When Colby Palmer started his freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University, some students approached him in his dorm and asked whether he wanted to play quidditch.

Palmer had read all of the Harry Potter books and knew about the sport but said he felt reluctant to try it out.

“My impressions of quidditch was just that it’s for nerds by nerds — that they wouldn’t be like people who I would find things in common with,” Palmer says.

Despite his hesitations, Palmer did give it a try and found he loved it and the community. Now, he’s heading into his senior year at VCU and is spending the summer playing for the Washington Admirals, one of 16 Major League Quidditch teams.

There May Not Be Flying, But Quidditch Still Creates Magic

Photos: Jared Soares for NPR
Editor’s note: The first
 Harry Potter book came out 20 years ago today so we’re resharing a recent story about real-life quidditch. 


I’m so happy for Russ 🙏🏿🙏🏿

anonymous asked:

How do I write about characters playing a sport or a game without it being too boring or filled with "A hit the base ball with the bat." or "B ran to third base." Thanks.

1. Show, don’t tell. Think about what kind of vivid details and imagery you can use to really put the scene in the reader’s head. Talk about the dust picking up behind them as they run, the sound of their feet skidding into the next base, the excited gasps and yells of the crowd, the shine of sweat on foreheads, the whoosh of the bat swinging through the air, etc. 

2. Keep your characters in mind. Remember, to you, this might not be that exciting, but to the character, this could be hugely intense. Think about how they are feeling. Worried? Confident? Excited? Are they aware of their surroundings, or hyper focused on the game before them? Describe the adrenaline that courses through them as they run, that intense moment where everything hangs in the balance as the ball soars through the air, knowing that wherever it lands could decide the victor, how this moment now on the field feels real and vivid. Even if you aren’t particularly into sports, you can think of an activity that makes you feel that excitement, and describe that emotion in the context of the game.

3. Remember the stakes. What are they playing for? What is at stake? Are they trying to beat a team that has thwarted them for years? Is this some sort of championship or tournament? Maybe they just truly love to play this game, and doing a great job or giving it their all is where they find happiness or fulfillment. Whatever the case, there should be a certain amount of pressure- be is eustress or distress- that motivates them. 

4. Keep up the conflict. A truly interesting game that is hard won or hard fought. It’s kind of boring to read about a game where the protagonist and their team is super amazing and the other team is not great and they win the game with flying colors. Mess with the match a little. Maybe the other team is actually really good and difficult to beat, maybe they are tied head-to-head nearly the entire game, maybe someone makes a mistake that they have to recover from, maybe the referee is biased or some players aren’t playing fair. Conflict is always where things get most interesting.

Thanks so much!



Red Book v061 n02 [1933-06] cover by Siren in the Night