Click the image to explore the Disaster Crimes series.

NOTICE:


DISCLOSURE:

This site uses affiliate links for Bookshop.org, an online marketplace that supports independent bookstores. Chrys Fey will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

September 07, 2015

Writing About: Monster Truck Driving + September Question of the Month


Please note that I am not a monster truck driver. Nor have I ever been in a monster truck or been to a monster truck show. That’s the beauty of research. With enough research, you can make anything realistic and convincing. 


Donovan Goldwyn, the hero in Hurricane Crimes is a monster truck driver and I had the opportunity to let him do his thing in Seismic Crimes, which I am still waiting to hear back from my publisher about. FINGERS CROSSED EVERYONE!

I am only going to address three main things about monster truck driving if you want to write about it:

1. The Truck

If you ever write about a monster truck, it would be smart to briefly mention the things that make it a MONSTER truck.

Monster trucks have massive tires, which are usually Terra tires, and about 4-link suspension to allow four feet of clearance when the truck moves over mounds and other obstacles. The supercharged engines (575 cubic inches) live off methanol oil. The driver is usually positioned in the middle of the cab for full visibility behind a sheet of Lexan to protect the driver from flying debris. However, it’s not unheard of for a truck to have two seats. Every truck is equipped with at least three kill switches for safety precautions. There are also safety harnesses as well as head and neck restraints, and drivers wear fire suits and helmets. Monster trucks are used for competitions and entertainment.
TIP: Don’t forget to mention the design and colors of the truck. People get really creative. You can even give the truck a name.


2. Arena

Arenas for monster truck driving are compiled completely of dirt, sometimes even mud in some areas. Small mounds, large ramps of dirt, and even cars are added to arenas for trucks to jump over or crush with their giant tires. If there’s a race, you can bet on seeing lanes, obstacles, and a finish line.
TIP: If your MC goes to a monster truck show, have him/her be in awe of the trucks and what is going on: the roar of the crowd, the packed stands, etc.
3. Stunts

Monster trucks can do quite a lot of stunts. This is called freestyle. Some stunts/tricks are wheelies, jumps, and slap wheelies/wheel stands. Donovan does a wheel stand for Beth in Seismic Crimes. It was a fun moment to write.

These stunts are judged by timing, speed, aggression, height/length/verticality of jumps, and “saves.” If there’s a tie, it is often broken by a “cheer-off” or a secret “tie-breaking judge.”
TIP: Imagine you're the driver or at the show. Show their excitement with their body language and the things they say and do.


The main thing to remember is to have fun with this!


QUESTIONS: Have you ever been to a monster truck show? What was it like? If you could, would you try driving a monster truck?


To join this monthly blog hop visit Michael G D'Agostino's blog.


QUESTION: What's the best job you've ever had?

MY ANSWER: Okay, so if I’m being honest I haven’t had many jobs in my life and that’s due to the spine surgery I had when I was fifteen. I’ve never revealed this before but I am disabled. I'm not in a wheelchair, but I struggle to do some normal things like sitting and standing as long as others.

When I was a teen, I sold Florida Today newspaper subscriptions door-to-door. I was pretty good because no one could say no to the sweet little girl on their doorstep. I was also an Avon lady. But neither of those are the best jobs I’ve ever had. My best job is being a writer, although I hardly get paid for that. It’s my passion though and that’s what makes it the best. :) 

73 comments:

Misha Gerrick said...

Monster Truck driving sounds like such an interesting activity, but I don't think it's really a thing in South Africa.

Writing is my favorite job too. :-D

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I've heard of Monster Trucks, but have never seen one. They could make for an interesting story though.
My favorite job is a tie between my teaching years and now my writing. I enjoy both at different times in my life.
Have a great week.

Mary Aalgaard said...

It doesn't matter what you get paid if you love what you do. I also love writing and teaching, neither of which will buy me trips to Europe! But, who cares. I am happy, and get up with a spring in my step every day.
Play off the Page

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Yes, we have the same best job! I've heard those monster truck shows are not only loud but smelly because of the fumes.

