It came from Felix Taylor

It came from Felix Taylor

Felix Taylor’s story “The Year of the Bright Lands” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 25 March 2022. Metaphorosis

The idea to write “The Year of the Bright Lands” came with an image of a row of crops suspended over an abyss, buffeted around by a mysterious wind from below. Then came the decision to write a story about two children who find a way down into the abyss. I don’t usually go for plot when I start writing, so I began with a voice and the image of the abyss and constructed the narrative around it. I quickly scrapped the suspended crops, but the abyss was interesting. What if people lived nearby and worshipped it as their conception of eternity? As the story took shape, I realised that there were certain threads I wanted to explore, such as the implications for a religion based on darkness, and how life might work without sunlight. As for where it went after that, I find that most stories I write end in deus ex machina or what Tolkien called ‘eucatastrophe’ – something mystical happens out of the blue with nothing to account for it. It’s never satisfying for the editors who read them, and it’s just an easy way out for me who doesn’t have to think about a good conclusion. This was the case for the first draft of ‘The Year of the Bright Lands’, and the editor, justifiably, didn’t take to it. Which made me stop and think, and the story ended up a far better creation because of it.

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