Do you sometimes feel as if there is nothing to write about? Even when you want to just write a short story or scribble a few lines ideas can seem rare and distant.
Not to worry, there’s always the news. It’s a Well of Ideas for Fiction Writers.
These days the newspapers are full of stories that inspire fear and anger in readers – like never before.
Short story or novel, it doesn’t really matter, you’ll find what you are looking for if you just skim the pages or websites of the national and international newspapers.
Stories of espionage are returning. Many of the older generation Cold War novelists were left at a loss after the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed,. Today we see newspaper stories of Corporate espionage and corporate plundering that offer a rich vein of ideas for great Thriller.
Today’s news looks at Cyber-Security around the World and the possibility that governments have been colluding to set up a Big Brother scenario that would mean the end of any privacy throughout the world. There’s definitely a story there, a long story and a short story, even a book series based around the subject of spying that could go on for reams of paper.
In the USA citizens go into panic mode as they stock up on supplies and get ready to batten down the hatches before the Snow Storm of 2015 hits the mainland and causes a stand still in New York and most other northern states. Great material for human interest stories.
All you have to do is think about it, let it roll around in the mind and then watch the film begin as your imagination kicks in and starts inventing great ideas out of these real life situations.
Fear, anger,jealousy, hate and compassion of course, I bet you can think of how these emotions fit into a story where humans are having a tough time of it in a storm or are worrying that they will be controlled by a spying government. Spying governments have a terrible habit of accusing the wrong people with crimes. Modern day laws allow the courts to charge people with intention to commit a crime – technical details that make the police into mind readers who know your future. Strange times.
The Russians and the West are at it again; the murder case involving Alexander Litvinenko offers intriguing reading that causes my mind to reel off scenarios of spying and secret business deals. It also takes me back to the late 1970s; a government official was standing at a bus stop in England as another man walked up to him and jabbed him in the leg with an umbrella. He knew that he had been poisoned and probably had about three days to live. Both men were spies and players in the Cold War efforts of one-upmanship between the West and the Soviet Union. The Englishman went to a doctor and pleaded for help. The doctor was told that his patient is a government worker but is known as a Walter Mitty type who dreams up incredible stories about secret agents and spies. The doctor was advised, by the British Government, to ignore his patient’s requests, so he did.
The man died three or four days later from poisoning from an umbrella tip. Writers have written about this case but it’s all speculation and fiction. There’s lots of room for new angles on old stories that need clarification, people love to read about these things and as writer you can put a spin on the story and make it more intriguing and engaging than the newspapers do.
The next story is always hanging in the ether somewhere; you just have to search and think a little to attract it to you. Reading old books that were published decades ago offers a different style of thriller or romance that can fire the imagination. Reading the news that interests you can kick start your story writing brain into selecting ideas and fleshing out a kernel of an idea that could be your next short story or novel.