Where do we store our imagination? Do we go about our days observing our reality only to occasionally dip our toes into the vastlessness of a communal pool of imagination? Are creatives and worldbuilders just siphoning that imagination into sippy cups we all can enjoy while mostly-engaged with reality? The more focus I place on “The Story,” and the more time I spend trying to create it, the more I wonder about these abstract concepts.
Spoilers?: Minor (my worldbuilding process)
The map above vaguely conveys the world of “The Story.”
The gray “spray paint” represents the foggy regions of my imagination that obscure the storytelling process, like how if you saw a movie ten years ago, you might remember some major scenes or story beats, but probably forgetting all the minutia in between. Most of those details are unnecessary. The color of the car one of the characters drives might not matter narratively, but in terms of the complete package, it matters. You can’t visually have a no-color car.
The parts that are more green are less “foggy.”
The green represents the results of those sippy cups of imagination I’ve already taken from that vastless communal pool of imagination. Some bits were taken from existing creative projects, some from reality, and some from that unexplainable ether from which John and Trishna just appeared. Through continually communing, interacting, imagining, or developing their characters, I’ve come to meet them more fully, see their flaws, fears, hopes, and dreams.
Are these delusions of madness?
Perhaps. I think it’s worth exploring this fully because how else can we explain intricate worlds of Lord of the Rings or even Cowboy Bebop? Both those and millions of others evoke a lived-in feeling. They feel real. Why? Is it because, in some small way, somewhere out there in some vast imaginarium, a person or group tapped into something wholly unreal to create something tangible? Or did they conveniently string together enough narrative fabric to spin a yarn?
This is all unknown territory to me.
I didn’t go to school for creative writing. I don’t even like reading fiction all that much! “The Story” is just such a persistent part of my everyday imagination that, while I can turn it off to focus on doing what I must, it’s the project I keep thinking about in my idle moments. Others might wonder what they want to eat for dinner, worry about this, or wish for that. I enjoy this little imaginarium I’ve built for myself, collecting together all the ideas about John and Trishna.
I’m fascinated by writing “The Story.”
Both uncovering the narrative and developing the tools to convey that narrative have excited me enough to drag my ass out of bed at 5AM, attempt to write at 6AM, actually get going by 7AM, and find myself at nearly 10AM more excited than I could be at any concert, playing any videogame, or anything else by writing.
I wouldn’t tap into this imaginarium if it weren’t fun!
|Sources: “The Story’s Imaginarium” …itself?|
|Inspirations: While writing the endtable footnote for “Different Than Me,” the word imaginarium just appeared out of nowhere, and the thoughts for this essay snapped together.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Picture: Explained in-line.|
|Written On: June 2nd|
|Last Edited: June 2nd|