I've been taking my little camera with me everywhere to keep up with the challenge of posting a new picture every day over at the photoblog. I could never do this for a living, but while working on this project I've been learning more about light and shadows, composition and perspective, and how to wait for the right moment rather than snap in haste. I've never thought of photography as just another form of storytelling, but turns out it is.*
Sometimes when you're taking pictures in odd light, however, very weird things happen. Like this shot I took tonight of the side of a neighbor's house. It was getting close to sunset but still completely daylight outside, and one of the big windows was reflecting the sunset. So I took a shot of the window with the sunset at my back, and ended up with this image (click on it to see larger version):
I swear, it was not that dark out.** It was still full daylight. I'm guessing the reflected sunlight made my camera go wonky. Or for a split second midnight descended six hours early and retreated just as fast. Or the neighbors have a really good security system that messes with digital cameras. Whatever it was, it produced a very cool, spooky effect.
Sometimes when you're writing that happens, too. Words seem to come out of nowhere and arrange themselves in ways you never expected or even considered. You know what you intended to get on the page, but in the process of writing it it simply comes out another way -- weird, strange, different, whatever you want to call it. Spooky writing.
When that kind of thing happens in one of my stories, my first impulse is to dissect it and analyze it (so I can figure it out and control it, of course) but I find myself instead backing away from it every time. Those spooky moments happen for a reason, and even when I don't exactly understand why, they're powerful. They feel right, where they are, the way they are. Other than an editing pass for spelling and grammar I don't alter or cut them.
How do you guys handle those spooky moments on the page (or anywhere else, for that matter?)
*I want credit for not making the obvious flash fiction pun.
**Added: I checked my camera and sure enough, I took a shot of the window before I zoomed in and snapped the spooky one. The before shot is proof of how light it was outside.