I tend to do a lot of great thinking (at least for me) while driving. I don’t know if this is really a good thing, but I enjoy it and I’ve not wrecked because of it (yet). I’ve come up with a lot of interesting story ideas this way, and when I do, I tend to add them to a running list of ideas that will probably never see the light of day. Not because the ideas aren’t good, but because I only have a finite number of years on this earth and I’m not the most prolific writer, so I’ll probably never even get through half of the ideas I’ve already come up with. But I like having these thoughts, and even if I don’t usually share them with anyone else, I find them intriguing and occasionally useful. Sometimes I add bits and pieces of them to other stories I’m working on.
While I don’t usually share my random thoughts, especially ones that I would like to eventually use for a book, this one was very intriguing and I could see it being used in a hundred different ways, so I decided to do a post on it, just to give you insight into how my mind works.
The whole idea started with just a simple thought: everyone sees the world through their own senses, their own experiences, so in a way everyone is secluded in their own reality. It turns out that I’m not the first person (Imagine That!) to have this idea (see Reality Tunnel) but that was the initial thought that got the possibilities racing through my mind. The idea I liked the most was that each of our reality tunnels is being created by an individual A.I. which is linked to all the other A.I.s controlling all the other reality tunnels. The purpose of the A.I.s is to
move us in certain directions and direct us towards certain goals which have been determined by a master program to be the best for everyone. There are two problems with this arrangement though; our reality tunnels must intersect with other reality tunnels and regardless of the reality we experience, we have free will.
This idea opened up so many questions which could lead to a great story such as: Who created the A.I.? What if the master program A.I. starts to break down? Can we, as individuals influence or even get control of our reality tunnel? What happens if our reality tunnel merges with another and there are inconsistencies/errors? Could this explain the Mandela effect?
Seriously, if you don’t know what the Mandela effect is, google it. There are so many great examples, but the name comes from a commonly held memory of Nelson Mandela dying in the ‘80’s. I don’t have many memories as a kid in the ‘80’s but I vividly recall reading about Mandela’s death in one of those elementary-school age magazines the teachers made us read when they needed some quiet time. It turns out he actually died at the end of 2013.
There are quite a few other examples too such as “The Berenstein Bears” are actually named “the Berenstain Bears”, the Monopoly man doesn’t really have a monocle, and Sinbad never played a genie in a movie called Shazaam, though I swear he did (see more examples here). I like incorporating real-world details into my books and I could see using these like a trail for the protagonist to follow. I don’t know if any of this will eventually make it into a book, but I love the mind exercises and I hope you enjoyed a brief look into my thought process.