Old Courthouse in Rockville, Maryland

What sort of evil is happening in there?

It’s funny how ordinary things during the day can seem so out of the ordinary at night, or during a storm, or after a scary movie. The right lighting (or lack of it) can take a regular scene and turn it into something worthy of a horror film. I think the same is probably true in stories. Shed just the right light on a character and they can seem like the hero, or the villain. After all, every villain is the hero of his own story.

The same scene, but with more light. Not nearly as scary!

The same scene, but with more light. Not nearly as scary!

I went to see Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters yesterday. I ended up going by myself because that sort of movie is really not the hubby’s idea of a good evening out. I’ll have a review of it on Friday, but after watching something like that alone, in an empty theater (almost empty…there was one other person in there. It startled me every time he shifted in his seat), I was more than a bit skittish leaving the theater at dusk. The happy scenes I’d seen on the way in became more Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on the way out. Especially with the empty tree limbs all over the place. Luckily, I had my camera with me so I could take advantage of the mood and then laugh it off with a frappuccino.

It did make me think, though, about the power of lighting and the power of the story teller. With one flick of a spotlight, a writer can make you fall in love with a character or afraid to open your door at night because that same character might be on the other side.

So the question is, what kind of story will you tell today? Will there be sunshine? Or, dare I say it, shades of gray?