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Becoming a Writer: Finding Story Material (Example)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I’ll be writing more on this topic next week, but this prime example of where story ideas can come from in the real world was too good not to share. See if this doesn’t make your creative juices start flowing:

    When I was a freshman in college, I had a tight group of friends. Two of them got together and married last summer. We three were close in college but less so since we graduated. I found out from mutual friends that the groom recently committed suicide. Since people in the group hadn’t heard from his wife, I was put in charge of contacting her. She said there was nothing to talk about and asked me not to visit. I then contacted her brother, who had been close to them, and this was the first he’d heard of her husband’s death. She apparently had a closed funeral and told no one, because she said that is how he had wanted it, even though he had many friends and was always outgoing and happy. His college friends are distraught and don’t know what to believe, especially since there is no record of this in any of the area newspapers. Also fishy is a rumor that he got one of his female friends pregnant. I checked–she is pregnant and says he’s the father. His parents live overseas, and his wife never got along with them; as far as we know, no one has contacted them. How can his friends be sure he died, so we can come to terms with everything? I have a crazy idea that maybe she found out about the other girl and killed him in a fit of rage. What is the polite way to make sure our dear friend is resting peacefully and not locked away somewhere?

(from the “Dear Prudence” column, 1/29/08, www.slate.com)

3 Comments
  1. Thursday, January 29, 2009 12:27 pm

    Oh my! If that doesn’t start the mind a wandering 😀

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  2. Thursday, January 29, 2009 7:39 pm

    Soooo.. i wanted to see her answer so went to slate.com to read it.

    I *personally* think that the last dear prudence was the greatest and has a strong possibility of making it into a future book of mine.

    Peanut M&M gernades in the movie theater. Not alot funnier than that! *grin*

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  3. Tuesday, February 3, 2009 1:23 pm

    Oh, the suspense writer in me was all over this. I can already picture the whole ste up!

    I went to the website to see what she said. Maybe it’s the suspicious side of my mind, but I would have been asking question to cops and the like before I’d go to a advice columnist.

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