Rough Drift

"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.

About me, Rough Drift and it’s rules!

Rough Draft, but that’s not how my mind works. See what I did there?

I started this project because of the ideas, man, the ideas! I couldn’t find anything to read about what I was interested in, or I realized I could just write a story about the idea instead of hoping and waiting for someone to create a video game distraction about it. That seemed to satisfy. So I began with my limited scope and over time, I culd widen the concepts.

Every post here is a rough draft, edited and adjusted a bit before posting. Every post can very well meet with additional revision when I feel the need. Soon, I will have to select the right ones, pour on a full edit and rewrite and edit again, and consider a collection release. A project like that would increase understanding of the craft itself. The goal of this page is to learn how to put out a great story in flash-fiction size. The idea itself came from my stays in hotels. Many, many hotels. How much awesome story can we fit on that small hotel notepad?

Here are the rules:

Flash fiction is somewhere around 500 words and that’s about my ability. We have one notepad in that hotel room, one piece of receipt paper in our pockets from that client dinner or the boarding pass you didn’t throw away happens to have a blank backside. In theory, a small piece of notepaper is about the right size to hold anywhere from 200 to 600 words. (Be careful how large you write.) One night, I noticed the relationship, and since I have quite a bit of time in my hotel stays during the week, I might as well see what I can do.

Therefore, the rule is to write a story that would only fit on that one sheet. The whole thing has to fit, and it winds up as the rough draft in it’s rawest form. Since its such a tiny space, this means you have to work short, brief and choppy. Do not waste space. Do not even begin to use modifiers or fluff. Make everything connected to everything else if you can. Every line is important to all other parts. Strip it down and make it tight. That is what I am trying to learn here and if you feel like it, give it a shot the next time you’re on a business trip.

So, how will I succeed and what do I hope to learn?

My success will come from making a story, fleshing it out and eventually rewriting and editing it into a solid work of flash fiction. They say you have to write to improve, so I’m seeing that happen by repeating that task again and again. If I can do that, and have correctly applied The Elements of Style to it, then I will consider it a success. I’m trying to learn here, that’s all, and apply that to larger projects. I know I need to start small. We all do.


I’m an airline pilot with a creative mind. Two things that don’t necessarily work together. Once my children began forming their own imaginations, my brain fired up again and now it won’t stop. I’ve got ideas, man! Big ideas! These are just the small ones that are already breeding themselves into ideas bigger than I can tackle, so I work my way up and soon I’ll give a novelette a shot. Perhaps more. I’m at least realistic with what I can do right now.

Let me know your thoughts, please. This experience is a self-inflicted project, but I’m sure others can try it out and see how it benefits them. Feedback is important, so I can tell what it reads like to others. Where are you confused or unsure of what’s going on? Comment on what you like or dislike, or wish to offer support, or would like to see more of something in particular. Anything is helpful, and I would appreciate it. I will respond. Thank you for your time.


2 comments on “About me, Rough Drift and it’s rules!

  1. Pingback: 1.) The first incident. | roughdrift

  2. ellisnelson
    May 12, 2016

    I like your idea. I have little bits of paper with lists and ideas all over the place. I don’t have the concentration to do a whole story at once. Things evolve over a long period.

    Liked by 1 person

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