(A.k.a. Delusions to Hold onto: Imaginary Girlfriends as Intellectual Tools)
I still have a magical imaginary girlfriend I wrote about when I was 18. In the next three years I wrote a hundred pages of a self-insert going on fantasy adventures with her. I no longer actively write about her, but I can still fap quickly to a tweaked version of her. I consider it a tool that’s worth preserving. Thinking about her and her universe has yielded important insights in the real world: she was written as a cynical anti-hero that needed to be saved, so it was natural to make her an Atheist. The more I thought about her views to write better dialog, the more her views began to made sense though. It was a unique stepping stone away from religious thinking.
Since my story is unpublished and originally paralleled my reality, it feels an alternate universe that only exists within my head. If anyone else has lived a meta life in a multi-verse, I’ve read a similar book that might interest you:
>detective in cyberpunk dystopia uncovers messages that the world is going to end soon
>every other chapter the story switches to an alternate universe where events are being mirrored symbolically, (it’s implied events from one universe effect the other in synchronicity.)
>both universes gradually become aware of the other.
>spoiler: the twist is that everyone has these parallel universes in their consciousness. When the detective is about to die, his mind transfers to the other universe, where time is slow and he can live peacefully for eternity. But since everything that happens is simultaneously mirrored in the other universe, the parallel self decides at the end to return to Earth.
>Fiction and reality influence one another, and are stuck in an endless loop.