I don’t know about you, readers, but I always find it challenging to write creatively about something I’m not emotionally attached to. It often results in either mediocre writing or worse, copy-catting. When it comes to writing about the police, I can’t help but get all choked up thinking about my own experiences. Since this is a blog about creative writing, I’ll do my best to avoid becoming too attached to my topic. That being said, I still find it difficult to write about something I’m not emotionally attached to. So without further adieu, here’s my first attempt at describing the lights of the Austin Police Department.
Deep, Dark Vibrancy
There’s something about driving down a city street at night that makes everything else disappear. All the lights in the building are ablaze, and for a brief moment, the only thing you see is the reflection from the street lamps and the twinkling of the stars. There’s just something about those few hours at night that feel just a little bit different than the rest of the day. This is especially the case when you’re driving through a city where the cops are a real presence and something to be feared. Those of you who live in Texas will understand what I mean.
The deep, dark vibrancy of police lights is a common sight when driving down East Austin streets. It’s not unusual to see at least five or six different police cars pull over a car you’re in, or even some of the cops on foot. East Austin is a hot spot for police activity, and it sometimes feels like you’re driving through a war zone. You’re not alone, though, as those of you in Austin know that there’s always someone out there to keep you company, whether it’s a cop, a security guard, or an angry motorist. It’s dangerous to go anywhere near these streets at night, but it’s also an exhilarating look at a place you might not get to see during the day. It’s easy for tourists to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and not pay attention to where they’re going or what kind of trouble they might get into. This is why you always have to keep your eyes open and make sure you’re obeying all the traffic lights and signs. It would be a shame to get a ticket or a crash just because you were having fun and didn’t have enough attention paid to your surroundings.
I have a much more pleasant memory of Austin’s police light, where it’s not so much about the deepness of the colors but rather the fireworks show that often accompanies them. There’s something about the way those lights change and morph that make them even more vibrant against the black sky. The combination of the black night and bright lights is like an image straight out of an Indian summer sunset. So on those hot summer nights when it gets a little too much to bear outside, you can always find solace in watching a brilliant light show across the landscape.
There are so many different styles of police lights, and they are all pretty cool to look at. One of my personal favorites is the spinning beam light, which is also known as a pulsing effect or a strobing light. It’s a great alternative for photographers who want to shoot something other than a traditional static image. The strobing effect is most commonly seen in crime scenes and traffic stops because it helps the officer or detective stay alert and focused on their surroundings while also allowing others to better see them. Another great style is the bubble light, which is perfect for highlighting objects or large areas in a way that makes them pop out from the darkness. You can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned high-intensity discharge lamp either, and they also make for the perfect accent light when used in pairs or in a wall of light.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to describing any sort of light is to think about the way you might see it in real life. For instance, if you have something similar to the spinning beam lights I mentioned above, try writing about them as though you were looking at them through a car’s windshield at night. You can also use your own experiences as a reference point for the sort of light that might occur to you. Think about how you typically see or experience lights in general and apply those same principles to your writing.
There are so many different colors that you can use when describing lights, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to limit yourself to using just black or white. The world is your oyster when it comes to the color palettes available to you when it comes to describing lights. Red is usually associated with fire, whether that’s the sort of fire you might see at a stadium or at a bonfire, the sort of conflagration a forest fire might spit out, or even the sort used in decorative painting or sculpture. It’s a bold choice and definitely something you need to think about when using it in a car or on a building’s roof.
Spiral lights are a great option for anyone who wants to experiment with lighting without having a ton of different lights lying around the house. They’re also great for anyone who doesn’t have the room for a big collection of regular light bulbs or who wants to save some energy by using less lighting. Instead of using one large light bulb, you can fit multiple smaller ones into a spiral lamp and still get the same bright light!
Spiral lights are pretty easy to make, and you can get a head start by looking online for any type of lantern or decorative light you might find appealing. You can’t go wrong with a lantern that features a spinning, gold orb surrounded by white lights either. You’ll find tons of options depending on what sort of look you’re going for. Just remember that each spiral light needs its own electrical connection, so make sure you have the right type of lamp holder at the ready before you start screwing in the bulbs. You can’t put in the wrong type, and it’s quite possible that when you’re finished, you’ll need an electrician to help you figure out which one worked best for your situation.
Older Than It Seems
Older than it seems is a great style to describe some of those old-school police lights because it makes them even more appealing to look at. Just remember that they don’t make it easy to find, so be sure to apply some common sense when driving on unfamiliar streets at night. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re not sure who’s at the wheel because you’ve run out of gas or had a tire burst, especially since you’re most likely driving in a neighborhood with a lot of stop signs and traffic lights. It’s also a good idea to get a cell phone with a flashlight app so that you can easily flash the beam on your phone’s screen when needed.
Hopefully, this post gave you a better idea of how to describe police lights for a creative writing assignment. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different sorts of light bulbs and lamp shades out there, so think about what sort you have at home and make sure you apply this new knowledge when needed. Feel free to experiment with different styles and mixes of lights to see which ones you like best without feeling restricted by this post. Remember, if you can, try and see how you might describe the lights in a way a non-expert might understand them. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are lots of people out there who are more than happy to assist you with whatever you need, and I’m sure that’s the sort of help you want when you’re stuck on what to write about at the moment. Good luck out there.