I notice that we get to see the moon a lot during the day around here. There is something haunting and beautiful about it sitting in the sky, the pale grey of clouds, but round and still where it waits for the planetary kind of spin that pushes it to other skies. And of course, when night falls, the brightness! How it reflects the sunlight lets the darkness become its own kind of beauty. The contrast is all it takes to change the moon from a gentle addition, to the centre of your attention.
I think that most feelings, emotions, are at their peak when something is there to contrast them. When writing horror, the scary bits need to fall inside reassuring moments. Romance comes with a helping of distrust and heartache. Dark fantasy is contrasted when there is a bright, vivid moon shining down upon it, the beautiful moments that show you just how twisted everything else really is.
Even in shorter fiction, there has to be particular contrast, so the readers, and indeed even the writer can see just how poignant the central theme is. And sometimes that theme can blend into its surroundings first, waiting for the moment of contrast to truly show how important it is.
These thoughts come to me when I feel like I’ve perhaps deviated too far from course. When the scene runs on into characters sharing love and laughter in the lead-up to a challenging moment, I stop and realise that without these moments of brightness, the dark would not seem so expansive.