I have, over time, developed a new technique for writing Fictional Stories. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now but have recently gotten to be very good at it.
At night, right after I cut out the light and am laying in the dark, I turn to some novel or story I’m writing. I then visualize part of the story or a scene from the story in my mind as if I’m one of the characters. Then try to see it in my head as if it were an actual experience that I am part of.
At first I did this as if I were seeing a film or movie or play (from a third person point of view). But then I decided that I would do away with that step entirely and simply insert myself into the scene and have the scene unfold as if it were a real (and not recorded) experience. Instead of thinking in terms of words and pictures and stories and characters now I’m “experiencing fictional reality” in my head as if these experiences are real and occurring to me. In that way it’s not hard to transform these scenes into artificial (or maybe a better term would be parallel, or virtual) memories and then when I take to writing again it’s much more like remembering something you’ve already experienced than making it up. First I experience the scene, from beginning to end, and only then write it, but not just from imagination, from memory. This seems to have two effects: it makes writing fiction much more fun, because even though it’s fiction it is like it is real, and secondly it seems to have improved the overall literary quality of my fiction. Especially from the point of view of characterization and dialogue. In other words the story becomes “hot” in your own mind and a “personal experience” rather than just the imagined experiences of your characters.
I’ve gotten pretty good at it with much practice. The other night I saw a ship in a fictional story which was unlike any ship design I’ve ever seen before, complete with a different type of mast and rigging system (it was a sailing ship in a fantasy story) and overall design that I didn’t think I would have ever considered or considered writing about had it not been for the “experience it first technique.”
But because I experienced it first the ship was, well, it was like I was both the ship designer (shipwright) and the boat master of the voyage. I think I may have developed something very useful here, because doing it this way it’s less like writing than it is experiential, and my mind doesn’t get divided into “writer” or “inventor” but different aspects of my mind all seem to work in synthesis.
I am calling the Technique, “Experiential Fiction,” or “Remembered/Memory Fiction.”
By the way, this is much more like writing fiction as if you were writing a song or a poem, by experience and memory, rather than entirely through imagination and invention. Although in your own mind you must first imagine and invent the story.
But this is far easier to do by taking your own prior experiences and memories and simply rearranging them in a newly imagined fashion through your mental and psychological storyline rather than trying to imagine your story “cold.”
I also think this would be an excellent technique for both game design, and for invention, and recently I have been experimenting with using the technique to do both.