I still read the news a lot, my favorite thing being the weather. Growing up on the Texas coast I loved tracking the hurricanes hurtling towards us from the Gulf. But now that I have moved to a landlocked state, I've had to broaden my interest from hurricane watching and on to current events. It was only this year though that I realized how I could use my insatiable desire to read about what's happening in our world for my writing.
If writers are avid people-watchers, then it should be no surprise that I have become an avid event-watcher as well. Reading the news has given me the fodder I need for several short story ideas. No matter what kind of news stories interest you (weather, politics, science, etc.) you too can use them as a springboard for your creative writing.
Current event writing exercise:
Visit a news or weather website, or open up a newspaper (if you're old school like me). Skim around and find an article that peaks your interest. Try free writing for five minutes using that article as a jumping off point. Take a piece of it to incorporate into your own writing such as the setting, people, or event that is being reported on. See where it goes!
Need somewhere to start?
- Google News: This is a good place to find a little bit of everything; world news, health, science, technology, politics, you name it.
- Weather.com: If you're interested in what Mother Nature is up to, the news section on weather websites can be a good place to start.
- History.com: I like reading their "This Day in History" section. Almost like a news story from the past!