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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > May 2016 > Webbo



Has your attention been grabbed by a story spreading online? Doubtless. Have you thought a piece of netlore might be a springboard for your own writing? Quite likely. But inevitably, there are downsides to the internet and one of them is ease of access to misinformation. Urban legends proliferate in easy-access soundbyte culture – they probably crop up in your Facebook feed. Currently trending are a photo of Hilary Clinton posing with Osama bin Laden (created in Photoshop) and a ‘report’ that Germany has banned pork under Sharia law (expanded from Daily Express and Daily Mail stories about isolated incidences involving schools/traders). Writers are, or should be, inquisitive, and one of our jobs is to ensure that, rather than jumping on bandwagons and believing what we read, we find out the facts. Even if you know a purported ‘story’ is actually rubbish but it’s a potential source of inspiration, check out the facts behind the legend. If you’re writing non-fiction, check the facts and when you’ve finished, check them again to make sure you haven’t missed an update.

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Got a five year plan? You set the targets, we'll help you hit them Everything you need to know before you write your novel New series: Shelf life - Top authors pick their favourite reads Reinventing Shakespeare: Be inspired by the Bard Publishing: Behind the scenes - Follow a book from manuscript to publication Star interview: Reader success - Costa Book of the Year winner Frances Hardinge Writers' News: 20 packed pages of publishing opportunities and £80,608 in writing prizes

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