(To listen to the audio of this blog post, use the purple play button.)
· Fourteen Therapeutic Pet Ducks, 24 Bearded Dragons, and a Masked Batman Caper ·
“You can’t make this stuff up!” I tell other writers.
We’re all in agreement.
If you want any ideas for your writing, you don’t need to read fake news online. Just take a few “real” headlines and start writing.
Free-writing is one form used by writers to get started. You just take a topic, start writing, and see where it leads you.
Today I’m using three brief AP news stories as examples of how topics are waiting for you to expand for use in your writing.
The headline, “Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks,” might cause a chuckle at first glance, but it’s not a joke.
Since this veteran’s town has an ordinance against keeping fowl and other farm animals on private property, he’s worried about losing his ducks.
The article explains why: “He says the ducks help him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and keep him more active.”
For me, as a reader, I’ve stopped laughing at the image of all those ducks, and I’ve started thinking about how this veteran deserves assistance with coping and understanding his options!
This little blurb of an article points to a story that someone (maybe you) wants, or needs to tell.
If you decide to write about this man or his situation, think about your resources.
- Will you start with a search engine to gather information?
- Will you try and interview this particular vet or choose to interview a number of veterans?
- You might even study the therapies available to people with PTSD.
“Homes found for 24 bearded dragons,” is a story of a woman with two dozen lizards that she must give away or face eviction.
Her landlord learned about the reptiles after his renter was on the local news. She had given “one of her dragons CPR after she found it floating in its small pool.”
According to my clipping, the renter has had an outpouring of public support with people lining up and calling her wanting to adopt.
This brief news story has a happy ending, but let’s go further with other questions:
- What effect will an empty beardless dragon home have on the occupant who has dedicated her life to helping animals?
- How did she get interested in reptiles?
- How did she acquire twenty-four dragons?
- Did they breed in captivity or has she adopted dragons over time?
So many questions to answer.
The last headline is about crime: “Two charged in Batman robberies.”
A deadly duo were robbing convenience stores in order to acquire cigarettes and cash.
A female committed the crime while wearing a blue Batman mask. Her common-law spouse drove the Batmobile, I mean car.
Their last robbery was foiled “by a clerk who drew a gun on the masked invader.” Captured, the two unemployed suspects were each being held in jail on $25,000 bond.
If you decide to expand this story, how will you approach it? What do you want to explore?
But first, before any research or anymore thinking, are you willing to write for three minutes about this topic right now? If so, clear this screen and go for it!
Until next time, happy writing and reading!