Monday, 23 January 2012

Paracosm and the Writer


I have an imaginary friend. I admit it. In fact, I have many. They live in a world outside the real world in which we live, a world I know doesn't really exist, but it's terribly real.

This is known as PARACOSM.

What is Paracosm?
a prolonged fantasy world invented by children; can have a definite geography and language and history -- from dictionary.com
"Yes, Clarissa, but you're a writer. Of course you imagine these worlds. You need to in order to write about them."

True, but I don't write about this particular imaginary world. It's different. And I'm not crazy and I'm not the only writer who has created paracosms. Have you? That's the reason I had you fill out the five questions on my sidebar. Most people have created imaginary worlds as children with places and characters very real to them. And, as adult writers we have also created imaginary worlds in order to write fiction.

So, what is the difference between a fantasy world used in a work of fiction and paracosm?

That is what I'm trying to research. You see, it's not been well-researched--paracosm is a term coined in 1976 by a self-proclaimed paracosmist. Why? Probably because most adults won't admit to having imaginary friends or worlds. It's considered odd to talk to yourself or anyone that you can't see (this doesn't include prayer--many people talk to a deity they can't see on a regular basis).

So, I want to do my own research project with the people most likely to create worlds--writers and artistic types that read my blog.

So, now I ask you (and feel free to leave your comment as anonymous if you don't want to disclose your identity):
  1. Have you ever 'lived in' or created a fantasy world? (If you answer no to this question, disregard the rest.)
  2. How long have you had this imaginary world--since childhood or has the new world developed in adulthood?
  3. Do you just watch the characters or are you in fact one of the characters?
  4. Do you believe the world is real or are you aware that it's only in your mind?
  5. Is the world completely made up--with its own language, laws, names--or is it based on the real world?
  6. Do you escape into this imaginary world when faced with emotional trauma?
  7. How often do you spend in that imaginary world? Do you talk to your characters while washing dishes or taking a shower or does it interfere with your life (This may fall into another category called Maladaptive Daydreaming)?
You are not alone. Many writers have created such worlds: Agatha Christie, the Bronte sisters, CS Lewis, and many others. Over the next few weeks, we will discuss this topic in further detail and I will discuss the paracosms of other famous writers.

Sources: 
Worldplay and the Writer
Impact of playing with imaginary worlds on adult creativity Paracosm-Childhood Fantasy World
Wikipedia
Maladaptive Daydreaming

53 comments:

  1. I once dreamed I was menacing alien that wrecked havoc on the earth. Think it was in the forth grade. This lasted quite a while. Does this count?

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  2. Close, but no. Unless you haven't woken up from that dream yet.

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  3. I have characters that I create in my mind that have adventures in my head when I'm stressed, bored or depressed. They don't take over my real life. It's more like mental checking out. And I don't use them in my stories, they're just for me. I did this as a kid, too.

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  4. Melissa, this is the type of thing I'm looking for. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Informative post Clarissa--did not know what the term paracosm meant.

    Your questions:

    1) Yes. In childhood as an introvert, I created many worlds where I played soldier or competing in imaginary sporting events.

    2) No world has continued today, but when I shoot baskets by myself I do sometimes pretend that I am shooting for two different imaginary teams to make it more interesting.

    3) With basketball, I would be myself and whatever imaginary character has the ball.

    4)It is def only in my mind--I am much better of an imaginary basketball player than a real one.

    5) No, it uses traditional language.

    6) Hmm, I have never thought about it. Perhaps as an outlet to deal with stress, but not trauma.

    7) No set schedule, a few times per week. And I don't talk to anyone except myself.

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  6. Cool. That's really cool. I'm going to take all the comments and gather information from what everyone says.

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  7. Well I do very vividly recall me and my brother creating our own kingdom in the garden - this was well before we were teens! But we even created stick people - we had laws and rules and heirarchies and he was (being older) the Emperor and I was his sidekick - we had adventures and lots of fights with another kingdom. I really remember creating the stick people! :-) This has not carried on in our adult lives unfortunately!

