Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Forays in Fiction: Lighting Your Writing

Use of Lighting in Casablanca to Reflect
the Pervasive Sense of Imprisonment
Public Domain
Growing Readership By "Lighting Up Your Writing" | Bestseller Labs:  'via Blog this'

This article over at Jonathan Gunson's  Bestseller Labs is fascinating.  In Gunson's introduction to the guest post by Claudette Young, he talks about how the use of shadows that look like prison bars in the 1942 movie, Casablanca, was purposeful on the part of the director to telegraph to the audience the sense of imprisonment pervasive in that town where the desperate yet hopeful gravitated in their attempts to leave the sphere of influence of the Nazi regime.

Claudette Young's guest post begins:
Anyone can write a story, but not everyone illuminates with their words. And learning to emphasize without red flags, spotlights, or extraneous punctuation is a skill worth the effort...  read on
She goes on to use examples from both screen and print.  The first third or so discusses the way each of the CSI series has it's own ambiance established by a signature lighting scheme.  As interesting as that was I was beginning to get impatient as I'd clicked on the link for the promise of 'Lighting Up Your Writing' and really wanted examples of how it's done with words that are meant to stand on their own to create the image and ambiance in the reader's mind--unlike script writing which is just a recipe for the director and stage lighting specialists to follow who inevitably interpret it with the mediums they use.

But the rest of the article does focus on the written word--stories and novels and non-fiction so it fulfilled the promise.

The article is well worth the read for any writer wanting advice on how to increase sensory detail (especially the lighting of setting) in their stories.

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