A Perfect News Article for Writers

I’m not posting nearly as much this year as I have in the past, mostly due to being so busy between work and school that I can’t even see my family. However, that said, I do read headlines and occasionally an article. This week there was a great one for writers, and so I am sharing.

The article is on reuters.com and is titled, “Crematorium to heat water for town’s swimmers.”   The catch line is, “A local authority in England has given the go ahead for a swimming pool to use energy created by the next-door crematorium to heat its water.”

Here’s why I think this would be a great article for writing ideas:

  • Pet Cemetery like horror when ashes get in the water
  • The Crush like obsession story involving someone obsessed with water, death, and a regular swimmer
  • After.Life like thriller of a mortician taking people from the public pool (I know, many might argue After.Life wasn’t much of a thriller)
  • Notebook like retelling of a love story that started (pool) and ended (crematorium) at basically the same place
  • Terminator like action story with a climactic ending happening here
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians like story with a fight scene between the gods and titans of fire and water
  • Documentary style story of one man’s ideal (energy conservation) against another’s (sanctity of life and death)

You could also go more original:

  • The furnace is a door to hell where the dead escape, and their one chance to redeem themselves before being retaken is to be baptized in the waters of the pool (which is heat by the flames of hell itself)
  • A speculative piece that keeps building: The water is heated by the crematorium. The water is reclaimed sewage. The lighting is powered by stationary bikes attached to mini generators. The air temperature is regulated by underground conduits that continually cycle air. And it goes on and on into a society whose morality is based on energy conservation rather than religious or political views.

I could go on and on.

Using some stereotypes here, swimmers are often children, people in therapy, people losing weight, and athletes. The pool represents life in many stages. Crematoriums not only represent death, but a further degree of finality. The smoke from such might be considered holy or disgusting. The images and symbolism of both are so clashing that it sets up the basis for interesting storylines and scenes.

I love news articles that make my head spin with story ideas.

About R. Garrett Wilson

I am a member of the Stanislaus World Builders writing group and have participated in the FSFW writing group. I have written one drama that was based on the book of Mark and performed at my church in 2007. My story, Journeyer, is published in Analog Magazine and a novelette, The Bakrra Encounter, in the FSFW 2010 anthology, I Dreamed a Crooked Dream. I also took part in the community novel project, Stanislaus Reads and Writes, and have a chapter in their novel, Ashes in a Teardrop. Beyond writing, I enjoy road trips, photography, woodworking, watching tennis and cycling, and reading.
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2 Responses to A Perfect News Article for Writers

  1. You are a genius. This is brilliant! When you have time again, you should totally write one of these books. :)

    And so, seriously, like a week after I sent your package, guess what I found? Uh huh, Creme Eggs. So figures.

    • LOL! Well, I would have loved the Eggs, but at least I got to try a 100 Grand bar. Believe it or not, I had never had one before.

      I doubt I will ever write any of these. I get new stories ideas (or at least ideas about scenes) almost every day now. I couldn’t write half of them even if I could type 100 words a minute for 20 hours a day. Once or twice a month I get really excited about a story idea and start jotting notes.

      I love finding something that sets off tons of story ideas at once. It makes me feel alive, and the chaos of a billion scenes bouncing around in my head is somehow calming. It’s kind of like the funnel thingy where you put in a coin and it goes around in circles for a long time before dropping through the hole in the center. I like those, but I love to put in 25 coins at once and watch them all in their different circles. That’s how I like my story ideas to come.

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