    Good luck with the research! Sounds amazing! Take care
    x

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  8. I had an imaginary world when I was a kid, but I never talked to myself.

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  9. My imaginary worlds are limited to my writing worlds. But I can't wait to read all the responses.

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  10. I don't have an imaginary world, and I don't talk to myself accept on very rare occasions. I live alone so sometimes it is inevitable that something going through my mind triggers a vocal outburst.

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  11. I enjoy escaping to other worlds so much, I don't just do it when reading or watching fantasy, I do it with contemporary!

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  12. Very interesting about this paracosm. I used to imagine different worlds all the time when I was younger. Now I limit them to moments before I go to sleep or if I'm really bored. I do know they aren't real, though, although it would be fun if they could be. And yes, I've been known to talk to the imaginary and have it answer back too.

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  13. I'm on another world almost permanently :) And yeah, I was always doing it as a kid too.

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  14. I still talk to myself. All. The. Time. I also have pretend conversations with others I know about what I'd say to what they would say, etc. I'm aware they don't hear the conversation, but I have been known to snicker at them secretly when I remember how I totally told them off in a previous conversation they weren't present for. Coping mechanism in some ways I think. Great post.

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  15. oh, how fun! I don't think I have a paracosm per se, as my fantasy world changes. But I do love living in fantasyland. Helps me write~ :o) <3

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  16. My writing world is the only parallel world that I escape to. I must admit, though, that I get that same "feeling" I did when playing in a make-believe world as a child. I think that's what makes writing fun. P.S. thanks for stopping by my blog earlier - loved your comments:)

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  17. Very, very interesting stuff, Clarissa. I'm interested to see what you make of it all. Good luck! :)

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  18. Oh yes! But I could snap out of my imagination pretty quickly when someone walked around the corner... It was mostly in my pre teen years.
    Xx

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  19. When I was a little girl, I created a fantasy world (although at the time I didn't know I created it because it seemed real). It's one of my earliest memories. This world existed only in the backseat of my parents car. It was a city with tiny people. And when I was back there, I was tiny, too. We talked and did played and did all sorts of things.

    This world went away as I got older, but sometimes, when I find myself in the backseat, I still sort of look around to see if there are remnants anywhere. I haven't seen any, though. And I know it wasn't a real world.

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  20. 1 Yes.

    2 Since childhood.

    3 I'm one of them.

    4 I've made it up

    5 Based on real world.

    6 Yes, probably.

    7 Don't think it interferes with normal life - more of a daydream. Sometimes I deliberately manipulate this world for story ideas.

    Now I have a question for you - should I have selected 'anonymous' so people don't think I'm weird?

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  21. I don't think I can say I've ever had an imaginary friend or world quite like that. Fascinating!

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  22. ~~Old Kitty, you had a wonderfully creative childhood. It's too bad that kingdom didn't carry on.

    ~~Connie Keller, I hope you get some good responses.

    ~~Emily R. King, that's very interesting. I do it with contemporary too.

    ~~Nicole, I would like to hear more.

    ~~Tasha, that's very interesting about the conversations.

    ~~Carol, it's interesting you're still looking for that world. Perhaps they are calling you back.

    ~~Patsy, you are the exact person I'm looking for. I don't think you should have gone anonymous. A lot of brilliant writers had this condition.

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  23. Ooh, I'm excited to see all these posts on this topic!

    Stalked you from Emily's blog. *waves* :)

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  24. Oh, and forgot to say that I yap off my mouth to anyone around... even if that's no one, haha :)

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  25. Fascinating stuff, Clarissa. I do have a fantasy world, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. Just a method of escape from my present reality, but I do have other houses in which I visualize my characters and their lives.

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  26. The only worlds I've created (imaginary ones) are probably not classed as paracosms because they're used in my writing.

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  27. As a youngster I created a world where I talked and interacted with people and animals. I still occasionally talk with 'self' to work things out. It will be interesting to see how your research turns out.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  28. Sadly, the only imaginary worlds I roam are the ones I write about. I think it'd be nice to slip away, especially when the real world gets crazy.

