Full moon darkness

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.



7 thoughts on “Full moon darkness

  1. Beautifully said. I agree. Sometimes I run across the piece where there’s nothing wrong with it technically, but there’s something lacking, and it is that contrast that’s missing. Usually, it makes me think the writer is young,

    1. Thank you, too, Nina! I think it’s easy for people to get caught up in one selling point for a story and just forget to add in the rest. 😉


  2. “You’ve gotta have the drama there, or the comedy doesn’t play.” ~Peter Tork, regarding the Monkees TV episode in which his character sells his soul to the devil for the ability to play the harp. Yes, in a 60s sitcom “for kids”. And it’s one of the show’s best episodes for exactly the reason you said: The contrast between the two tones enhances them both.

    1. Funny enough, many excellent examples of this show up in things targeted for a younger audience; maybe to make the themes more obvious? But I tell you what, I still love heaps of things designed as children’s entertainment, so they must do something right!


      1. That’s very true, although one of my favorite shows ever (& imo, the greatest children’s show ever made), The Adventures of Pete & Pete, did almost no contrast at all, but rather simply blended the drama & comedy into the most brilliant surreal epic tales of childhood. I’m pretty sure Ty has watched his share of Pete & Pete; he can vouch for me here.

        But yeah, a lot of kids’ stuff is outstanding, especially when it doesn’t condescend, when it treats its audience with respect. Chuck Jones once said about Looney Tunes, “We didn’t make them for kids. We made them for ourselves.” Guys like Jones and Tex Avery and Bob Clampett didn’t worry about whether their stuff would inspire kids to run into rocks with tunnels painted on them; they just worried about whether the finished product was funny & well-drawn.

        Similarly, McRobb & Viscardi wrote Big Pete’s narration with the expected vocabulary of a child, but also with a depth of thought often mistakenly assumed to be well beyond adolescent capabilities. The Monkees were wacky & (mostly) inoffensive, yet at the same time UNBELIEVABLY subversive & anarchic, especially for live-action, because series creators Bob Rafelson & Bert Schneider were themselves subversive & anarchic. They were making the show as much for themselves as for their intended audience, & the passion showed in the finished product.

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