October 2012

Ideas for stories

October 4, 2012: Certain tropes of the digital world are inevitable. Information always gets leaked as genuine scoops get harder to find and access to digital media gets easier for everyone using a computer or smartphone. Once Adele was announced as the singer of the next Bond movie theme, Skyfall, the track got released immediately, days before the official launch. PR strategies sometimes have to go with the flow. If your story is set in the 21st century, remember to keep any mention of the digital world realistic (e.g. keeping secrets for any length of time is difficult).

October 3, 2012: When writing about historical figures, make sure you get the details right. For example, this story about an auction of Bonnie & Clyde artefacts, including the guns they used for raiding banks, describes their personal effects and belongings. Research is key, as there are always readers in your audience who will pick you up on factual mistakes. This can be damaging to your reputation in an age of instant digital communication and social media.

October 2, 2012: Fiction is well-suited to exploring the nature of truth, lies and the grey area in between. Cultural differences in language, humour and expectations can lead to characters reacting differently to the same event. An Iranian news agency ran a spoof Onion story for a few hours that claims Americans would prefer to be led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, rather than Barack Obama. Stories using these devices can be comic or tragic.

October 1, 2012: Some news stories are so rich with potential they demand to be fictionalised. The Hong Kong billionaire offering GBP £40m for any man able to win his daughter’s hand in marriage is a great example. The problem is that the daughter in question married her fellow lesbian partner earlier this year after seven years of living with her girlfriend and has no intention of playing the game. The challenge would be to use this scenario as a springboard for a story exploring the nature of parent-child, homosexual and heterosexual relationships that resolves with an ending satisfying the needs of all parties