Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where Do We Get Our Story Ideas?

By Paula Matter

Burbank, Calif. –  A Los Angeles woman was arrested last week for offering sexual favors in exchange for chicken McNuggets, according to Burbank police.

BOSTON (AP) — Boston police say a woman suspected of robbing a city bank was caught a short time later handing out dollar bills to children at a park.

DENVER. (AP) — Family members are waiting for answers about how a 66-year-old Colorado man's body went unnoticed in a locked movie theater restroom for about five days after he died there.

LONDON (AP) -- It was a daily reminder of the death of her father in a British industrial accident - but a mother of two says she feels relief after she was given the chance to demolish the factory where he was killed.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Portland police say more than a dozen rabbits reported stolen the night before a rabbit-cooking class have been returned by bunny advocates who had been caring for them.

Patients at a New York City hospital are getting billed for tens of millions of dollars because of a computer error.

A loosely formed group of scientists around the world is watching for communication from extraterrestrial life forms.

AP - A jury convicted a man Wednesday of the 1986 killing of a mother of four, a crime for which another man served 20 years in prison before being exonerated by new DNA tests.

A Missouri woman found herself on the wrong end of an arrest after she called police to report a crime. It seems that 47-year-old Suzanne Basham was outraged when her neighborhood crack dealer sold her $40 worth of sugar instead of cocaine.

What could any of y'all do with the above news stories? Any of them inspire you to create? Have you ever written a story based on a newspaper headline or some other source?


Jenna said...

That first one sounds like something Lula would do. Straight out of Stephanie Plum...

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. And no, I've never written a story straight out of the headlines. Although news stories of various kinds have certainly inspired a lot of books. More generally, though. Stories about human trafficking giving me the idea for the kind of smuggling going on in Mortar and Murder, for instance.

Gina said...

We couldn't make these things up. Well, I guess we could, but they might not seem credible . . .

C.L. Phillips said...


Reminds me of the Darwin awards. I really enjoyed reading this post. And now, back to my local headlines, mining for gold. :)

Patg said...

Agatha Christie said that's where she got a lot of her ideas, stories in the newspaper, and look what that did for her.
Yeah, I saw most of that story about the rabbits on TV. What surprised me was, who knew there was a bunny society???

Joyce Tremel said...

The next time someone asks me where I get my ideas, I'll refer them to this post. It might work better than telling them I just listen to the voices in my head.

NL Gassert said...

Yes, yes, I look to headlines. My first book was inspired by two crimes I came across in newspapers. My current manuscript includes a crime I found reported in an online edition of an overseas paper (a woman had herself beaten up by a thug she hired, so she could blame it on the man she was stalking).

It’s interesting to see that what I thought of as pure fiction was someone else’s idea of a reasonable thing to do. Truth is stranger than fiction indeed …


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