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):
- Have you ever 'lived in' or created a fantasy world? (If you answer no to this question, disregard the rest.)
- How long have you had this imaginary world--since childhood or has the new world developed in adulthood?
- Do you just watch the characters or are you in fact one of the characters?
- Do you believe the world is real or are you aware that it's only in your mind?
- Is the world completely made up--with its own language, laws, names--or is it based on the real world?
- Do you escape into this imaginary world when faced with emotional trauma?
- 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)?
Worldplay and the Writer
Impact of playing with imaginary worlds on adult creativity Paracosm-Childhood Fantasy World