Most of us agree, the best writers are avid readers.  It’s tough to read, write and survive humanity. So, let that road trip supply a unique form of creative writing time.

All you need is a car, two drivers, an audio book (a really good audio book which means you enjoy the author’s work and accept the narrator as OK – A lousy narrator can damage a good story.) a pen, mini sticky notes and of course a destination. The best destination is two or more days away and a place you’re eager to explore once you arrive. Your minds will be open to a flood of ideas creating new ways to express what you want to write as you listen to a good story.

It’s also helpful if you and your driving partner agree on the choice of audio book. We take the max our local library will allow and if either one of us doesn’t like the beginning we shuck it for the next one until we’ve got a unanimous decision. Our latest audio books were picked up at Cracker Barrel Restaurant for $4.50 a week each since we’d have to mail back the ones we would have taken from New Jersey’s libraries once we arrived in Florida. (Beware, you leave a hefty deposit with Cracker Barrel to insure you will return their audio books on time and their choice is limited compared to libraries.)

It’s good to have a story brewing in your head, but not necessary.

Get seated, buckle up, and  slip that disc into its reader or activate your handheld device that’s synced to the radio of your car. Since you’re the passenger you get to take  notes on those mini stickies. Only one idea per sticky. (I prepared a file folder by placing empty sticky notes on the folder’s inside front and inside back). It gave us 12 notes per side and made it easy to jot a thought and move to the next note without losing the enjoyment of the story.

We chose, Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg’s THE HEIST narrated by Scott Brick, and subsequently listened to THE CHASE book 2 in the series FOX AND O’HARE (each about 9 hrs of listening). We both preferred THE CHASE. Loved the characterizations.

When it came to driver changing, Duayne was ready with his part in the notation and we filled the good part of both sides with notes about action or character comments that evoked laughter, disgust or some other emotion.

Perhaps the cleverest ideas reaped in this manner come from comments you share with the other listener or listeners. Duayne and I came away with a technique to use for identifying characters who are gossiping about Ursula von Menglebort in Book 2 CREATION.

Give it a try and let us know if you found this idea helpful.

Better yet, let us know how you’ve turned a road trip into creative writing.

Happy reading/listening,

Sandy and Duayne

Note: Our favorite narrators are Roy Kelly & Patricia True of IZ~ and George Guidall of many books.