Our Family Lines memoir writing prompt.

The Darkness and the Light

Mid-winter can be dark and bleak for some. Did you know that the third Monday of January, has been called “Blue Monday” because of a mix of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the holiday credit card bills. However, January and February are is also when the light starts returning. You can use both the darkness and the light in your writing.


Juxtaposition is the technique of comparing and contrasting. Juxtaposition is a literary device that can add layers to your memoir. You can use it with people, places, things and ideas. It’s a great way to put in description, too. Here is an example of light and darkness:

The darkness of that January night seemed to stretch far into the morning. But then, when the light started peeking through my window, it shone on all the cracks that had been hidden a few moments before. I wished it was night again.   

How to Use Juxtaposition

You don’t have to spell everything out. Readers aren’t stupid. They’ll get it. To use the above example, you don’t have to add: I wished it was night again because then it will hide everything away.

Experiment with juxtaposition. Use it in good vs evil, old vs new, joy vs pain, etc. Find different ways to look at things and enjoy creating new combinations on the page. Have fun trying to write new ways of saying things. Go ahead…use it.

 What have you juxta-created in your story today? Tell me!

Memoir prompt:

Write about a time there was both darkness and light in your life.

Describe the events.

Has this time taught you anything about yourself?

“There were corpses here and there and pools of blood. I remember seeing a butterfly flutter up and down that street. Summer does not abdicate.”
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables