Friday, January 25, 2008

Stranger Than Fiction

Two Yahoo! News headlines this morning made me say, "Huh?" and click to read the details.

Here's the first. Apparently a farmer near London decided to hide his home with haybales to avoid planning regulations and build it however he wanted. (This really made me laugh because it sounds like something my dad would try to do!)

The other was this one. As part of a social experiment for a TV show, all the women in a Canadian town left for a week to see how the men would handle things on their own.

Bizarre human interest stories like these really catch my attention!

Next time you're brainstorming new stories or plot twists and you find yourself in a funk, try browsing through internet news headlines. Who knows what fascinating tidbits you might find to work into your storyline? If you do find something really crazy, reference the source in your synopsis because sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction!


Darlene Franklin said...

I found a fascinating historical tidbit that I simply HAD to add to my novella, Dressed in Scarlet. During the blizzard of 1913 (the setting of our anthology Snowbound Colorado Christmas), elephants helped to deliver coal to a Denver orphanage. Absolutely too fun to ignore!

But sometimes authors say "but it really happened that way" to excuse unbelievable plot twists. Use the truth - but make it believable.

Annie said...

The other day I was on wikipedia verifying some random tidbit, and I got off on a tangent reading about Morel mushrooms ( that led me to a really neat short story about a family who survived in the mountains by eating wild mushrooms by Dorothy M. Johnson titled "The Day the Sun Came Out."

I was fascinated! Wild mushroom hunting sounds like a fun thing to include in a story.

Pam Hillman said...

Reading any fascinating tidbit about common, and not so common people, sends my imagination into overdrive.

The perils (or perks?) of being a writer, I suppose!

Julie Carobini said...

I LOVE doing what you suggest. So much fun. And while writing my latest novel, I came up with a rather weird tidbit on my own, but then googled it see if it might have ever happened 'for real' :)

Yup, it had. So I made sure to print it out in case anyone declares that "this could never happen!" LOL...

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I also saw that article about the hay. I like to use interesting tidbits I find in my genealogy research for my historicals. I'm amazed at how much our culture has changed and the things that were socially accepted back then.

Mary Connealy said...

I just read this weird story about sheep standing in a perfect circle in a field.
I tried to include the link here but it was in the London Daily Mail and the link was like...seventy characters long so I just skipped it. You can find it by googling Sheep Circle The Pen. Although why you'd want to find it is beyond me.
I've also been researching oil history in this country and it's so fascinating. Plus that led me to CAR history. It's really such a great story of fortunes to be made and racing to patent the new idea.
I read in one place they estimate 100,000 patents were involved in the production of the first car, taking it step by step from the first powered seat on wheels.
Anyway, weird human interest stuff and real historical progress, both capture my attention when I SHOULD BE WRITING!!!!