Soulbond (Fictive Presence)

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You may be looking for the fanwork trope soulbond.

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In some fan subcultures, soulbond describes the common experience of a writer who finds that characters can take on a life of their own, sharing a connection and communicating with the author. Non-writers also have this experience. The soulbond may be either a canon figure, or one they have created themselves -- who becomes in some sense "real".

The word was first used for this purpose by amateur author Amanda Flowers, in the context of a small amateur writers' club. She once said that it was inspired by the title of a roleplaying game called Soulblazer. A related term is "soulscape", the imagined mental world where characters interact.

Soulbonders have many, many varying views on their SBs, where they come from, why they're here. It would be impossible to try to reflect all the ideas and experiences there are. Some experience soulbonds as muses, some as mere presences and parts of consciousness, others as distinct, separate entities. "Imaginary friends" would be only scratching the surface of this phenomena.[1]

Most soulbonders of this type are acutely aware that this is not a culturally accepted practice even within most of fandom, and are generally discreet about mentioning it except in appropriate situations.

Some people who experience a relationship with a fictional character dislike the term soulbonding. They feel it has devolved from its original meaning into something casual and flippant. Feeling that the genuine experience is very personal, they use the word fictive, or fictive presence, rather than soulbond.



  1. ^ Community profile for the Livejournal Soulbonding community, accessed 13 October, 2008.