Susan Says

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm afraid Monster Trucks just aren't my thing.
Pay or not, glad you're doing something you really enjoy.

Arlee Bird said...

I've never been to a Monster Truck Show. It seems like it would really be loud and raucous. Maybe not my thing, but I've always wanted to participate in a demolition derby.

I was never good at door to door sales. Terrible when I was young so I didn't do much of that then. Oh, I considered it, but then I would chicken out.

Writing would be a great job if one made enough money to live decently and even just the creative aspect is excellent and worth it all.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

sherry fundin said...

Yes, I have been to a monster truck show. It was loud and dirty and I loved it. I have not driven one, but I did drive a jacked up pickup with very large tires and it is really hard to control. So, no thank you. Great post, Chrys.
sherry @ fundinmental

Chrys Fey said...

Probably not. I think it's mostly an American thing.

Yay for writing! :D

Chrys Fey said...

I would like to see one in person and sit in the driver's seat. But drive it? no thank you! lol

Chrys Fey said...

I've loved writing since I was a child. That's why I don't mind that it doesn't pay, but I would still like it to. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Yay for writing! :) That's a good little tidbit about the smelly arena. I'll have to remember that.

Chrys Fey said...

Not really my thing either, but I had to learn for my character who is a big daredevil. Thanks, Alex. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Not my thing either but I can see the appeal in it for some, especially thrill-seekers.

I barely have enough money to live decently. I'm still waiting for writing to pay. :\

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! I can picture my characters loving that too. They like things loud and dirty...wait...that didn't sound right. LOL!!!

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
I've never been to a monster truck show. I probably wouldn't go because it's not my idea of fun.
As for best jobs, writing and singing are the two best things that ever happened to me.
Shalom,

Patricia

Carrie-Anne said...

I've never been by a monster truck rally, and I'd probably be too nervous to attempt driving one of those things.

I can't really think of a best job I've had, though I really enjoyed being a camp counselor the first summer I worked there. It was fun to be with all the girls instead of only one age group. The next two summers, I was put with the nursery bunk without even requesting that age group, and the second year I worked at the camp, the co-counselor I had the second half of camp was a really bossy, obnoxious, rather unfriendly person. She didn't even seem to like the kids, and didn't know how to treat 3- and 4-year-olds appropriately. At seventeen, she also thought she knew more than I did, like insisting I was wrong about Yemen being in the Middle East, on the Saudi Peninsula. She claimed she'd have to look it up to see if I were right about Yemen NOT being in Africa. I only learnt the maps of the world before she was even born!

Anonymous said...

I have yet to have an idea with monster trucks, but if I ever do, I'll remember this post.

Toi Thomas said...

Never been to a monster truck show, but since I have problems attending other live show, I don't think I could handle this.
I think writing is the best job anyone could have, who loves to do it, but for me, I can't truly embrace it the way I'd like while still needing the paycheck of a day job to pay the bill...I know is a personal hangup I need to get over.

Lisa Thomson said...

Wow, love the descriptions and images of monster trucks. I haven't ever been to a show. My son went once with our neighbor and their son. Those guys were really into the dirt biking, monster truck thing. Ha. I can't see myself going to one either but ya never know when I may write a super macho male MC like your Donavan. ;) My best job was with a County Parks and Rec Dept. I planned and coordinated programs for kids (mainly arts) during summer. Loved it! I even painted faces and learned that it's not as easy as it looks LOL.

sage said...

I've never been to a monster truck show, either, but it might be a fun thing to do and then write a satire about it... I am pretty sure I've blogged about going to a opera once and next to the concert hall (Charlotte NC) was the in the arena they had a tractor pull and the traffic was so bad that it took us forever to get there and we were afraid we'd not be seated, but they had held up the show because they didn't have enough musicians!

Bish Denham said...

We never know who it is behind the words, who it is behind the computer. That's what makes being a writer so great, we're all kind of equal, we all get the same chance to succeed or fail simply by how we string words together. A physical disability has little to do with.

