"The Light" - A Silly Writing Exercise

This is just a quick post to talk about a writing exercise I came up with the other day, but sadly never got a chance to use with my tutoring client. The best part of this task is that you don’t really have to write anything until the very end, because it mainly serves as a thought pattern you can take, tweak as you’d like, and use your own way!

First, imagine that you bear witness to a sudden, bright light - Describe the light. What shades does it have? Does anything obscure it? You don’t need specifics for this part; just work through describing the light, itself, and what effects it has on you. The goal here is to be descriptive, to warm up your writing muscles, and to set a tone.

Second, work your way back, a bit, to the source of it. What caused it? A magical spell? An anti-matter reactor? A simple flood-light? Whatever it is, the goal is to be able to identify the source and the nature of the burst - and, thus, start sketching out what it means for those who see it! Speaking of…

Third, work your way forward to who actually sees it. Are these mythical heroes faced with an impossibly dangerous demon or god-gone-mad? Are they watching the birth of a universe? Is it a starship? The goal of this part is to start planning out the impact that the life will have on your characters.

Fourth, think about the characters! What impact might this light have on your characters? Maybe they just don’t even care, or think it’s just the sun? Or, perhaps, they know this light is an impending threat. The goal here is to start expanding your tale.

Fifth and finally, work it all together into a few paragraphs, or at least some basic notes. Your over-all goal with regards to the task is to this exercise is to develop some sort of product based on the nature of the light. Sure, the bright light probably serves as your introduction, in a sort of, “Let there be light!” fashion -but what if it is only the mid-point of your tale? You can invert things, starting at the characters doing whatever it is they are doing before the light flashes!

Again, work with this in a way that you enjoy, and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think! Also; thank you all so very much for helping me reach 750+ followers on Twitter. Yeah, maybe that’s part of why I’m writing this post, I guess?

My warmest regards,
—Jesse Pohlman

Jesse Pohlman is a writer from Long Island, New York. Check out the rest of this page for information on where you can pick up his Science-Fiction/Fantasy novels, or just click here. Also, don’t forget to check out the latest episode of my Dystopian Review mini-series on the Terminator franchise, where I go in depth about the central installment of the project, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Thanks again for reading; let me know how you dig the exercise!