A Story Idea Each Day for a Month — Day 12

April 12th, 2012 by

This is the third year in a row I’ve run this series in April. Last week I provided a daily explanation about why you should make it a habit to be generating story ideas. This week, I’ll give you some tips on how to come up with stories.

Tip #4: Halliwell’s Film Guide.

This is based on the anecdote I heard about Woody Guthrie. Having written 4,000 songs in his life, he was asked how he came up with so many melodies. His answer: “Well, I take a melody I like, and I change it a lil’ here, and change it a lil’ there, and I make it my own.”

Same thing with Halliwell’s. You can read a post I wrote about it all the way back in November 2008, how you can read through the 24,000 movie listings — each with a logline — then gender and genre-bend your life to creative bliss.

Today’s story: Animal Farm Owner Frees Exotic Animals:

ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Sheriff’s deputies shot nearly 50 wild animals – including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions – in a big-game hunt across the state’s countryside Wednesday after the owner of an exotic-animal park threw their cages open and committed suicide in what may have been one last act of spite against his neighbors and police.

As homeowners nervously hid indoors, officers armed with high-powered rifles and shoot-to-kill orders fanned out through fields and woods to hunt down 56 animals that had been turned loose from the Muskingum County Animal Farm by owner Terry Thompson before he shot himself to death Tuesday.

After an all-night hunt that extended into Wednesday afternoon, 48 animals were killed. Six others – three leopards, a grizzly bear and two monkeys – were captured and taken to the Columbus Zoo. A wolf was later found dead, leaving a monkey as the only animal still on the loose.

Those destroyed included six black bears, two grizzlies, a wolf, a baboon and three mountain lions. Dead animals were being buried on Thompson’s farm, officials said.

“It’s like Noah’s Ark wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio,” lamented Jack Hanna, TV personality and former director of the Columbus Zoo.

Now I know We Bought A Zoo just came out and didn’t set the box office world on fire, but I’m not going to let this idea go based on that.

Grizzly bears in the suburbs? Leopards? Lions? Wild animals vs. tamed human beings, used to doing everything on their computers.

Isn’t there a horror-thriller sitting there staring us in the face?

Tomorrow: Another idea.

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