Notes from Conversation with Nick DiUlio

Finding story ideas is the most difficult part.

To find a story, start with what interests you. Ask “why am I interested in this?” If you aren’t interested, others probably won’t be either.

Good stories are timely, new, unique, and have some kind of tension.

What is the hook? What is the point of this story? Why do this story now?

Nick’s brainstorming on how he might approach the NJ symbols theme:

  • What are the least known or most obscure?
  • Why do these symbols exist?
  • Are all states the same?
  • How does the process work?
  • How did a specific symbol come to be “official”?
  • What is most recent symbol?
  • Who championed this particular symbol? Why?
  • Does the symbol have a specific, unique connection to the state? Or is it generic?
  • Wacky characters?
  • Wacky stories?
  • What are the human stories?
  • Why is it important to have symbols? Do they help define us?
  • What do these symbols say about New Jersey and its identity?
  • What are the ways these symbols are used in practical ways?
  • What is the human element?
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