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  29. The worlds I've created are mentioned in my writings, though the MSs may not ever see public eye. But this sounds very interesting.

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  30. Wish I could help, but none of the questions apply to me. It is however fascinating, so thanks for enlightening me.

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  31. Hi Clarissa .. the answer is no I haven't and don't .. but a very interesting topic .. great read .. Cheers Hilary

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  32. 1.yes
    2.since i noticed that i don't have friends who understood me completely(i was like 10)
    3.I am one. Call me crazy but often times I make the first dialogue in my head and I answer it by talking()if you see me doing those you'll think I'm talking to myself-which is true
    4. I am aware of it as something made up in my head
    5.Partly
    6.Yes, of course
    7. When I'm not busy using my mind doing things sensible.Yes, i do. In fact when I'm cleaning my room or sweeping my yard or anything that doesn't use my mind just like my hands, feet, arms(you name it) is when I talk to the voices.

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  33. 1.yes
    2.since i noticed that i don't have friends who understood me completely(i was like 10)
    3.I am one. Call me crazy but often times I make the first dialogue in my head and I answer it by talking()if you see me doing those you'll think I'm talking to myself-which is true
    4. I am aware of it as something made up in my head
    5.Partly
    6.Yes, of course
    7. When I'm not busy using my mind doing things sensible.Yes, i do. In fact when I'm cleaning my room or sweeping my yard or anything that doesn't use my mind just like my hands, feet, arms(you name it) is when I talk to the voices.

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  34. Have you ever 'lived in' or created a fantasy world? (If you answer no to this question, disregard the rest.)

    Yes.

    How long have you had this imaginary world--since childhood or has the new world developed in adulthood?

    I have had it as long as I can remember (I have my first memories of it from age 2 -I layed in the sofa and watched it like tv screen) but it has changed form as I've grown. Around age 12 it got "stabilized" and hasn't had any huge changes since then.


    Do you just watch the characters or are you in fact one of the characters?

    I just watch the characters.

    Do you believe the world is real or are you aware that it's only in your mind?

    I'm aware it's not real but feels very real.

    Is the world completely made up--with its own language, laws, names--or is it based on the real world?

    Somewhat based on the real world. Some people, for example, have (vague) connections to real people and there are computers, DVDs and so on. But there are also things that doesn't happen in the real world.

    Do you escape into this imaginary world when faced with emotional trauma?

    I guess the answer is yes. I had a traumatic upgringing, but I don't think the trauma created the world per se.

    However, I think the trauma has shaped the world quite much. There are a lot of children there who should be in a child psych ward and many of my internal conflicts are repeated in their lives over and over again. Many kids are very sad and don't age. I, however, feel quite happy and content most of the time.

    The severely dissociative (DID) people seem to have similar paracosms ("internal worlds") where their alternate identities live. I don't however, fully identify with DID since people in my paracosm don't take over my behaviour, talk to me or know about my existence. I just watch what they do somewhat like a movie.

    How often do you spend in that imaginary world? Do you talk to your characters while washing dishes or taking a shower or does it interfere with your life (This may fall into another category called Maladaptive Daydreaming)?

    I visit it every day, multiple times per day. It doesn't, however, interfere with my daily activities (I'm almost fully qualified MD).

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  35. I have a paracosm. I suffered sexual/physical/mental trauma repeatedly as a child and dissociated myself into what I call my Imaginaries (imaginary friends). Instead of myself splintering into personalities, I associated traumas with each Imaginary I created, and as I got older created a world to fit them in. I see it everywhere now. It has been 20 years since this started, and it is to the point if I see a house I do not like, I sit there and make adjustments to it in my head. From that point on that is how I always see the building, it is honestly completely changed for me.

    Unfortunately, because of the trauma and my involvement within my paracosm, I do not have social relationships. I am currently seeing a therapist on how to keep my paracosm (she thinks its great I have this ability) and to work on my social skills as well.

    I am at the point now where all I am looking for is acceptance and friends. It's a tough journey, but I don't feel so negative about it now.

