Walking in the Dark


When my brother and I were younger, we made up something called The Dark Game. When we had sleepovers with friends, we’d shut off all the lights in the basement. Everybody would hide while the seeker counted upstairs. When we were done hiding, the seeker would stumble down into the pitch black and grope and feel and listen for the hiders. Sometimes, for fun, we’d chuck pillows at the seeker. Or, if we were feeling reckless, we’d dart from one spot to another, discombobulating the seeker by making weird noises. If you got caught, you’d have to sit on the couch and stay there for the rest of the game, unless another brave hider decided to sneak over and free you. Our friends loved the dark game.
Sometimes, when I’m writing, I feel like I’m playing the dark game all over again. I feel like I’m groping in the dark, trying to find my characters, my scenes, my stories. And they’re darting around, chucking hints in my direction, but always out of reach.
My husband asked me yesterday if I ever stop thinking about my story. He asked this after I started talking to him about Bethany… again. I will be the first to admit that my stories consume me. But in my defense, they are nearly impossible to put away when the plot keeps growing and changing. Plotting out a story is such a frustratingly invigorating time. Invigorating because there are times a few of the players come into view, and I know I’m that much closer to reaching my goal. Frustrating because just when I think I’ve pinned down a scene, an idea sneaks up and frees it from the couch, and I have to start back at square one. I keep waiting for somebody to turn on the lights. The game would be so much easier. But then, what’s the fun in that?
Question to ponder: For nostalgia’s sake, what fun games did you make up as a child?


9 thoughts on “Walking in the Dark

  1. Katie

    Laurie – you guys always have the BEST childhood games! There’s no family like the glynn family. πŸ™‚

  2. tlweaver5

    We made up a similar game when we were kids. We played it in our wrestling room, as we did so many of the games back then. There was a window in the wrestling room, so it was never completely dark, so we put a blanket over the head of the person doing the seeking. We called it Ghost. Same premise as your game though.

    Another fun one didn’t really have a name, but we’d put someone in the middle of the wrestling mat, and they’d swing around a wrestling dummy in a circle. Everyone would have to jump over the dummy as it passed by. With each pass, the dummy would get progressively higher. It was great fun to see everyone eventually get wiped out by what I think was probably around a 25 lb. dummy. Ah, memories!

    We made up so many games when we were kids, even tweeking games to make them better. Sorry to say, I think my own kids are missing out on this. Too many video games nowadays and not enough running around the neighborhood with all the other kids. Sadly, it’s just not as safe as it was when we were kids.

  3. Katie

    Ryan – tents! I loved making tents! We were the best tentmakers. πŸ™‚

    Erica, Ah – yes, my husband is such a trooper. He is always the first to read my stories – which means he has to listen to the first draft – which is usually never very good. He’s a keeper.

    Your welcome, Cindy! I’m glad you could relate. It’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one!

    I’m so pumped because I think (stressing the word think) that I have Velvet Sky plotted out – scenes and all (I stayed up last night to finish). The lights are on – or at least, I have a super-powered flashlight. Things always change though… my characters like to take the story on and usually thwart my carefully laid plans. We shall see…

  4. Cindy

    I can definitely relate when you say you feel as though you’re groping around in the dark sometimes when you work on your story. I feel like that particularly in the beginning when I don’t know my characters very well, when I am deciding which way to organize the plot and which scenes to put before or after others. It’s an adventure but a challenge as well. Don’t worry, there are other writers out there who know exactly what you’re going through! Thanks for the post!

  5. Erica Vetsch

    Cool game. I think I might play this with the kids this weekend.

    We played ‘hot box’ a baseball game where you tried to steal bases and score ‘runs’ before you got tagged.

    And spouses of novelists are a longsuffering breed. My husband does the ‘pat-pat-rub-rub’ on the back of my hand while his eyes glass over when I go in-depth on one of my stories.

  6. Ryan_McGivern

    Oh and to answer your question…you already know about the dark game, but something else I loved as a kid (which I guess is not really a game), but it was fun…was building forts in the basement with blankets, furniture, and chairs. I may do that this weekend at home for old time sakes πŸ™‚

  7. Ryan_McGivern

    Wow…nostalgia city! I couldn’t read that post without smiling. That was a great game πŸ™‚

    I totally hear what you are saying about your story. I seem to always be thinking about my story in the back of my mind and when I try to work on it, it is like playing the dark game. Great analogy! I hope all is going well with Beneath the Velvet Sky πŸ™‚ I will have to give you an update on Elrynn and Ryad sometime πŸ™‚

  8. Katie

    Thanks Jaime! I feel that way lots of times!

  9. Jaime

    Great post! Don’t you just wish sometimes you could pick up your book and read it because you’re so into the story you can’t think and type fast enough? πŸ™‚
    Nice blog, fellow ACFW-er


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