Renowned newspaper writer Jimmy Breslin died today. In The New York Times Dan Barry wrote: “He often explained that he merely
applied a sportswriter’s visual sensibility to the news columns. Avoid the scrum of journalists gathered around the winner, he would advise, and go directly to the loser’s locker.” This is how Breslin found some of his most-remembered stories.
Great advice for a writer in any genre. Writing fiction? Head for the loser’s locker room. Find the character that everyone else is ignoring. The character in the background. The poor, the disenfranchised. The gravedigger who dug the grave for the person every knew and loved. Find that one, and go from there.
You find that character by observing. Looking behind the crowd. And that character leads you to your story.