What’s in the Shadows?

Turn off all the lights. If it’s still light, go into a room, like a bathroom, that doesn’t have much in the way of natural light. Turn on only a flashlight. Stare at the shadows on the walls for a few minutes.

As you sit alone, think about the shadows and the darkness.

What are the different shapes? What kind of creatures are hiding in the shadows? What are the shadows hiding?

What else do you notice? Are you creeped out? Are you comforted? Do you feel reassured?

What did the silence say to you? Or did you hear noises? Maybe an echo you couldn’t hear of someone talking in another part of the house, or the thunder of the washing machine.

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  1. mark says:

    My son was a shadow in his school’s Christmas play yesterday. Nice non-speaking part. A mother next to me asked if I had seen him yet and and I told her of course not as he’s ‘in character’. V random, sorry.

  2. Robin says:

    Mark – That’s cute.

    • mark says:

      …blimey, so are you! (I have happily married flirting rights – plus ‘other continent’ flirting rights as backup). BTW – I started my original comment and then remembered the little anecdote. I had no idea it was going to lead to a smile on my face that has spread thousands of miles. Writing is good, thanks

  3. Robin says:

    Glad writing is good. I’ve spent the time since I initially read your comment trying to figure out how one would portray a shadow on-stage. Led to a different kind of writing exercise than I’d originally had in mind…

  4. This is a great exercise for getting into the right frame of mind before writing a scary “forest” scene. The only other thing I could add would be to turn on some Edgar Allen Poe music too. I’m shivering at the thought of what I could write in this environment. This would also be a great idea for someone writing a children’s book. I might want to try it with Alanna and let her imagination tell me what she sees in the shadows. Very cool! Thanks for sharing, Robin.

    Mark, I love your comment about your son being “in character.” Only a drama enthusiast would “get” this.

    • mark says:

      Hi Michelle, just tidying up…..your comment made me think about my comment and I realised that what
      actually happened was that I said, “…of course not, he’s a shadow”, and my friend replied, “….in character”. She used to act.

Please share your random thoughts.


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