I've never been to a monster truck show, though I've watched a couple on TV. I can imagine how noisy and exciting it must be live. Isn't doing research a blast?! :)

Liz A. said...

On the show House, he was into monster trucks. That's probably as close as I've ever gotten to them.

That's the great thing about the internet. I had no idea you had that physical challenge, and now that I know, it makes absolutely no difference. I bet it informs your characters a bit, though.

Unknown said...

When I first started reading your post, I was like "Wait, surely you haven't driven one before with your bad back?" But then you said you hadn't and I laughed. One thing I did see coming though was that writing would be your favourite job. Thanks for sharing :)

Botanist said...

Been to a show (years ago) and been for a ride in one over a short cross country course. Apart from the size of the vehicles, the most lasting impression for me is the noise. When they're idling you can't hear the engine at all, then the sound kicks instantly in to a full-blooded ear-splitting rib-tingling roar. You can research some amazing things on the Internet, but there's no substitute for direct experience if you get the chance.

betty said...

Been to lots of monster truck shows when the kids were younger; eventually invested in great ear plugs to save our hearing :) I think it would be fun to drive a monster truck, only if I was in a big parking lot with nothing on either side of me for many a mile!

betty

dolorah said...

Going to a monster truck show is on my list of must see things. I love monster trucks.

I've never been able to sell things, and marvel at people who can go door to door. Writing is so much more fun though :)

Lux G. said...

I'm really a girl in every aspect but I admire those monster trucks. They're just so cool to look at.

Pat Hatt said...

Never been to a monster truck show. Heard they were very loud though. Writing is the best indeed.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh for being writers! :) And selling stuff in general, let alone door-to-door, is not easy, so good for you for giving it a go.

Enjoy your break this week!

Debra Renée Byrd said...

I apparently used to live in a town where Monster Truck events were popular enough to have commercials. I don't see them anymore lol.

I'm still waiting for my best job.

emaginette said...

The closest I've ever been was watching "Yes, Dear". One of the nephews chewed his ear plugs, thinking they were gum, and was as deaf a post when he got home. I giggled. I'm not sure I should have, but I did. :-)

Great post.

Anna from Elements of Writing

Anonymous said...

I've never been to a monster truck but I'd love to go. Mostly just to say I have :)

diedre Knight said...

Having been to at least half a dozen Monster truck events I can attest that it's loud (but not enough to necessitate earplugs), smelly (not near as bad as drag racing), and incredibly thrilling! From the moment a truck lines up to (hopefully) leap across a line of cars or massive mounds of dirt (edge of your seat), while it's airborne (eerie silence) until the landing (often a crash, but now you're standing) you are absolutely captivated! The end. Ha!
Actually, the 'boys' still go every chance they get but now that I have in fact attended a few, I can bow out saying "No thanks, been there:-)"

I had an Avon route myself once, Chrys! Sadly my clientele were predominately elderly men without much interest for cosmetics ;-)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've been to a demolition derby, not not a monster truck rally.

Sherry Ellis said...

Monster Trucks can do some pretty amazing things with their big wheels!

Birgit said...

I have never been to one of these rally's nor do i have a desire to be there. I have had a desire to be in one of those smash'em up derbys. I wanted to outfit my old car once and go right in there and just smash! It takes money to outfit the cars so you don't get injured though:) Having problems with your back is one of the worst and I am so sorry to hear about this but you seem to have a good way of looking at things even when you have a bad day:) You are entitled! I am glad you can do something you love to do even if there is not much money in it. I hear too many people who hate what they do.

Chrys Fey said...

Singing. :) That's cool.

Chrys Fey said...

If I'm nervous about driving a normal car, I'd be even more so at the prospect of driving a monster truck. lol

A camp counselor sounds like fun. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Haha. Sounds good. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I don't think I could handle the noise or smell of a monster truck show either.

You're right. It is hard to enjoy without money. I wish it could pay more.

Chrys Fey said...

My dad and my brother went. I was interested in going, but you know... no girls allowed. lol

That sounds like a fun job. :)

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! A tractor pull next to a concert hall. Oh boy.

