Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The idea factory

Did yu ever see the movie Night Shift? Michael Keaton's character carries around a tape recorder so he can keep a record of all the ideas he has during the day. (He is definitely an idea man.) I k now a lot of people like that. Once they're on the hunt for an idea, they seem to come at them from all angles and directions. For me, the most reliable source of story ideas is the news. I read a lot of news, and not just on the usual sites. I always consult the Drudge Report because it consistently offers the strangest headlines and wackiest stories this site of Fark.

If you write dark fiction and you're not regularly cheching in with Drudge, you're missing out. Here's just a sampling of today's headlines:

Teen injects flesh-eating drug into vagina!  One of the first things you're taught about writing a news story is that it has to tell the Who, what, where, and when of an incident.  Nowhere is WHY important. But I always want to know the WHY. Here though, my first question is... how does a 17-year-old girl even get her hands on the flesh-eating drug, much less be addicted to it?

Here's another:  Satanic Temple Monument may Include Interactive display for kids. This is a story ABC reported out of Oklahoma that the news aggregator picked up and gave a tabloidish new spin. Turns out there's not actually a monument yet...but the implication of the unholy interactivity is just too evocative to pass up. I see holograms of the devil offering to buy souls in return for Jay-Z tickets or smething.

Man wielding sword steals several tacos.  Now this  is a headline that doesn't even faze someone who lives in Los Angeles, where sword-brandishing nutballs seem to be fairly common.  The story takes place in Texas, so the alleged perp apparently never heard the old saying about "never bring a blade to a gunfight." And also, if he had a sword, why didn't he demand a steak or something?

Three hurt in hatchet attack at Wal-Mart.  Another story from mTexas. Question I had--did the alleged perp bring the hatchet into the store, or was it something he picked up and decided he needed to test out? And wouldn't that make a great story for volume 2 of Discount Noir?

Scientists close to developing the world's first invisibility cloak.  So there's something for science fiction writers as well as noiristas.

All of this great stuff in just one day!!  Call it creative alchemy, spinning news into gold.

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