Writer’s block is when even your characters won’t talk to you.
Writers know when they’re nearing the end of their manuscript. This stage is engulfed with rampant emotions. We’re proud of ourselves for achieving such a huge endeavor and yet we’re sad to say goodbye to some if not all of our characters we’ve so thoroughly crafted.
And then it might hit us. We want to write the next bestseller. And, horror of horror, we haven’t developed an inkling of an idea.
Fear not! As they say, rip something from the headlines!
My novel, TRACKS, includes a focus on the ongoing opiates crises. Difficult research that proved devastating and scary.
Recently, I went to the headlines and ideas flooded, literally with the terrifying approach of Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. If you write suspense you might consider a pre-meditated murder. The evidence is washed away and a body might just disappear, as well. If you write romance, do you see young strangers holed up in a safe place for days, surviving, and falling in love? Looting could be pre-meditated with homes earmarked with the goods, or the single property your antagonist needs to trespass to steal just one thing.
The gas explosions north of Boston might not be accidental but rather targeted in your great novel. A grudge against a new developer?
I’m not into writing about politics or religion, but you? I’m guessing there’s plenty of fodder out there to weave a tail around, like the Nevada professor whose attempted suicide to protest Trump failed and he now faces felony charges to include discharging a gun within a prohibited building and carrying a concealed weapon? The dude left a $100 bill taped to the mirror tagged for the janitor. For the adventurous, you’ll find a story set in Russia or North Korea, as ripped from the headlines and made your own.
More obscure news stories? Today I found several:
- The discovery and opening of a four-thousand-year old Egyptian tomb. This could make for a fun and wickedly delicious plot.
- A sex doll brothel opening. A legal means to release violent urges, claims the company.
- The man charged with sexual child abuse when faking he had Down Syndrome.
Nothing strike your fancy? Keep looking and cooking up your creative spins on current news, or old news with new life.
I’m writing my seventh novel, Lethal Trust. It’s based on a true event that’s happening now, sans the murders. Because of the relationship to a true story with the lives of very public individuals, I have to use extreme care in changing everything including cities and names. I don’t need their lawyers knocking at my door. Still, when I first learned about the basic facts I knew murder had to be involved, my way.