Monday, May 25, 2015

What is Visionary Fiction and Why Did I Join the Visionary Fiction Alliance?

About 5 months ago, I started a novel called Transgender Pejorative (The Ghost in the A.I. is Born). I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Most of the novels that I had read up until that time were Science Fiction and the rest were Stephen King. I'm only slightly exaggerating as I was exposed to many classic novels as a child and then quite a few more as an adult. However, As I devoured libraries as a child, the Science Fiction books were always the first that I searched out and the only ones that held my attention after I suffered a traumatic brain injury. I just assumed that my first novel would be Science Fiction.

I couldn't admit it at first but my fledgeling novel is not really Science Fiction. It is written in a post modern style as I, the author, am also a prominently featured character in the book. The form that I started with bogged down after about 12,000 words. I knew that what I was writing was related to Science Fiction but it was, well, something different. Since I was planning to publish as an eBook, I was researching what category I might use to list the book. When I found Visionary Fiction, I was intrigued.

A cursory web search lead me to the wikipedia page, here, and to the Visionary Fiction Alliance, here. More importantly, reading these preliminary sources and recognizing several works that had deeply influenced my thinking when I was younger, granted me one of the most important realizations that I've ever experienced as a writer. I had been writing Visionary Fiction for years.

By now, you're probably thinking, Windi, you haven't even finished your first novel. How on Earth can you declare that you have been writing Visionary Fiction for years? There is indeed an answer and it involves my total and complete failure to make a living as a playwright despite writing several pretty good plays. That failure extends far beyond my meager attempts to get produced to include almost every other playwright writing new plays in the United States, really even the world. The world of theatre, losing its paying audience to television and old age, has circled the wagons to produce either formulaic or stylistically cloistered works of limited vision.

The plays that I write require believing in world changing events, even when those events go unnoticed by the rest of the world. The plays that I write depend upon character's whose consciousness must be altered if they are to succeed and whose failure can be attributed a steadfast refusal to accept that the universe is teaching us wisdom with its every breath. I can't make the audience have a life changing moment during the viewing or reading of one of my plays but I have failed as a writer if they do not have the opportunity to grow and change through the act of experiencing the world that they must inhabit while the play unfolds.

This is Visionary Fiction and it is not welcome on the stages of America right now. Putting Visionary Fiction on the stage requires a level of commitment to the idea that your audience can learn for themselves rather than be spoon fed dogma or mere entertainment. That level of commitment is just too scary for the middle managers that run our mainstream stages to chance their livelihood upon. I can't say that I blame them. Our world is dominated by Republican fear mongers and that horrible domination will take great changes to enact the enormous reversal of fortune needed for middle class people with families to look after and 401K programs that turned out to be nothing but scams to have the courage to once again risk the now for the sake of the future.

This is what Visionary Fiction means to me. Creating works of fiction that inspire people to grow and change in the ways that they see fit so that we can together find a way to preserve and save our Earth failing human society. I joined the Visionary Fiction Alliance because I want to be a part of a literary movement that seek to help better our world one reader or audience member at a time. I am still only 19,000 words into my novel but I now know that it is meant to be Visionary Fiction. I completely rethought the meaning of the novel and thus had to completely rewrite and reformat it. Transgender Pejorative (The Ghost in the A.I. is Born) is meant to open the doors of perception and let the light come blasting through. A transformation of this sort is never without risk and my novel may publicly fail miserably. However, the act of writing has already begun to enact an incredible change within myself and this change has been for the better. Isn't that the exact thing that good Visionary Fiction is supposed to accomplish?

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