Fictioneering is a term I thought up when I was trying to think of a way to describe the process of creating fictional characters, worlds, and concepts that can be used in my story telling. While I thought it up in my own mind I was gutted to find it was already in use. But nonetheless Fictioneering is going to be something I feature more of in my work and in this blog to be able to idendify and express the fictional creative process.
Fictioneering is a cross between fiction and engineering. Being an engineer myself I know that it’s very much about solving problems, coming up with ideas and pushing the boundaries. I find this works very well in science fiction becasue essentially a science fiction writer has to come up with new ideas, different tools and technologies that haven’t been thought of yet.
Looking back at some of the books I’ve read and films I’ve watched, Fictioneerng has been taking place all the time in the greatest of these stories. If we thik of the Jedi in Sar Wars, there’s a whole ethos and story just around them.
There’s the religious aspect, their use of the force and of course the famous Jedi light sabres. The concepts in Fictioneering not only lead to characters and things but plots and sub plots that bring a story to life.
Moving away from the Star Wars field to Star Trek, one powerful piece of fictioneering is Geordie La Forge and his visor.
A blind man is able to ‘see’ but not as normal humans do – instead he see’s light from different parts of the E.M. spectrum. The plot opportunities brought to stories becasue of this was pretty unique in the science fiction genre.
The Martian was a story based on what could be possibiltiy in a future space mission. We have to ignore that it wasn’t completely accurate, but the premise was simple – Man stranded on MArs, how does he get home?
Mix in with this dark humour, politics, human nature, the will to survive and the will to help and what a story.
In the last example of fictioneering I want to use Interstellar as an example. The Earth is diminishing the crops that feed the human race. The human race is dying and needs to find another home.
The recepie here included a wormhole present around Saturn which leads to a black hole and a trail of clues to a world that will become the new home for the human race. Mix in with all of this a man leaving his family behind to help the mission and a scientist obsessed with finding the secret to gravity… you get the picture.
To me fictioneering is not the be all and the end all of a story, but it’s the firm foundation on which to build it. How a story is fictioneered will give the breadth and depth that the story needs to be great with all the different plots, sub plots, characters and interaction that it needs.
Any writers reading this – what do you think? Is finctioneering something you use anyway even if you might call it something else?
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