Weekend Writing Exercise: Grab a newspaper, and steal from the real

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We read some great stories as a result of this prompt in 2009, and with recent bouts of news overload (from Charlie Sheen on up the ladder of substance/relevance to the world), it's time once again to—

Steal From the Real
Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at writersdigest@fwmedia.com, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll make sure it gets up.

Take a newspaper or log on to a news website and comb through the articles (see Ralph Waldo Emerson, above). Jot down two sourced quotes verbatim from different sections—say, one from a news story, and one from an entertainment piece—and incorporate them into a story of your own. Make one quote the first line, and the other the final line.

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Does toying with the real and connecting the dots between the passages force your fiction into unexpected corridors?

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