narrative imagination

“At age eleven, McGraw discovered his birth certificate while searching his mother’s closet to find pictures for a school project.”

All history is alternative history. But some history is more alternative than others. But some history is altercation with Others. What I really mean to say is every history has little moments that are suggestions into other stories for purposes of maximizing the story’s use of your storymaking brain. Things that “make the world” of the story “come alive.” Another way of thinking about this is that analogies often ask us to imagine some crazy shit. But only for as long as it takes to make the analogy work. For example, I’ve heard the chemical effect of coffee on the brain described as putting a brick under your brake pedal. “Okay, check.” We use our imagination to produce a feeling or an understanding (every image is its own feeling), and then we put that feeling/understanding in a suitcase and take it back to our original parameters. “Oh, coffee! So that’s how coffee works on the brain, okay.” Meanwhile, we’ve discarded the continuation of a very interesting (maybe?) story in its own right: driving around with a brick under your brake pedal. READ MORE >

Craft Notes / 22 Comments
September 13th, 2010 / 3:59 pm