What’s Fictioneering and where does it come from?

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.

yoda

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.

La Forge

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?

the martian 5 - Copy

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.

interstellar3 - Copy

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?

 

Planet Simon

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20 thoughts on “What’s Fictioneering and where does it come from?

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  1. An interesting take on the concept of creating new worlds and stories. I think being a scifi/fantasy writer in particular you spend a lot of time dreaming up things that don’t exist. I’d never thought of it in parallel to something like engineering before though! I love the term fictioneering. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi ya, that’s a good idea. I hate to say it but what you’re trying to do isn’t possible. But certainly managing media is a subject of interest. 🙂

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  2. Genre wise, I learned this weekend that these types of sci-fi stories in space are called ‘Space Operas.’ A second reason they are called this has to do with the struggle of the main characters to survive and often a slight (or more) exaggeration/hyperbolation in fight scenes and when characters figuring out problems or face danger; like always uping the stakes in these sci-fi stories.

    Eg.) original star trek or the recent movies with Kirk battling monsters and his enemies or the StarWars franchise, the fight scenes battling enemies with their light sabres. Also scenes for instance, where Luke faces the monster under Jabbas palace or when they are in the garbage disposable at Cloud City with Han, Leia, Chewbacca, etc.

    As for what you describe ‘Fictioneering’ Could be world building, character building, story organization, and plot (flow, pacing) (I think), but perhaps a great deal more technical. It probably includes knowledge in that engineering and scientific sense but making that understandable to readers, not only those who “get it” but potential readers too. It’s a great term 🙂 Sorry it was already coined.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe all writers use “fictioneering” to some extent, and the best authors have used it to their advantage! Take Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for example, when he created Sherlock Holmes, he used terms like “crime scene,” which to us seems pretty self-explanatory , we use it all the time, but int Doyle’s time, that term hadn’t ever been used before. While I realize this isn’t exactly what you are talking about, I think it’s amazing how the human mind works, how we are able to create worlds, dimensions, and even as you mentioned tools and equipment that haven’t even been invented. I’m sure when Doyle used “Crime Scene,” he wasn’t expecting the terminology to catch on, yet, here we are… Or Lord of The Rings, Tolkein created whole worlds and languages that don’t even exist – mind blowing, and “fictioneering,” for sure! So to answer your question, yes, absolutely!

    Liked by 2 people

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