Ripped from the Headlines!

Four magic words that start a story rolling…

Lately it seems like the news is overstocked with horror beyond my imagination and with characters larger, stranger, bolder and sicker than I could possibly create for fiction. Some are so oversized and evil that they push at the edges of the credibility envelop, while still being ripped from the, relatively, reliable headlines. Just when I think I’ve created something truly outlandish, I discover that something worse has happened.

Setting aside the really big, cruel, angry, hateful actors on the international political stage, I find inspiration in “smaller” criminal behaviors. I love to read the national section of the New York Times and watch news magazine shows on television. I never fail to find an impossible/true character OR a story that would be hard to pass off as credible fiction. Political machinations, bribery, obsessions (with diet, exercise, plastic surgery, collecting, etc.), psychiatric and neurological disorders driving personalities and, most of all, the motivations for crime —all send me into a dizzying frenzy of story ideas.

Examples: the arrogance of a longtime New York state politician insisting he’ll be exonerated in the face of serious financial/criminal charges; the hucksters with cures & beauty treatments that appear on TV talk shows, borrowing the credibility of show hosts to sell their hokum; a famous athlete spending years denying his use of performance enhancing drugs and his eventual ‘outing’; actors giving specious medical advice and being taken seriously; and the rest of those pesky —but inspiring— headline characters…


  1. I have skipped anything to do with “news” for quite some time because I grew tired of the sensational horrors that were sold. There are times I think that I might be missing a gold mine of story fodder.

    • Candy Korman

      I find the news to be an endless source or horrors, mysteries, thrills and MONSTERS!
      Of course, my meager imagination never comes close to the real deal in terms of truly terrible things & people. I keep trying to write the credible and reality it often over that line into incredible!