Good morning and welcome to wwwblogs. Today, we’re talking about using breaking news as a story. Can the author turn a hot news story into a viable book? How do you go about doing this so it’s timely when you finish writing the book?
We’ve all been mesmerized by breaking news stories. We’ll sit in front of the television and watch reporters breathlessly talk about the incident. They’re telling us what happened and in some instances their opinions. As an author, you’re hit with the desire to turn this into a novel that will touch millions.
Hold that thought. Literally. Stop before you start writing and using all the elements of the ongoing story that will be back burner before the week is out. Ask yourself if this breaking news is actually story worthy.
As an author who has turned more than a few breaking news stories into book, I can tell you that focusing on a single event and making that into a novel can be difficult. You need to research the event, see if others like it have happened. If there have been enough to provide you with a lot of information, keep going. If this is a singular event, it’s best if you don’t delve too deeply into the story and instead find another topic to write on.
The recent spate of school shootings does seem like fodder for a book. Some might even say it’s a good reason to segue into another hot topic, gun control. But that could backfire on you, the author, especially if you argue either for or against the hot topic in your book. What you need to do when writing a book that’s based on breaking news is make it pertinent to your area. Step back and examine both sides of the issue on hot topics. Be even with your characters and how they interact. Remember, as an artist, your fans expect certain things from you and that doesn’t include having a different opinion from them.
Another thing you will have to consider is how you promote this book. Take Chances is a story I wrote nearly a decade ago. Yet, the events in this book are much the same today as they were then about school shootings. The book remains timely because I didn’t focus on the gun control cries that always come up after a school shooting. Instead, I focused on the characters, their feelings, and how their lives were changed forever, including their decisions on what they would do after graduating high school. Because, in the long run, these students do have to return to school and they do have to finish their education. Make the story about what’s a real life rather than the news that will soon go away once the reporters find another breaking story.
About K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond. game when plotting a new story.
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