Choose the news
“Peanut boss jailed for spreading salmonella”
“Girl forced to leave school after she was bullied”
“I was chased by giant rat as big as a dog”
“Man struck by lightning says it gave him super powers”
The news is full of stories.
There is a lot that differentiates journalism – the telling of news stories – from creative storytelling. One of the most important differences is that news stories are - MOST of the time - true. Journalists are supposed to stick to the facts. Whereas creative writing is usually fictional. We invent the stories, rather than report them.
However, that’s not to say we can’t blur the lines!
Flick through a newspaper, or open up a news website, and scan the headlines. Don’t worry about the articles, it’s just the headlines we want. Pick one you like. Now it’s up to you to supply the story!
Say you choose “Peanut boss jailed for spreading salmonella”.
This could be a story that takes place in a village of peanuts. The boss, a giant peanut wearing a suit and curly moustache has been spreading disease among his rival peanuts, so that none of them will threaten his position as supreme ruler. One day, the other peanuts all get so fed up of his mean tricks, they band together and cart him off to peanut prison. When he breaks out they decide a second tactic – to catch him and mash him up to make peanut butter. This they do, and to celebrate they all go for a picnic and eat peanut butter sandwiches.
The headline can relate to the beginning, middle or end of your story. As long as it’s in there somewhere.