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Author's selfieI want to write more stories. Particularly, I want to write stories while driving for Drive-By Stories. I’m out of practice. For the past couple years, I haven’t written much. My attention has been mostly on school. I’m off this summer, so I’m spending more time on some of my other projects. I’ve been dictating each morning on my commute. And I have managed to come up with a few stories, or partial stories. I haven’t gone through the transcribed drafts to write coherent drafts of the stories yet. I’m hoping that being more organized will help.

Sticky Ideas for Drive-By Stories

I posted the other day about relaunching some habit streaks. Dictating each day fulfills the writing requirement, but I’d like it to be more productive. Ideally, I want to get in the car, start the recorder (I only work hands-free), and dictate the story with a minimum of digression and useless chatter. I have nothing against useless chatter. I just want to make my commute more productive.

This morning was productive. Not because I wrote a story, but for developing an idea that I had yesterday. I’m going to start doing some sticky brainstorming.

4 Steps to Sticky Ideas

  1. Briefly, write a story concept each day in my journal (share on Instagram).
  2. Copy the story concept to a sticky note.
  3. Stick the note on the dash before leaving as a reminder of the story idea.
  4. Peel the note off the dash and stick it on the journal page after dictation is complete.

By adding new ideas each day (potentially more than one), eventually I’ll build up a backlog of story ideas. I only dictate for Drive-By Stories on days I go to the library.

Story idea 1: #drivebystories drivebystories.com

A post shared by Ryan M. Williams (@ryanwriter) on

In this example, I’ve used the elements Damon Knight described when writing about creating short stories. Character, Situation, Setting, and Emotion provide a way of thinking about the story. I’ve defined a particular character, a potential title, and a short summary.

Everything is subject to change.

It’s an idea. It gives me something to work with. I’ll see how it goes. I ordered some new Post-Its. Who doesn’t love new office supplies?


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