Strange, but true news

You don’t read a ‘strange, but true’ story to keep track of current events, you read them for the weirdness! Because of that, they often mix reporting and narrative styles.

To make your news story, you’ll need three ingredients:

  1. Write in the third person. You’re reporting, so no ‘I’, ‘we’, or ‘you’ messages.
  2. Write a narrative. Your readers want a story, so start at the beginning and tell an amazing tale that happened to ordinary people.
  3. Add a clickbait headline. This is a must. People should read your title and want more!

Take a look.

'They’re fighting': Alligators pound front door of Fort Myers home

Susan Geshel was getting coffee around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday when she heard a pounding on her front door. 

To Geshel's surprise, there were two alligators around 7 feet in length outside her Pelican Preserve home in Fort Myers.

Geshel said one of the alligator's snouts was on the glass window and pinned on the door. The other was at a distance with its snout open.

Geshel said she was nervous because one of the alligators had clamped its jaws on the body of the other gator and pinned it on a wall. 

“They’re fighting,” Geshel said while she called her husband Joe.

She captured the moment on video and posted it on Facebook. 

Geshel said the alligators were on her property for about 20 minutes before they took off. One of the gators crossed the street to a neighbor's house. She didn’t see where the other alligator went but it may have gone to a pond near the area, she said. 

“They made a mess on the front door,” Geshel said.

'Where were they going?': Hundreds of people start walking to… nowhere?

Office workers on Collins Street in Melbourne got a taste of the zombie apocalypse this week when they looked out their windows to see a huge crowd ambling silently in the same direction. 

“At first we thought it was a protest,” Yuri Sayle, bank teller, said of the scene. “Some of us went outside and asked them what they were doing, but we got nothing. It was like they were hypnotised or something.”

Sayle said he and his co-workers tried everything short of physical contact to get members of the crowd to respond, but to no avail. They kept walking, staring ahead. Not a word spoken.

Eventually he and a few workmates gave up and joined in. 

“It was all we could think about at that stage,” Sayle admitted. “Where were they going?”

He captured the moment on video and posted it on Facebook. 

As the peaceful zombies stopped at Federation Square, it was only when the music started playing Thriller and everyone began dancing that the penny dropped for Sayle. 

“It was a flash mob!” Sayle said. “They were advertising a new flavour of corn chip. Cool.”

The bank didn’t think it was cool when they found their front counter unmanned, however.  Sayle and his runaway co-workers were slapped with official warnings the moment they returned to work.

Using the painting as a starting point, report a ‘strange, but true story’. Don’t forget to give it a clickbait title!