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  36. I should also add to my above comment that yes my paracosm has its own language, geography, and customs. It is a nuisance for real life, because I am ALWAYS in this world. I prefer imaginaries and paracosm over real relationships.

    Also, I will never quit paracosm. I know this for a fact. I have tried to break myself of the habit before and suffered symptoms comparable to withdrawals, including vomiting, nausea, and severe headaches. I hope this helps and that my comment is not too late for you. If you have any quetions, I will check back in and gladly answer.

    I'm tired of paracosm/imaginary friends being taboo.

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  37. Hi! You don't me; I cruised in after a Google search for "paracosm".
    1)Yes.
    2) Since very early childhood. It's taken various age-appropriate forms and sort of solidified into a single unified country with a name and geography when I was about ten
    3) Sort of both. I come and visit. They are always glad to see me. I have kind of a semi-formal function in their society.
    4) I know it's only imaginary. When I was much younger I pretended it wasn't, in the way children will--you make it up, then you pretend you didn't, then you pretend you're not pretending.
    5) It's made up.
    6) Occasionally I will sort of draw strength from figures in my world. Not quite pretending to be them, or pretending they are with me. More realizing that I made them up, and as such some of their good characteristics, the ones I admire, must be part of me, too. I can go into a situation thinking "now you have to put on your so-and-so face" and it helps me to get through it.
    7) Unlike you, I do occasionally write about my inner world. Mostly I "visit" while lying in bed. I have literally lain in bed, wide awake, for an hour or more, thinking more and more about the story-world, until I have to consciously tell myself to put it away or I'll never get to sleep.

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  38. Thank you for your comment, anon. It's amazing how many writers feel similar and how many people have these ways of coping with life.

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  39. I'm with Patsy. Always, all the time, since childhood and till death i imagine. Ha. no pun intended. I'm a writer, but was also a neglected child (what they now call MC (Maltreated Child--instead of abused since that has come to mean sexually). I had nothing else to do from earliest childhood, so just made up people and adventures to interact with. Sometimes real people annoyed me because they interfered with my paracosm! I don't go there when in trauma, just when intellectually unstimulated. I don't use these stories to write about; they're mine and i'm not sharing!

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  40. (1 and 2) Yes I have had a paracosm since age 9. My childhood was richly imaginative since I found most of my peers so inanely dull. And it was alos in response to the trauma of bleak surroundings of a working class environment and my parents' extremely unhappy marriage. It is called Alphistia and has its own very developed society and language.

    (3)I "observe" the characters.

    (4) It is real in my mind and I would very much like to live in Alphistia, but it is a fantasy land.

    (5)The closest "place" to Alphistia is the writer Ursula K. Le Guin's Orsinia. Alphistia has its own language, a social system quite unlike the American model, and I've drawn many maps and pictures of what it looks like over at http://www.alphistia.com

    (6) Alphistia has been very helpful when I am overwhelmed by everyday life. But I go there to "visit" - I'm mostly in this world :)

    (7)I do often think about Alphistia as I fall to sleep, and usually I am thinking in the Alphistian language then. Whenever I day dream, it's usually Alphistia related too. It doesn't interfere with everyday life for me, but complements it and sometimes, makes it bearable. As a hobby, I paint Alphistian scenes and write about Alphistia. I'd love to write stories and novels set there, but my writing talents are not so good as someone like Tolkien or Ursula K. Le Guin.

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  41. Have you ever 'lived in' or created a fantasy world?

    Yes, definitely.

    How long have you had this imaginary world--since childhood or has the new world developed in adulthood?

    I've had it since I was 9. 5 Years later, I still have it. The same characters, the same world.

    Do you just watch the characters or are you in fact one of the characters?

    I am one of the characters. I used to be...um...engaged in situations, but now I just watch myself do this and that.

    Do you believe the world is real or are you aware that it's only in your mind?

    I want it so badly to be true, but I do know that it's only in my mind. But maybe one day...?

    Is the world completely made up--with its own language, laws, names--or is it based on the real world?

    It is slightly based on the real world, but it has its own language, laws, names, history, etc.

