This week, I began reading Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer by Peter Turchi. I really like his idea of considering how “artistic creation is a voyage into the unknown.” By pairing the act of writing (or any other artistic endeavour) with the act of mapping out undiscovered land, Turchi considers how writing is an act of exploration.
Nevertheless, in every piece we write, we contemplate a world; and as that world would not otherwise exist, we create it even as we discover it.
I love this metaphor a lot and have applied it already in my teaching. When students are trying to find their way through the story, or even the fundamentals of screenplays, there is the tempation to feel frustrated. You stumble, you follow dead-ends, and you occasionally end up in quicksand.
However, once you realize that it’s all a journey (one that you can take over and over), the more you’ll feel comfortable taking the trek. More importantly, experience leads to understanding, allowing you to discover new locations and realize the easier paths you can take.