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly! And thank you, Bish. I appreciate that. :)

Doing research on something like this is a ton of fun.

Chrys Fey said...

I used to watch Housre but I didn't catch the tidbit. Then again, I missed a season when I didn't have cable. :\

Thanks, my friend. My characters do know about pain and limitations thanks to what I've endured.

Chrys Fey said...

Ha. Nope, never driven not. Not before or after my surgery.

Thanks, Michael!

Chrys Fey said...

Nope. No substitute for the real thing. I would like to be able to sit in one and maybe be a passenger for the experience, but not to drive it myself.

Chrys Fey said...

Ear plugs. Yes! You'd need those. :P

Chrys Fey said...

Monster trucks are cool!

Writing is a lot more fun then selling door to door.

Chrys Fey said...

They are cool to look at! I love the designs. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Extremely loud.

Chrys Fey said...

lol Thanks, Madeline!

Chrys Fey said...

Commercials? I think I've seen a few if there was a big event in the area.

Your best job will come. :)

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! I think I thought ear plugs were gum when I was little. But I never ate one. :P

Chrys Fey said...

Bucket list. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It does sound very thrilling. I'd have to get over the smell and noise if I ever went to a show.

Haha! Those men. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

A demolition derby would be fun!

Chrys Fey said...

They sure can!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Birgit! It's not fun to have back problems but I deal. I'm very fortunate that I can do what I love.

Janie Junebug said...

I can walk, but I'm disabled, too. We have so much in common. I've never been to a monster truck thing. Just doesn't interest me, and thank God Willy Dunne Wooters doesn't care about that sort of thing.

Love,
Janie

Cherdo said...

You should teach writing. You'd be fantastic at it! Contact local homeschool groups and offer your services. In fact, there is a curriculum that is called the One Year Adventure Novel that teaches creative writing. With your experience and insight, you'd be fabulous. AND you'd only have to do short classes. As much or as little as you want to do.

If you lived by me, I'd pull you into my evil (homeschooling) lair....ha ha.

Elizabeth said...

I've never seen or been interested in a monster truck show, but it is cool that you studied up for your character. Writing is a fun job, I just have not been paid for it...yet :)

Crystal Collier said...

I've always wanted to go to a monster truck show. It's on the bucket list. Never thought about writing about them though. Fun tips!

Chrys Fey said...

I didn't know that! I feel like I've found a sister. :)

Chrys Fey said...

That's an idea, Cherdo! I think I'd be super nervous teaching adults, but teacher kids and teens would be fun. I'll have to think about that and look into it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Neither have I. Well...like $20 at the most. lol

Chrys Fey said...

Maybe you'll want about them after you go to a show. ;)

Jeffrey Scott said...

I've always wanted to go to a Monster Truck show. We even have them here in Milwaukee from time to time but for one reason or another I've never made it. However, I have been to demolition derby quite frequently. They are lots of fun. I believe I've posted pics and a short video to my blog. The video is either there or on my youtube channel. Of course with all the monster truck names being given to denote size and strength, I'd name mine Titanic. You know why. LOL Also, so if I win I can say, "I will sink you" and if I lose I can say, "What do you expect? I'm the titanic." Okay, am I stretching too far with that joke? Seriously though, I probably would.

cleemckenzie said...

Nope. No Monster Truck Events in my past and probably not in my future, but you never know. If I ever included something like that in a book, I might be tempted to see one for myself.

As to jobs...It seems you've landed in one that's a fit! Congrats on doing that.

Anonymous said...

Yes!

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! A monster truck named Titanic would be funny. You could wear a captain's hat on top of your helmet. HAHAHA!!!!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad you think writing is a fit for me, C Lee! :D

Yanting Gueh said...

Hi Chrys and Michael,

I'd have to say that being a writer is the best job for me by far as well! I'm learning more about painting and illustrating so hope to include that in to my work scope soon. (As for monster truck shows, I've never been to one though I've seen them, the trucks, on TV once many years ago.)

Chrys Fey said...

Writing is just great, isn't it? I don't even want to envision my life without it.