    Do you escape into this imaginary world when faced with emotional trauma?

    Yes, yes I do. I try to relate what happens in my paracosm to the real world. (e.g. after I watch a great movie, I mix the movie's plot to my paracosm)

    How often do you spend in that imaginary world?

    It differs from day to day, but I usually spend time there when I'm not doing anything/doing something boring.

    Do you talk to your characters while washing dishes or taking a shower or does it interfere with your life?

    I don't really talk to the characters much nowadays...

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  42. adulthood, real, developing its own language and laws, I am a willful prisoner, I believe you would probably have to develop a 'paracosm' as a writer of fiction. I believe if you develop it at the wrong point in your life, a point in which your values suck, the 'paracosm' can be a very dangerous trap. I believe any fiction writer that doesn't want to fall prey to either suicide or prison should keep a window of what the general consensus views as reality. I myself have gotten into many compromising situations due to consciously developing and polishing a 'paracosm'. I enjoy my fantasy world more than my real world but it grew from a dark point in time. I need to add light to my 'paracosm', if you don't it wouldn't be much more than a nightmare, would it? As a fiction writer you probably need a 'paracosm' don't you? but if it isn't based on positive things it can be a very dangerous place. If your 'paracosm' resembles that of someone like William Burroughs' did you will find you may be able to write brilliant and beautifully disgusting things but you will also find yourself living in hell. A 'paracosm' is not worth your own suicide. Perhaps no one will ever read your material. It is important to keep your 'paracosm' in its place. now I must go, this is an interesting topic and a neat word I hadn't known existed until today. I want to say: be very careful with a 'paracosm,' the mind can be a very dangerous place. And watch out for 'schizophrenia.' - Howard Wang-
    beads7777@yahoo.com

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  43. I'm a paracosmist.

    1. Yes, I've had this for as long as I can remember. Maybe 6 or 7. It used to just be imagining myself in front of the tv as a cartoon character. But it really took off with Sailor Moon. I was soooo obsessed with her-a fighter of love and justice! :) And from there it took off.
    I reshaped her identity. Molded her into my form. Created a new family, sisters, brothers similar to my family.

    2. So in an sense, the world is an extension of me.

    3. A lot of it re-enacts movies, plays, books, cartoons, manga (ALOT of manga and anime).

    4. I can't do it in a public space. And by "can't" I mean I don't want to because I guard my world heavily. I feel naked and bare if I do it around other people, so I 'hide' it by closing myself in my room.

    5. It's usually triggered by music. Usually meaning 99.999/100. So the other times, I'm just relaxing in my bed and I do it.

    6. Hours on end. I would like to think the max is 2 hours but I'm sure I may have done it longer. Well...no longer than 2 hours maybe because I'm dancing and moving around a lot and that's
    physically exhausting.

    7. I'm 20 and still can't shake it. Yes, it's more in control now. I've managed to quit (ha, it feels like an addiction) for half a year or more maybe, but always go back to it.

    8. I want to stop because I feel ashamed of it. Like it's unnatural. I shouldn't own it. That I'm cheating myself out of this reality. And sort of..the whole..'being the change you want to see in the world.' If i can fantasize it or create it. Maybe I can create it in this present reality.

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  44. Long before knowing the term "paracosm" existed, I called it first "mind gaming" and later "Mnemonic Electrode Incubation Networking" or "M.E.I. Networking," the latter based on an in-story plot device.

    Q1. Yes, and I return to continue where I left off every night.

    Q2. Since childhood, continuing now for over 12 years.

    Q3. I change the amount of control I have on my characters, ranging form the control of one (often the "main" character), the chessmaster which controls them all, or view them as a 3rd person narrator would. Depends on the moment/context of the story. The main character generally has more of my attention while the other characters are more-or-less autonomous on their own.

    Q4. It's imaginary...

    Q5. Everything save language is made up, as I still "hear" the characters speak in English. This is for conveniences' sake, though it is assumed they are speaking other languages (of which many I sometimes refer, but never provide more than paper-thin details on the machinations involved).

