Friday, March 23, 2018

Imagination: Turning Point and Still Point, by Dia Calhoun

All writers sweat over the story structure term called the “Turning Point.” It refers to those critical places where something essential changes, and a new direction or new possibility emerges. The story turns. The writer’s imagination creates these story turns.

 Not long after I was struggling with a turning point in a story I’m writing, I dreamed I was watching a dancer launching into a pirouette on pointe. Miraculously, effortlessly, she spun and spun. Four rotations, five, six—ten! Then she increased the rotation speed, just as a figure skater does in a tight spin. She was right on the turning point, perpetually.

When I woke up, I thought about perpetually turning objects—like the earth. Supposedly the earth is spinning around an axis. But a fixed axis is an imaginary construct. It doesn’t exist. (I tried to verify this, but please let me know if I’m wrong). There is no particle of the earth that isn’t turning. There is no “still point at the center of the turning world.”  

Except in the imagination.

Imagination is a dynamism of change that brings in the possibility of something new, the Turning Point, a reflection in story of our perpetually changing world. And yet, imagination also provides the very useful idea of an axis, a still point at the center of perpetual change.

Imagination is the ultimate tool.

1 comment:

  1. "Imagination is the ultimate tool."--I couldn't agree more.