Sceadu is the old English term for shadow. So, in one word, the answer would be the shadow, or more accurately, the human shadow. However, it is not the grey shape that inspires me. It is what that shape represents. But first, let’s look at how a shadow is formed. In physics, it is formed when an object blocks light. So a shadow cannot take shape without light. At the same time, the very aspect of blocking light lends darkness to the entire concept. It is this duality which I find extremely intriguing.
I have been fascinated by shadows for a very long time now. They are an indelible part of our lives and yet relegated to playing second fiddle most of the time. They are inseparable, growing and shrinking, popping up from different sides, but oft neglected. During the day, they appear docile; at night, they can take on more ominous hues. But they are always there. Why? Because even in the darkest of times, there is always a ray of light. And it is this aspect of shadows that essentially helped formulate the plot for Sceadu.
The treatment of the shadow in Sceadu, however, does not have a basis in physics but in psychology. While I won’t elaborate any more, leaving that part for the readers to discover in the book, I shall say this. The concept of the shadow from a psychological perspective is not very different from the shadow in physics, metaphorically speaking. It is this very idea woven intricately into mythology which makes Sceadu a thrilling yet believable fantasy. Just read the book. It will change the way you look at your shadow.
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