Inspired By Real Events

There’s nothing quite like real life for providing weird and wonderful story ideas.

The prompt

Write a story ripped from the headlines

  • You can use your favorite new source or go to the front page of Wikipedia to grab a headline from the modern-day or from this day in history
  • Media outlets often have that little “duck on a skateboard” moment at the end of newscasts or sometimes they call it Also In The News. These are wonderful sources for wacky, quirky stories.
  • Remember, however: fiction has to make more sense than real life!
  • Read for 5 to 10 minutes, until you find something that piques your interest even a little. Imagine how that would play out in fiction.
  • Resist the temptation to spend too long reading.
  • Try to pick a story that touches on issues you already care about. If you can imagine yourself getting into a Facebook fight with semi-friends over an issue, that’s a good sign that you could sustain your interest for the length of a short story. (In fact, why not plan to write a story specifically to annoy That Guy In Your Facebook Feed? You don’t have to post it anywhere!)

Leave a comment letting us know what you wrote about today. Did you find a fun headline or topic. Share it below! If you didn’t write to this prompt, what did you write and how is it going?

12 thoughts on “Inspired By Real Events”

  1. When I went back to revise this one, I realized that it could be trimmed down and shaped into a story poem, so that’s what I did.

    A few weeks back, someone local was strangled to death for playing their music too loudly. I’ve been disturbed by the lack of respect for another life, and that tied into one of my characters’ backstories. This may or may not be a backflash in the upcoming novel draft, but it’s good to know this bit of her personal history, either way.

    Yes, this one’s violent. Potentially NSFW.


  2. I took a story from the local headlines – about killer African bees in northern california. For real. I told it through the view of two eight year old boys running from a swarm and finding safety in a basement, and having an eight year old conversation. —- 17th day. Done.

    1. A lot of my stories in May tend to be around gardening, because I’m staring out of the window looking for ideas, and here come the tulips, then the irises, and I’m starting to think about tomatoes…

      I think we keep coming back to the issues that matter to us…

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