Memories are often like torn spider webs. You follow the thin thread a little unsteadily and then suddenly there’s an open space. What’s missing? You look down to the next tier of strands, or perhaps up, hoping for a closed portion, but the ends straggle in the emptiness.
It’s a muddle, like an early morning gray fog that shifts around you in swirls.
Phantom of the Opera’s opening scenes, shot in black and white, give the same sense of movement, as different objects fade in and out of highlight with different degrees of shadow. Why is it important to remember that particular item? As the camera light passes over each object it further shades them like a passage of time. One student commentated that; “there are shades of gray in all of life’s stages.”
So when we look back into memory, to gauge our progress or to find a foothold for the future, sometimes uncertainty hangs in wisps like the spider web. And then a slight flush of air pushes another strand into view—just over there—just near the empty space. Now comes the decision. To jump, or not.
And suddenly the image is blazing with color.
1. Choose a turning point memory in your own life, or for your character. Write it up with as many details as possible. Don’t worry about overwriting it. Pour in sensory specifics.
2. Now color code the sensory highlights as if you were filling in a stained glass window or a paint-by-number. Which color is predominant?
3. Now re-write as a scene capturing that particular focus.