Whether you are inspired by real events or love taking advantage of your imagination, coming up with a great story is hard. Especially if you are writing a book.
And having come up with a great idea, you are most likely going to do some research. But how far would you go for that research and story?
Yesterday, I watched a very compelling movie called Beautiful Boy, a story about how a married couple deals after their son killed many people at his school and then killed himself. And while it is not a crucial part of the story, the event that intrigued me the most involves a writer:
In the movie, the mother of the shooter is a spell-checker, and her current writer client runs into her after the tragic event and acts like a very understanding friend. And then we find out that he was writing a book about the events, and that his shoulder to cry on was a way to just get his story right.
And the interesting thing is, while I didn’t approve of his behavior, this writer character managed not to come off as a total jerk. Maybe he wanted to profit from the tragedy, and that is wrong. But on the other hand, he said that he wanted to shed light on the event – he wanted to show that anyone could be capable of such rage. And for a moment, I wanted the mother to call him back and let him write…
OK, obviously that didn’t happen. But when she found out his real motive, she didn’t try to beat him. She didn’t shout. She just told him to go. Sure, he should have come clean way before…but what were the odds that she would let him into the house, had she known?
So let’s say that you found this incredible story that you feel compelled to write. You need to research, and maybe you need to talk to people who probably wouldn’t talk to you if you said you were a writer. What would you do? How far would you go?