As we talked about in the last blog, one of the perks of self-publishing is that I have creative control of my work. When I was envisioning what Perfect was going to become, one of the things that really excited me was the opportunity to communicate directly with my readers about what was going on behind the scenes of the books, especially in terms of why certain decisions were made. Here is your first sneak peek!
The books in the Perfect series are set in contemporary America. It's never specifically mentioned in any of the books which Olympiad they’re in, but in my mind, the 2016 Olympics in Rio have just happened a few months before Book One: Playing With Fire starts.
The reason I never really mention which Olympiad the books are in is because I'm not always factually accurate in terms of the locations of major competitions. For example, the first World Championships in Perfect are slated to be held in Paris. If we were in real life, the first World Championships after the 2016 Olympics were actually held in Montreal. To avoid confusion, I simply didn’t say which Olympiad we were in and let the readers draw their own conclusions.
One of the things that is going to be revealed very early in Book Two: Transitions is that the size of the Olympic teams is going to be increased back up to seven members. I did this for a number of reasons. First, I just really like larger teams. I think it gives a lot more variety to the competition and having smaller teams has made gymnastics not as much fun to watch. It’s always kind of bothered me that someone with a ton of talent and medal potential would be left home because there happened to be a handful of gymnasts who had a better day than she did. So in Perfect the format of the World Championships and the Olympics is a lot like it was back in the 1980s (with the exception of compulsories -- not bringing that back). Each team is composed of seven girls and the competition format is laid out below:
- Day 1: Prelims/Qualifications: Every gymnast who is entered competes for spots in the team, all-around, and event finals.
- Day 2: Team Final. Top twelve teams from prelims compete.
- Day 3: All-Around Final: Top 36 gymnasts from prelims compete.
- Days 4-5: Event Finals: Top 10 gymnasts on each event from prelims compete.
Another thing that I changed was that in Perfect, scores carry over from the preliminary round. In real life, no scores from the preliminary competition carry over to the team, all-around, or event finals. My main reason for doing this was to make the competition harder. As ZZ says in the second book, “Worlds and Olympics are the two biggest, most important competitions in gymnastics. They’re like the pinnacle of the sport. Everyone dreams of being World and Olympic Champion. It makes sense that they should be the hardest to win and not be contested every year.”
In keeping with the idea of that quote, the last thing I changed was that World Championships only happen every two years. So the Olympiad is divided like this:
- World Championships, Year One
- Pan American Games, Year Two
- World Championships, Year Three
- Olympic Games, Year Four
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the choices I made with Perfect.