At a climactic point in my novel the characters are all trapped in a time capsule beyond reality, potentially for the rest of their existence. Although there is nothing that they can physically do to escape they do so by drawing on facts previously mentioned in the story and reasoning that taking these into account the author must let them do so. In their minds each makes a pact with the author that they will not unnecessarily disrupt the flow of the main story by making use of anything that they have discovered in this dead end side-branch if they are allowed to leave it. As a consequence their incarceration mysteriously ends in a form of deus ex machina event which also, following the convention of ancient Greek plays, brings the author's surrogate into their midst, but from a point in the past before he wrote the story. This confused author then begins to write the story when he returns to his own time. This was actually my attempt apparently to break the "No deus ex machina" rule of writing by creating a very carefully engineered illusion of one.
This simple time loop has an added twist though, that they discover that in the "author's" notes he claimed that he was just the scribe acting for the real author, which is of course literally true as he is a surrogate for myself within my novel. Even that's not the end to it though because when I first came to WF I mentioned that the story came to me as though from some "errant muse" and I was just its scribe in my turn. In fact on my website I use the title "Scriptor", which is Latin for either "writer" or "scribe", so ambiguous in its precise meaning.
Various facts within and around the story strongly suggest that it arose from collaboration between two minds separated by six years in time, this being a major theme in the story. It is now six years since I started writing it and I have now completed the bulk of the research needed to do so, none of which I'd done six years ago. At this point in time I must assume that this present version of myself is finally the "real" author, but only time will tell. Just like McGoohan's prisoner I have no idea how many masks I need to remove before I know whether I am truly the master of my own fate.
I am currently reading The No Rules Handbook for Writers by Lisa Goldman. The first rule that she tackles in her book is "Write what you know," and suggests as an alternative "Write to discover what you don't know yet." Maybe, having just read that in her book here in 2017, my collaborating alter ego back in 2011 is taking that too literally. Evidently he, or rather I, didn't entirely take the advice of the script-writer whom I approached with my story idea then. He told me that in his experience collaborative works are seldom completely successful, so I'd have to work alone despite having no previous experience. By coincidence McGoohan and his co-writer fell out before The Prisoner was completed and that final episode based on McGoohan's premise that "Each man is a prisoner unto himself," was entirely his creation.
I never knew that fiction writing could be so interesting, but maybe for some it isn't quite so immersive.