5 things you need to know before dating a journalist
One of the great things about the news is it never stops. My trick – based on years as a journalist – is to set a deadline for myself. But you can become overly bogged down with facts in your fiction.I pretend I’m back at a newspaper and I have to turn in 10 pages to the editor in the next hour. Never forget you’re trying to write an exciting, entertaining story – which sometimes means giving a wink-and-a-nod to the facts and letting your imagination loose. Beloved football superstar, movie actor and TV ad pitchman becomes most hated person in America.You can break the biggest story in the world, and your editor will still say to you at the end of the day: “So what do you got for tomorrow? ] You don’t get that kind of freedom in a newsroom. Covering the news for real and then creating a fictional journalist who does the same things I did – and a lot more – in my novels.” On the plus side, no matter how badly you screw up a story, there’s going to be another chance the next day for you to do your job better. They sit in bookstores for months and years sometimes, and in libraries even longer. But every day when I sit down in front of the computer to write my book, I know that I can do whatever I want. People ask me what I like doing best – being a journalist or a novelist.
Chandler’s response was that, of course, real PIs don’t get hit over the head and shot at every day, but if he wrote about what they actually did – going over divorce papers at a desk, etc. One of the things I’ve noticed at times is that some of the stories I worked on as a journalist are even wilder and more sensational and more compelling than anything I could ever dream up as a novelist. Then there’s the most famous headline I was ever involved with at the New York Post: Headless Body in Topless Bar. One thing – good and bad – about being a journalist is the immediacy of the job.So if you make a mistake in your book…well you’re just going to have to live with it for a long, long time.