Every April for six consecutive years, I have run a monthly series called A Story Idea Each Day for a Month. It’s exactly like it sounds: I post a story idea every day for 30 days in a row. We brainstorm possible ways to take each story, then I give them away for free.
The one thing they all have in common: My source for each story idea is the news. Here are links to 180 story ideas I’ve surfaced via various news services over the last 6 years:
- A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2010)
- A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2011)
- A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2012)
- A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2013)
- A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2014)
- A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2015)
Which leads me to this recent news article from the Daily Mail: ‘I am the Watcher. Bring me young blood': Family forced out of $1.3m dream home after being targeted by terrifying stalker.
A New Jersey family say they’ve been forced out of their luxury home by a stalker who identifies himself as the home’s ‘Watcher’ in letters threatening their children’s safety.
Maria and Derek Broaddus began receiving letters last month – just days after closing on the $1.3million dream home in the idyllic community of Westfield.
‘Why are you here? I will find out,’ the letter read.
‘My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?’
The letter is signed ‘The Watcher’.
I had already flagged this story for next April’s series, then this: Hollywood Eyes “The Watcher” – True Scare Story Packaged Around Town.
In a nightmarish story straight out of a horror film, a New Jersey family was forced to leave their idyllic dream home after becoming tormented by a terrifying stalker who calls themselves “The Watcher.” In two days, the macabre report made national headlines and has already captivated Hollywood interest. I’m hearing that in a mad scramble to be the first out of the gate, several packages are being shopped all over town, with names like James Wan and Bryan Bertino in the mix. Sources confirm that interest is swelling and the project is taking shape at the likes of Blumhouse Productions, Dimension Films, New Line Cinema, and Universal. Several different takes on the true terror tale are being pitched across the board, some unofficially, with rights still up in the air.
While it looks like I won’t be able to include this story in the 2016 version of A Story Idea Each Day for a Month, assuming it gets set up as movie deal, the larger point is this:
STORIES ARE EVERYWHERE!
It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance and value of a strong story concept for a spec script. The best way to find a great one is to generate a lot of them. And one source for story ideas: The news.
All you need to do is be a watcher…
Of the news, that is.