Friday, June 4, 2010

Muse in the News: Guatemalan Sinkhole

Here's something to know about writing: Ideas are easy. You can get them anywhere. Look at this picture: It's an aerial shot of the sinkhole that's trying to eat Guatemala. Tell me you're not thinking about some crazy science fiction story, or a terrorism thriller, or an apocalyptic epic of some sort. You'd be in good company.

If you ever need an idea for something to write about, you could do worse than looking in your local paper, or browsing to your favorite news website. Here's a few starters I pulled off of CNN in about five minutes:
  • Sources: Bat used to kill Peru woman - The actual story involves a baseball bat, but the headline makes me think of a murder mystery involving a rabid bat slipped in through a window.

  • Cops follow 9-mile trail of blood, tissue - Oh God, the horror stories you could get out of this one. What sort of monster can create a 9-mile trail of blood? Is it squamous or rugose?

  • Belief blog: Has market become God? - What sort of market would we have if we thought that all the ups and downs were caused by a higher power, independent of companies' actual performance? Or, what if churches traded on stock exchanges? Or, what if there was a church dedicated to the market's power?

  • Man found four days after car crash - Alive, as it turns out from the article. So what was he doing for those four days? Who'd he meet? Was he running from somebody?

  • Wallet returned after 70 years - I think Letters to Juliet covered this sort of thing, and Sarah assures me that was a good movie. With a wallet, of course, it doesn't have to be a romance. Maybe a cursed wallet gets passed from owner to owner? Or maybe it's something that was found in a dead man's effects.
You could get a few quick stories out of any one of these, easy. All you'd have to do is come up with some characters to get into these weird situations. And, of course, an interesting series of events that happen before, during and after. And an appropriate setting, and some good prose, and interesting dialogue...

Which is, I guess, where the real work comes in...


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