Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ripped from the headlines: Find a few story ideas from your local newspaper

Reporters often get a bad rap. They're nosy, after all. They ask a lot of questions, many of which folks don't necessarily want to answer.

But I'm a big fan of reporters. And even though I'm not a journalist anymore, I'm still addicted to reading the paper and watching the news. Now, I know, I know - not a lot of people pay attention to the news or read a paper anymore. That's a damn shame for a variety of reasons. But simply for the discussion of fiction writing, it's interesting to note there are tons of story ideas there.

See, lately, I've been trying to think of a good idea for a new series - something fresh, something fun, something completely different with a brand-new protagonist.

Well, I found my answer - in the local newspaper. I don't live in a particularly glamorous city, and there tends to be plenty of crime and corruption reported in my local paper. A local school board member was indicted for a scam that the local reporters uncovered. I started thinking ... what if ... what if ... what if ....

I couldn't stop thinking about it. Pretty soon, I was scribbling enthusiastically in a notebook on my lunch hour with my local investigative team to thank.

After all, the truth might be stranger than fiction, but that doesn't mean I can't take a few cues from it.

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