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Seek Original Images (02 Jun 2004)
Writers who reach the first level of creativity think they are being original or clever. In fact, they settle for the ordinary, the dramatic or humorous place any writer can reach with minimal effort.

I remember the true story of a Florida man, who, walking home for lunch, fell into a ditch occupied by an alligator. The gator bit into the man, who was rescued by firefighters. In a writing workshop, I gave reporters a fact sheet from which they were to write five different leads for this story in five minutes. Some leads were straight and newsy, others nifty and distinctive. But almost everyone in the room, including me, had this version of a lead sentence:

When Robert Hudson headed home for lunch Thursday, little did he know that he'd become the meal.
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