Hurling Books and How to Write Them

There was a time not so long ago when I couldn’t finish a book – I literally could not get to grips with reading the whole thing through to the end without nodding off or getting distracted in some way and only ending up reading a couple of pages at a time, then losing the momentum of the story and finally abandoning it.

The only books during that time that kept me interested enough to finish them were “The Gingerman” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude“. Those days are long gone and I’ve no trouble flying through books these days, but the length of the book is an important factor in measuring how much you enjoy it.

Yawn! Getting through too much detail has its toll
Yawn! Getting through too much detail has its toll

All credit to the likes of War and Peace, but I’m firmly on the side of keeping it brief. If a book sticks to the essence of the story without deviating too much, staying humorous as much as possible, then it will entertain and grab you and you won’t want to put it down. Moreover, if it hasn’t waffled on, then you’ll want to read more by the same author.

There is a problem with a lot of GAA books, hurling books and other sports books in that they are overloaded with waffle. There’s a dilemma, for sure, to be faced by the authors of such books: If they are being written primarily for the benefit of the fans of the subject, then the assumption is that the fan/buyer will want to know as much as possible about their beloved subject. The tendency, therefore, is to make sure to cram as many facts, figures, scores and results as possible into the thing.

The trouble with that is that it makes it boring and that has been a problem that has plagued such books. They become reference books.

In setting out to write this book, ( about former Waterford hurler and skills coach Ned Power) I wanted it to be not so much a reference book but entertaining in the first place, and devoid of the boring overload of technical detail that drags down similar books.  Hopefully, that’s been achieved – we’ll see what people have to say…

Front coverMy Father: A Hurling Revolutionary, the life and times of Ned Power” is out on paperback.  Click here for further information, pre-order and excerpt.

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