When someone makes a drastic direction change, they are not turning in a full circle. If you miswrite this common phrase as “doing a 360” or “pulling a 360,” you would be metaphorically going 360 degrees around to face in the exact same direction—turning in a circle, which is 360 degrees.
To turn and go the opposite direction, either physically or metaphorically, you would turn 180 degrees.
Tap into those old geometry recollections and remember what you heard there—it was more than just the squeaky leather shoes of your teacher. Now let that basic math knowledge wash over your writing, and you’ll be all the better for it.
Happy writing, everyone!