edge (like they're doing a lutz) but skate in the direction of the rotation (like they're doing a flip). So the lip is not a lutz, although some will argue that. It is easier to do a lip than to do a lutz.
I thought it seemed strange that the change of edge would be the only difference, because it seems like it wouldn't be such a big deal then since it would only mean that the skater had learned the "other" jump. If there's one thing I've already learned in the process of doing research for various aspects of the book, it's to NEVER take anything for granted, so I'm glad I asked.
I may not need a lot of what I've learned in writing the book, but I feel like I have learned a lot about figure skating by asking questions here and on one other forum. You've all been a bigger help than I could ever tell. I imagine I'll probably have more questions coming, too.
I know I've been away from here for a while, but real-life events have taken up a lot of time and slowed me down with my writing. I've gotten back to it in the last few days, though, and in an upcoming chapter, there is going to be a scene set at a practice. I'd like to get some general input about the environment of a practice if you good folks don't mind.
Question 1: Typically speaking, are practices divided up according to skill level, or does everyone pretty much go at it together?
Question 2: What kind of direct interactions will the skaters have with the coach? Is there a lot of one-on-one instruction that goes on, or is it more of a group instruction environment? Would skill level have any impact on that?
1) at my rink we have high level, low level, and general. The sessions are open for up to 30 (!) skaters allowed not counting coaches.
2) Some coaches are in your face and some aren't. Some are loud and others quiet. The Russian coaches at my rink are great but will tell you rather bluntly without sugar coating if you disappoint them. There are jump coaches with a harnesses on a pole( looks like a fishing rod) that prevents a skater from falling and can help give them additional height too. I've seen coaches that wear skates and others who coach from the bench. We also have coaches who strictly work on the dance aspect of the sport.
After the session there is off ice training that focuses on muscles,strength and endurance. Skaters bring their own yoga mats and workout very hard. There is down time too with lunches and basic goof off time where skaters make friends.
On ice sessions are often busy and friction is an issue when skaters get in other skaters way. Usually by accident but perception is the key. Certain coaches can become less than friendly to each other too and add that dimension to the mix. Mostly it's friendly. One thing my rink does is identify a skater who has the right of way while practicing a routine. Once you get your music cued up you then put on a vest or bright belt that signifies it's your program and other skaters are supposed to give you the right of way.
It really is pleasant at my rink but tensions run high as training is costly. Hope that helps.
Yes, that did help. I had a particular scene in mind, and I wanted to see if it might work. Based on what you said there, it seems like it could be a reasonable idea.
My thought is that Paige (the 12-year-old) sister finally nails her triple toe loop multiple times on a particular day while Paula (the 9-year-old) sister has a particularly difficult day with her double flip. Paige attracts a lot of attention, making Paula jealous. That night at home, that jealousy will flare up and lead to some conflict. I just wanted to make sure I was on the right track by having both sisters on the ice at the same time and by having Paige attract so much attention.
Btw, I am working in a minor character as a friendly rival to Paige. She's just a bit behind Paige as far as her skating ability, but they push each other. I may take up the suggestion to browse the forum for ideas for her.
Another question: What would a skater do to warm up when she first steps onto the ice. I'm guessing she wouldn't go directly into triple toe loop attempts, but I have no idea how to describe her initial warm-ups.
I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I thought I'd let you all know that I finished the initial draft of my book last night.
You've got the biggest part of the work out of the way! The refinements will be easy sledding.
Good for you! Keep going.