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Mar 5, 2009

Internet Idea Ideation

Fun and easy sources of writing challenges abound on the internet. Here's one method for generating story challenges: news headlines. Usually, when one reads one news article, along the side are three to eight other articles.

Here, for instance, are the Telegraph's Most Viewed for today:

1. Venezuela`s Hugo Chavez tightens state control of food amid rocketing inflation and food shortages Government price controls on basic goods have been in place, in various forms, since 2003. But the restrictions have forced Venezuela to become increasingly reliant on imports of these products as local farmers will not supply the selected food staples at government prices.Mr Chavez last month won a referendum allowing him to stand indefinitely for re-election.

2. Pink dolphin appears in US lake  "The dolphin appears to be healthy and normal other than its coloration, which is quite beautiful and stunningly pink. The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating it's albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws."

3. Gordon Brown appeals to US Congress for help to save the world calling on America’s politicians to join him in forging a global agreement

4. Fish with human faces spotted in South Korea
The "humanoid" carp are attracting attention in the town of Chongju in the centre of the country where they live in a small pond....Both fish are females and more than three feet long. They appear to have distinctive human noses, eyes and lips.

"My fish have been getting more and more human for the past couple of years," the owner said.

5. Max Clifford tells Jade Goody: `enough is enough`A reality television star sold the rights to her wedding for a rumoured £700,000 to OK! magazine and is also being filmed by Living TV dying of cancer.

And the article I was actually reading:

6. Stone Age phrasebook developed by scientists studying oldest words "If a time traveller wanted to go back in time to a specific date, we could probably draw up a little phrasebook of the modern words that are likely to have sounded similar back then." ...Researchers have also identified several words that could die out within 1,000 years because they are likely to evolve into different forms.

(Small town or odd foreign newspapers often have even quirkier headlines!) 

Here's the challenge. What if all of these events / facts / people were related? I don't actually have a plot tying in all of these, but if I did, this would be the cover for it.

UPDATE 11:00 AM.

Furthermore, all characters and brand names for imaginary technology will be named after blog comment verification words. So far I have, "Ardef", "Vizere", "Tabilizi" and "Noppit."


david heijl said...

I really dig Noppit. Perhaps even as a character name!

Michelle D. Argyle said...

What a cool idea! Especially when you're out of ideas. Thank you!