When it gets dark out, don't put those cameras away. You can get some seriously cool shots in the dark, and don't think you have to use the flash. Taking pictures of things that are lit up in the night generally doesn't need a flash. With these fireworks, it was almost like daytime.
Go with the strengths of the darkness--glowing flames reflecting on a lake. If you're worried about blurring (which is always a concern in the dark without a flash), put the camera down on a solid surface. I used the fence around the lake to help me hold the camera steady for this shot. It works like a charm. A tripod is great, but it's not always convenient to carry around. Just work with what's there.
Sometimes I might use a flash when I'm far enough away that the light won't bounce back just so I don't get any blur when the subject is in motion like this ferris wheel.
Sometimes the blur is just what I'm going for. In the Tower of Terror--the blurs look almost like ghostly presences.
To get good blur pictures the point is to move the camera. Duh, eh? After years of working to keep the camera still, though, it was a revelation to me. Move the camera? On purpose? Yep. Totally. It can be really fun. Just play. Probably 1 shot out of 10 will be really cool.
Move the camera in wavy lines, in circles, squares, spell things out (if it's dark enough, you'll have time to do it).
Just go for it. Embrace the blur.
Application to writing? Don't think you can't do something a new way because you've always done it differently. Experiment. It might turn out great, just like taking blurry pictures in the dark.