    Q6. Attempts are made, and often the main character will be pushed into situations analogous to the trouble in real life. However, periods of serious trauma diminishes the desire to engage in mind game activity, and the comforts received from doing so is negligible.

    Q7. Outside the actual act of mind gaming (occurring 95% of the time in bed, lights out, before sleep) fictional characters are in no way evoked. Questions on where to take the plot next, or possibly musing with satisfaction certain scenes or moments that were especially exciting are generally the only reflection done during the day.

    Every night with some exception, anywhere from 5 minutes (sleep can slam me fast!) to over 2 hours (In such cases I'm having so much fun the act of loosing sleep is well worth it).

    An aside about paracosm and writing:

    I am a writer, and my paracosm has assured me no shortages of plots, characters and locations to the point I simply cannot answer the question "where do you get your ideas from?" short of launching into an explanation of the paracosm (I rarely bother, being a very quiet person by nature). One thing it does not provide the writer is a cure for procrastination, nor the will to sit down and pour out 80,000+ words before wandering off to another project. I still struggle with that one, haha.

    I fancy this paracosm business is very much ingratiated into my life as a whole. It is a very under-discussed phenomena that can have a large impact on the person who engages in it long-term. If anyone wants to chat about this topic, my e-mail is NexCunning [at] gmail [dot] com

    :)

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  45. 1. Have you ever 'lived in' or created a fantasy world? (If you answer no to this question, disregard the rest.)

    Yes

    2. How long have you had this imaginary world--since childhood or has the new world developed in adulthood?

    The seeds of it started in middle school, but it truly started in 8th grade for me. At 18 and as freshmen in college I still have it.

    3. Do you just watch the characters or are you in fact one of the characters?

    I mostly watch the characters, but I am pretty sure my main characters are facets of my personality. I have a superhero based paracosm so I have a lot of ideas from movies, video games, music, and books in my characters.

    4. Do you believe the world is real or are you aware that it's only in your mind?

    I know it is imaginary. It is a good source for practical things, like passwords and I also use it to organize some of my thoughts and memories.

    5. Is the world completely made up--with its own language, laws, names--or is it based on the real world?

    I based it off of our real world, but I throw in additional laws of physics (still consistent with the old ones) and fantastic technology/magic concepts. Names are pronounceable and I acknowledge different languages but I have not made rules/vocabulary for these languages

    6. Do you escape into this imaginary world when faced with emotional trauma?

    No, it was a product of my creativity

    7. How often do you spend in that imaginary world? Do you talk to your characters while washing dishes or taking a shower or does it interfere with your life (This may fall into another category called Maladaptive Daydreaming)?

    It depends on how much time I spend in my paracosm. During periods of introspection or creativity I spend a lot of time there. I think about things in my world, and it can distract from the real world, but no more than normal thought distractions or daydreams.

    I hope these responses help you. Also, it might be interesting to note that I am NOT a writer. In fact, I want to be an engineer when I get out of college.

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  46. I didn’t even know what the word ‘paracosm’ meant until it came up as the word of the day this morning. It feels like someone turned the light on! I have never told anyone about my ‘world’ but I write about it. I’ve been writing stories since I was a child and have always wanted to be an author. (As a side-note, I’m quickly discovering that listening to the wrong people, the kind of people who enjoy telling you that you can’t do something when they are in fact jealous, is the worse thing that can happen to you as a child.)

    I don’t know if this information will help but I also paint, love to read and listen to music. I have a 1st class degree with honours in Environmental Science and Physical Geography. It’s fair to say my love of the environment is present in my ‘world’. Unless my world gave me my love of the environment…who knows?

    I hope you’re still doing your study; there’s not much research out there by the sounds of it. Here are my answers to your questions, I hope they help.

    1) Yes.

    2) Since childhood and still going (I’m 22 by the way).

    3) I used to be a character but I stopped (I moved away!). Now I just watch.

    4) I’m completely aware I made it up. I WANTED it to be real when I was a child.

