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Tulpa Development


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I've read about making an imaginary friend into a Tulpa and I'm wondering if anyone has tried this. I once wrote a small string of short stories centered around one character in different situations. I used character interviews and writer's building tools until I could know his every move and exactly how he would act and speak.

Then he just kind of....got away from me. He took a life of his own and even though his stories went basically as him being HIM, I found myself no longer controlling the plot and just almost observing him in my head as he went about his business. Has anyone ever tried perfectly nailing down personality like this, or is a futile effort with natural deviation? I'm thinking writers character building tools like interviews could be very helpful in some ways.

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Sounds pretty tulpa-y already. Some writers find their characters come to life and "write themselves" like that. The most common term for such a character is a soulbond.

 

You have the "independent sentient being" part down, which IMO is what defines a tulpa. All that's missing from the classic idea of what a tulpa is, is hearing him fully out loud and seeing him in real life. My advice would be to keep going with what you're doing since it seems to be working well enough. You may want to add some really detailed visualization work if you'd like to see him IRL. As for hearing him better, try talking to him directly more.

 

As for deviation, most but not all tulpae deviate. Even if they do, extensive personality work is not futile. You're giving them an initial something to grow from.

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I mostly agree with Chupi.

 

I don't think certain personality practices are necessarily more 'accurate' - closer to the final product - than others, but that usually doesn't matter because nothing rides on the tulpa's exact personality (which is always subject to change anyway) and because usually tulpas don't like being defined exactly in character. Still, should you wish for a perfectly accurate personality then that would more be a matter of stifling deviation directly, I think.

 

Still, if you've done that then tulpa creation should be easier. I don't see anything wrong with creating a tulpa like this. Out of interest, how long ago was this and how much time/effort did you pit into it?

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Thanks to both of you. It's been about five years of writing off and on. He was originally a vampire, but has "played" a human in two different time periods. That's how he got his own life, really. Stepping outside the bounds of being a character and being more of a person that played roles like an actor.

 

A tulpa wasn't the goal, but he just happened. The personality has deviated in the experiences of the stories too. He went from spoiled brat to being down-to-earth after a story including some ego-smashing struggle. Incidentally, my mental image of him is about five years older now.

 

I'm working more on addressing him directly. Nothing really unexpected reply-wise yet.

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Just be careful about treating those stories as a backstory for him. Some members here have given tulpas memories and past, and it led to identity crises.

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Yeah I'm trying to avoid him seeing any of his stories as lives or experiences. From what little communication I've had successfully I think he "knows" he's not any of those characters in particular like an actor knows they're not the character from their hit movie. I think one thing is that the stories are just too discontinuous to follow too closely and they've basically just been a character study focusing on him.

 

I know it's not uncommon for an imaginary friend to flourish and sort of evolve into a Tulpa, but there's nothing really said about pulling a character out their role into their own being. That's where I am now although he seems to be evolving well on his own.

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like an actor knows they're not the character from their hit movie

 

Great comparison. This may even help other tulpas with backstories.

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Great comparison. This may even help other tulpas with backstories.

 

I think it may. He's shedding some traits of earlier stories in favor of a personality that's more his own(not made by me as a writer). Communication's still sketchy, he's not really vocal. But if do something like point out to him something that I think he'd find amusing, I get this unbidden mental image of him flashing a smile and an emotional gesture that if put words would be something akin to "I like this!" or "Haha!"

 

Thinking very seriously of just starting a progress report for the two of us.

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