People ask me where the ideas come from; why I started writing Light Funnel. Sometimes there’s a specific source for an idea, but this story was born out of nothing. I added ideas to it later, only some of which I can trace.
I started writing it a few years ago. Its origins stem from an evening in 2009, I think. I was doing a writing exercise which consists of writing first lines until you find one that you just continue. One of the first lines I wrote was this:
There once was a man.
I’ve no idea why that was an idea that took me anywhere else; it seems rather uninspiring now. For some reason I kept on writing. The rest of the paragraph looks like this:
He had a tall hat and a long coat and his name was Adam. He lived in a street of identical grey houses with railings outside. The street curved across the top of a hill. From the top of the hill, Adam could see countryside of other hills covered in fields and woods with mountains beyond them.
That’s just starting to have some recognisable themes. I continued writing, realising I was adding in things that could be picked up later in a longer story. Central to the story was a light funnel and light sponges. But then it was time for bed and I thought – “Ta da! Short story.”
I showed it to a few people and asked them if they thought it needed to be continued. I was a bit cross when they validated my suspicion and told me that it did indeed need to be part of a longer story. “Damn,” I thought. “Now I’ll have to write it.”
I started it in 2010. The first job was to work out what the light funnel was actually for. Everything else grew from there.