    5) It was primarily centered on my primary school building, which was my main characters house. It expanded quickly and vastly, full of made up characters, occupations, laws and beliefs. They all speak English apart from those with ‘powers’ who speak something similar to Spanish I’ve realized!

    6) Definitely.

    7) I visit a few times and day and mainly when I’m in bed and can’t sleep. I actually think I can’t sleep because I spend so long in my world, discovering stories and ideas for paintings, but it makes me happy, so I won’t complain.

    Finally, thanks for asking these questions. Until this morning I had no idea this word, experience, whatever even existed. Good luck with your study! :)

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  47. I am very excited to have found this post. I've just just started a blog about paracosms and would love for all of you to look at it ( thejohnbusiness.posterous.com ). Please consider submitting information about your paracosm to the website. The survey can be found under the "your paracosm" tab on the webpage. Submissions can be anonymous or you can email your name and a short description of yourself to be included with the post.

    For further information, feel free to contact me at paracosmsblog@gmail.com.

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  48. 1. Have you ever 'lived in' or created a fantasy world? (If you answer no to this question, disregard the rest.)
    Yes-- many, actually. Some are longer-lived than others, but I've at least a few that should be prolonged enough to count as paracosms.
    2. How long have you had this imaginary world--since childhood or has the new world developed in adulthood?
    As long as I can remember. I'm not a legal adult quite yet, so I can't say whether they will continue into adulthood though.
    3. Do you just watch the characters or are you in fact one of the characters?
    I mostly watch, while taking turns being various characters if I feel like it.
    4. Do you believe the world is real or are you aware that it's only in your mind?
    I am fully aware that this is in my mind, though there's nothing "only" about that.
    5. Is the world completely made up--with its own language, laws, names--or is it based on the real world?
    They're generally based on something, but not usually the "real world." Some are based on the worlds of books I've read, while others are just made up.
    6. Do you escape into this imaginary world when faced with emotional trauma?
    Give me some emotional trauma to face and I'll tell you.
    7. How often do you spend in that imaginary world? Do you talk to your characters while washing dishes or taking a shower or does it interfere with your life (This may fall into another category called Maladaptive Daydreaming)?
    I don't believe I spend enough time to interfere with my life because most of it is when I'm in bed or otherwise physically idle. I talk to myself, and often refer to myself in third person, but that was just something that started with a joke with some friends that turned into a habit, not a paracosm.

    I would like to note that I'm not at all a writer (I'm bad at it, and don't enjoy it at all), though I am an avid reader (yes, it's possible!).

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  50. 1. Yes.
    2. Since childhood. I still have it, actually.
    3. I'm one of the characters. I could never stand being on the sidelines.
    4. As Dumbledore said best, "Of course it's happening inside your head! Why should that mean it's not real?"
    5. Partially. I'm inspired by Greek mythology and stuff like that, but the rest of it is made up.
    6. I go there anytime.
    7. Whenever I have free time, really. And before I go to bed. I wouldn't say it interferes with my life, though.

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  51. 1. Yes indeed, and I continue to quite happily!I have made a few, but there is one in particular I most enjoy
    2. It began its incipient stages at about age 6, and flourished from there, currently it has been running for six years. I have been told that is rather early for world-building, but I have insufficient knowledge to make much of that comment.
    3. I have set up my own laws regarding interfering with the affairs of my world - I do however, interact within my own given guidelines. Occasionally I walk about the markets or fight wars as a king, but primarily watch.
    4. It is real, but then again not - existing as a mental complex. A different kind of real, I suppose.
    5.Languages? Ri! Ai am arú-etäní!I am currently working on governmental law regarding electing of officials - but otherwise I suppose it is fully done: plants, fauna, flora, people, architecture, and all
    6.Yes, during emotional events I speak with its residents or my own personal aides and walk through the woods for a while
    7. I spend a good deal building and simulating events,though my laws regarding interference means I am mostly an observer to the events. I have done my best to insure it does not interfere with my life, as it receives too much attention when noticed by others.

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    1. Oh, and I possess strict rules on stealing concepts, save those commonplace like runes, dragons, etc

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