An impassioned exercise in absolute futility.
That's as confident an answer as I can give when it comes to illustrating what it is to write the odd, sub-genre of paranoid fiction.
It's writing, and writing, and writing, then deleting entire pages, entire passages, entire stories, only to immediately replace them with the same exact phrasing. It's spitting fragments and nonsense on a page, with phrasing so out there it's complete gibberish, not understandable in the least, but it's the closest thing to the gut feeling, the truth of the instance that one can get, so, "It'll have to do."
It's writing something that makes others uncomfortable.
It's writing something that haunts, and leaves the reader even more ignorant of the content than before they consumed the story. It's leaving the reader feeling as though they understand, but wondering if they do.
And above all, paranoid fiction is there to hurt and twist a brain that feeds on it, so that it won't be the same, can't be the same afterwards.
Never, ever, never again.
You've read it - paranoid fiction. I know you have.
If not in whole, then at least in part, a part, some part of a story or book that you've loved, or hated.
It was a suspenseful turn, where you read it.
A break of confidence - your confidence - in having it all "figured out".
It was that time when you doubted yourself and trusted the story, because nothing was making sense. The rope, the plot was unraveling and the strands were too far apart to ever come back together, and you knew that, but you didn't know how to process it, how to make sense of it.
And perhaps, probably, that moment passed in the story, in the book you read. It passed so that, in the end, everything worked out wonderfully, either in finality or in cliffhanger. But end it did, and everything made sense, everything was understood, and the moment of doubt can be written off as a clever writing tactic, a wonderful use of narrative - a literary device.
That feeling, that instance you've probably read somewhere, is what paranoid fiction is.
Only much more.
Paranoia is the story, and the main character.
In paranoid fiction, the uncertainty and doubt is written - must be written - as the main character. It is central to the story. It is the plot, it is the catalyst, it is the conflict, it is the resolution, it is the everything.
Questions are never asked, because to ask a question is to suppose that there is an answer waiting to be given. Instead, things, ideas, concepts must be proposed, but only in a way completely definite, so that the reader forms assumptions and manifests their own doubts.
So, in paranoid fiction, you will never read:
"He'd never been on the other side of the door. He'd never opened it, and was given no hint as to what lay beyond the blase woodwork. Putting his ear to the door, he strained to hear what lay beyond, but no sound reached him, leaving his understanding dark, unfulfilled.
Nothing in the above passage could be considered paranoid fiction. Everything is a question. Everything is fluid. The man's doubts are painted thick. There are no assumptions to be made, no doubts to be had, no wondering as to the reliability of the narrator.
This, however, is what one would read in a paranoid narrative:
"The shut door, the door unopened ever stood before him, and he knew...
This is paranoid fiction.
The door is unopened, yet the main character knows who's on the other side of the door. He knows that it's a specific person, and that person has brought another specific confederate whose presence is troublesome for the main character. None of this is questioned, but it causes questions in the mind of the reader. Even if they aren't aware of the question, they are left with the feeling that something isn't lining up.
And just as the reader begins to assume that somehow the main character knows what's going on, what waits on the other side of the door, the narrator contradicts everything, passively, with the line, "...where he knew they waited." It isn't that the narrator agrees. It's more of a "I believe that you believe it" instance.
So is there, or isn't there someone on the other side? Does the main character know, or is he not to be trusted? Is the narrator reliable, or is the main character?
None of these questions were given in the text.
Everything was stated as a fact, and because of this, when they begin to contradict logic and other facts previously given, the level of doubt rises, while the level of confidence plummets.
By the end of the snippet, nothing can be taken for truth, because everything has been stated as truth, but we know not all viewpoints can be accurate if they aren't lining up.
In this way, paranoid fiction establishes an ultimate goal:
It makes the reader wonder, it builds arguments, and inspires opinion in the face of lack of absolute proof. In essence, for the reader to have an opinion means they are acting on faith alone, and in the face of science and reason, faith is absurd. But when all the evidence is contradictory, what else does the reader have to fall back on?
Thus begins the cycle of paranoia, of insanity.
Proving to establish belief, while believing that proof is there in its clear absence.
Like I said before, paranoid fiction isn't comfortable. It gives no answers to the questions one has, but stands firm, unyielding in its proclamations of ridiculousness as fact.
Not unlike the world, yes?
Then again, what do I know?