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Picturing a World

Fantasy dancer—which way matters

I keep having fun with Natasha Pulley's exercise for starting a fantasy story. Consider this image posted earlier. On a restless night recently, I jotted down these five impossible things.

  1. When Coca danced, people who couldn't see auras saw them.
  2. It was the suit: Whoever wore it could dance lighter than Fred Astaire.
  3. If you drew the right card, your wish came true. It made Sylvan a star.
  4. In the city palace, if the prince went through a particular set of doors, sometimes he found himself onstage, where he danced all the exuberant joy of release. Usually, found himself in the privy council chamber, where he must listen to dull men drone on about matters that bored him to tears.
  5. Marcy's guardian angel preferred jazz clubs to keeping close watch over a sticky-faced five-year-old. She loved going with him.

What's interesting on reflection on No. 4 is how the tone and direction of the plot would change if the two sentences were reverse. As written, it leads to a story about the oppressiveness of the prince's situation. Reversed, it takes the dreariness for granted and puts the spotlight(!) on his escape. We're all living with the two alternatives these days. Any ideas for how to use the time creatively?

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