Take two pieces of paper, or make two columns on one sheet of paper. At the top of one, write the word “light.” At the top of the other, write the word “dark.” Free-write for five minutes on each, free-associating from that word. What do you think of when you think of light and dark?
Next, take two fresh sheets of paper (or two columns on a sheet of paper). Once again, write those words at the top of each. This time, set a timer for fifteen minutes and deliberately list out unexpected ways to represent or embody those concepts. Use your first list as inspiration–pick out anything there that strikes you as unusual, or, if you stuck with the conventional, use it as a sort of reverse inspiration.
If you run out of ideas, here are some realms you might explore:
- character traits
- plot types, twists, and archetypes
- moral values
- religious values
Finally, go through and circle anything that strikes you as inspiring and interesting, that could deserve a bit of further development, particularly with respect to a piece of writing.