I wanted to share a method I’ve been testing the last couple weeks with a good deal of success. You’re likely familiar with the Nook and Cranny Method of generating 10 loci per room. The Nook and Cranny Method works by turning the four corners and four walls of a room into loci, then adding the floor and ceiling, yielding a nice round collection of 10 loci. Building from that technique I have been able to generate 26 loci per room using what I think of as a Layered Nook and Cranny Method.
The Layered Nook and Cranny Method works by identifying a column of three loci in each of the four corners and along each of the four walls. When the floor and ceiling are added, this results in 26 loci. This is just like the Nook and Cranny Method, except that there will be a top layer to the room, a middle layer to the room, and a bottom layer to the room.
For example, along the left wall there might be (1) a lamp at the top of the left wall, (2) a mirror in the middle of the left wall, and (3) a dollhouse at the bottom of the left wall. These three loci now serve as a replacement for what would have been only a single loci (likely the mirror) using the original Nook and Cranny Method.
I don’t use the corners and walls themselves. Rather, I find distinctive features of the room that would serve as good loci (e.g., art, furniture, etc.). In this way I have been able to systematically pull loci from rooms in a predictable way rather than just hoping a given room will yield sufficient loci for me to use. When I mentally move through the loci I do so from top to bottom of each column.
One of the added benefits is that not every room is limited to just four corners and four walls. Some rooms have extra protrusions, creating new corners. Or some walls, especially in larger rooms, are particularly “busy” with objects and allow me to identify more than one column of loci. This means it is not uncommon to walk out of a room after having identified 29 or 35 new loci.
Having 26 loci might sound like a strange number, especially compared to the original Nook and Cranny Method’s nice even number of 10 loci. However, considering that many card systems require 26 loci (like PA) and that only two rooms in succession house 52 loci (perfect for one card per loci), I’ve found it to be very convenient.
I’m sure this technique is not original with me. No doubt that many people using the Nook and Cranny Method or just identifying raw loci have stumbled upon this method themselves. But I appreciate the simplicity and pragmatism of the Nook and Cranny Method and have found this expansion on it to be incredibly useful for my own memory work. Now after having put the technique to the test over time I have no reservations in sharing it. Perhaps others looking to build their first memory palaces will find it useful.