Jimmy Breslin: “Go directly to the loser’s locker”

Renowned newspaper writer Jimmy Breslin died today. In The New York Times Dan Barry wrote: “He often explained that he merely

Mr. Breslin with Timothy J. Dowd, right, the police investigator who led the manhunt for the serial killer known as Son of Sam, at a news conference in August 1977 announcing the killer’s capture. Credit Paul Hosefros/The New York Times
Mr. Breslin with Timothy J. Dowd, right, the police investigator who led the manhunt for the serial killer known as Son of Sam, at a news conference in August 1977 announcing the killer’s capture. Credit Paul Hosefros/The New York Times

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.

 

Author: Bob Gillen

I publish the website www.thefilmmakerlifestyle.com for aspiring and established filmmakers. And I have several ebooks and stories available on Amazon Kindle.

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