Additional Benefits, Uses, and Tips for Fictional Mind Palaces

Howdy! I recently posted about constructing a fictional memory palace by writing a story. I’d like to revisit this, because I think I could’ve done a better job expressing how this would work in practice as well as the benefits of using this approach. I’ve since built my fictional mind palace into 135 loci. The bottom paragraph will be about using this method to create more loci in real mind palaces.

In my last post, I used simple sentences in describing how one could begin a story, “I fall off the zip line (locus 1) and into the foam pit (locus 2).”

I think it works more effectively if you write out the sensations in more detail, almost as though your writing a diary entry of what it’s like to travel through this mind palace or to act on that particular loci.

“My arms grow tired and strained from the zip line; I’m forced to let go at the last second, and my hands are left blistered from the worn metal grips. I feel the foam squares surrounding my body, making it difficult to shift myself out of the pit.”

After each sentence, pause and imagine the sensation of what took place in your writing. After every 5-10 sentences, imagine playing a part in the whole story you’ve written so far to ensure you have each loci memorized.

A large benefit to the fictional mind palace isn’t only that you can create things that don’t exist in the real world, like teleportation pads, but you give yourself the ability to incorporate more of your senses. Dr. Anthony Metivier has spoken about the utility of incorporating your five senses. If you have things in your mind palace like the Futurama transporting tubes, giant fruit to eat from, etc., your giving yourself more of an opportunity to use more of your fives senses besides visual. I have a walkway made out of candy, and I break off a piece and eat it. I have a giant paper shredder I fall into and I see myself being split into little shreds like flat Stanley.

Another thing I’m planning to do is to create “super power” rooms, where in each room I have a different power. In one room, I’m as strong as the Hulk and loci might be monster trucks and the like that I’m able to throw long distances with ease. In another room, I might have angel wings and be able to fly to new loci. In another, I may have telekinesis and am able to shatter things like glass using my mind.

If you think constructing a completely fictional story would be too difficult, another way this could be used is to create more loci in your house. You could create a story about you being small and interacting with things like your TV remote and toothbrush (credit to another user on this site for reframing the mind palace perspective as a 1-inch observer), and then you’d just walk back through that story to see if you remembered the new loci.

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This is an interesting idea but, personally, I feel that the effort put into making this would better be spent creating a linking story with the material that you’re trying to memorize.

I say this because before I learned about memory palaces, I memorized the periodic table using a linking story. That story is so vivid and detailed and crazy and it has many locations that just occurred naturally as the elements story unfolded. So I guess It turned out to be a memory palace created from my story, after all, but I didn’t have the added step of writing it down.

Your method might work better as an empty palace, and maybe that’s what you mean— something to fill with short-term lists. But for a long-term storage solution of a specific list (such as the e elements), I think the linking method works out great.

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I think that’s awesome if that’s what works best for you! That makes a lot of sense actually.

Just curious, why could my method not work for long term storage?

Nice! How much of the periodic table information did you include, beyond atomic number and what you can read directly from the location in the table? I’ve been thinking about doing this, but I did not want to jump into the project until I had a good plan.

I base that on the notion that memory palaces containing a specific, long-term list can’t be used to store anything else, because it would get confusing. And I do apologize, because that might not be the case for you! I put a bunch of digits of pi in my parents’ house, and would never be able to put other stuff in there without getting mixed signals–but that’s my limitation! If your story method works for you–use it! Let us know how it turns out!

Hi! I only memorized the atomic number (using the major system) and the element’s symbol with some clues embedded in my “story” to help me, such as a Ferris wheel having iron seats (Fe being the symbol for iron).

I have shared my elements memory palace/story in another thread on art of memory. You may be able to use at least some of it in your own memorization. If you’re interested, it’s here:

https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/196-countries-and-capitals-memorized/55915

I also memorized the groups of elements by placing them in a memory palace with some basic properties represented. For instance, group 1 are the Alkali metals. My memory palace is my brother’s house. I’m arrive at his house with ALCOHOL. Everything is exploding, because elements in this group are unstable and highly reactive. The first thing I see in the driveway is a pile of LITHIUM batteries, and on and on.

I’m no scientist, but it really made me appreciate the periodic table!!