Sunday, October 10, 2010

Straight from the headlines... writing from reality

Coming up with ideas: this seems to be something that plagues some writers. I have the opposite problem - deciding what ideas are good enough to write based on the limited time I have. But I'm not operating from divine inspiration: I just read a lot of news sites.

Whether you get your news from the TV, the web or good old-fashioned newspapers, there are great stories in there. Crazier stuff happens in real life than any writer can come up with.

I read a story last year about a guy who was banned from dancing at his ultra-religious U.S. school, so broke the rules by going to his girlfriend's prom instead. He got suspended. Isn't that the stuff of teenage dance movies?

There was the story of an ordinary woman in Kentucky who solved a local girl's murder and brought a gang of killers to justice. Erin Brockovich 2 - the heroine found love and went on to  become a private detective.

Or this one: the story of two Dublin kids who ran away from home in 1985 and somehow found their way to the U.K., then to Heathrow, then to New York. A feelgood family comedy right there in the Times.

Roger Corman does it, so it can't be bad. Read the news - and make sure your plots really are stranger than fiction.


Canted Cat said...

That's really great advice. As a film student when it comes to writing a script I am always stumped if I have a good idea in my own head.

Never thought to check out the papers for the crazy things people do in real life.

Check out my thoughts on the film/tv industry:

Eilis Mernagh said...

Read the papers - or the news websites! Great site btw.