Sometimes I feel like my characters are speaking to me. And no, last I checked, I’m not schizophrenic. In fact, I’ve read about lots of authors who have mentioned experiencing the same thing. It’s as if the characters suddenly have a mind of their own, like they’re telling us what really happened and we’re simply the messengers.
Interestingly enough, that may actually be the case. Many scientists and philosophers are in agreement that there’s an infinite number of alternate realities, otherwise known as multiverses. In fact, there’s a specific subset of this hypothesis called Fictional Realism; the idea that all supposedly fictional characters and stories are actually real.
So that means that every character you’ve written about, every story you’ve told, is theoretically real or true in some reality. Sit back for a minute and let that sink in 🙂
Now does this mean we truly are just messengers who managed to sync our brains to the goings-on of some other place and time? Or did we create these realities ourselves by writing about them? It boils down (no pun intended) to the chicken vs. egg theory. Which came first?
I prefer to side with the messenger idea, mostly because it makes more sense to me but also for the guilt factor. Because if we are creating something completely new, that also means that we’re causing our characters pain, destroying lives, etc. all for the sake of a good story. So many ethical issues would come into play if we ever had solid evidence that we really do create universes with our words.
Another question that came up in my ponderings on the multiverse idea is whether it can be applied to works of art. What if Escher’s Relativity was a place you could actually walk around (and around, and around) in?
Or even better, Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory?
… And back to writing-what if we could meet our characters?? Now maybe that’s crazy talk, but I like to dream 🙂