May 05th, 2016

May 05th, 2016

Authors are always looking for inspiration. Sometimes it just strikes you. Sometimes you have to give it a little help. There are lots of ways to do it: writing prompts, scheduled writing times, music sessions, and etc. But today I’m here to talk about the news.

Not just any news. I know lots of people find ideas in news reports. But I’m talking about the weird news. The stuff that sometimes you have to go looking for. Surprisingly enough, most major news channels have a weird news page. Just google strange or weird news. You’ll get a lot of hits.
There are lots of places to look for it, though, and not all of them may be what you think. I have found several great articles, mostly small, in magazines like Archaeology and (weirdly enough) Renaissance Magazine. They will have tiny articles that may just seem like humorous reports, but when saved can provide a lot of fodder for the muse to work with.

Here’s an experiment.

Go to one of the three news stories I’ve linked and read the article through once.

Got it? Great. Now, go to your piece of paper or journal and jot down the things that struck you first. Details that stood out.

Go on, I’ll wait.

Now, read it again. Then set a timer and just free write for 5 minutes. It might be about the article. Maybe about how silly I am. Maybe the weather. Or maybe it will turn into something that has a glimmer of something useful. How did it go?

Don’t have time for all that? No biggie. I always print them out and paste them into the writing journal. Then I have the full article for another time, AND I can always go back and see where it came from, who wrote it, and when. I frequently leave an empty page next to it, so I can write notes to myself, and then do the freewrite on the following page. I like reading it, but not being able to actually see it when free writing. 

I find these incredibly useful. I still have a few that are years old, and every once in a while a thought will strike about that article, and I’ll go jot down a note next to the article in my writing journal. Someday I might even get enough to start writing the story. 

Do you like weird news stories? What are some other things that help inspire you?

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