As mentioned in Tell Me a Story in 30 Days, Iâ€™m taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. Since I am not a fiction writer, Iâ€™m not expecting a readable novel. Instead, Iâ€™m hoping to loosen up my imagination and play with my intuition.Â Because I really know nothing about writing a novel, Iâ€™m using Corrine Kennerâ€™s book, Tarot for Writers, to guide me.
After a short introduction to tarot, Tarot for Writers delves into character creation. So thatâ€™s also where I started. Corrine doesnâ€™t just teach about tarot, she also teaches writing and explains the various types of characters: protagonist, antagonist, foils, supporting characters, and stock characters. The first writing practice is to pull a card for each character. Later, cards are pulled to further develop the characters.
Iâ€™m going to use the Lo Scarabeo Tarot for all my basic outlining, such as character identification and basic plot. Iâ€™m using the Fey Tarot for further character development and the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight for further plot development. I have not yet decided on which deck to use for the setting. The Lo Scarabeo Tarot is a very basic, easy deck (for me), which is why Iâ€™m using it for outlining. The Fey and Sweet Twilight are not very traditional, which is why Iâ€™m using themâ€¦to purposely get lost in the images and to kick start my imagination. So, as you track my progress, know that many of my notes and decisions will be based on intuition and ideas that strike my fancy rather than traditional card meanings.
So far, I only have cards pulled for the protagonist, protagonistâ€™s foil, antagonist, and antagonistâ€™s foil. Here are the main character identifications:
I think it is very interesting that the protag and the antag are both threes and that both the foils are naturally reflective (one gazing into a mirror, the other gazing into a cup), which is exactly what they should be. Even thought the character in the 3 of Pentacles looks male, my main character will be female. I am using these cards for general appearance, character, and what they do, although other cards will flesh these ideas out quite a bit.
Filling in some details
After general character identification, Corrine walks us through character building. I selected some of the questions she provided and pulled cards for each of my four main characters. The questions I selected from Corrineâ€™s list include (followed by the spread position name I used in parentheses):
What does your character look like? (Appearance)
How does your character spend his or her free time? (Hobby)
Does your character have a spouse, children, or pets? (Family)
What are your characters hopes and dreams? (Hopes & Dreams)
What does your character fear the most? (Greatest Fear)
I did all four characters but am only posting the protag and her foil (mostly because I think I might like the foil better than the protagâ€”is that going to be a problem later, I wonder?).
She is younger, maybe late teens or early 20s and a craftspersonâ€™s apprentice. She is rather plain and serviceable in appearance but loves to decorate herself with all kinds of accessories. Her hobby is fencing but sheâ€™s absolute rubbish at it. Her family consists of her sister (who is her foil) and her father, an impenetrable man who just wants to be left alone to watch the world go by. She dreams of someday having a â€śnormalâ€ť family. Her greatest fear is things not going according to plan. Sadly, she has no name yet. Anyone care to christen her?
She is a sibyl at a local temple and I think she is the protagâ€™s older sister. She is bright and colorful, as unlike the moon as one can beâ€¦bright copper hair, freckles, and she adores the sun. She loves good food and beautiful thingsâ€¦and she particularly loves games of chance (very unlike her sister and an interesting amusement for an oracle, donâ€™t you think?). She considers her sister priestesses as her family, although she and her sister do have a special bond. That book sheâ€™s reading might play a role in the story, being a portal into another world. She hopes one day to not just to serve the goddess but also to rise in her profession and wield real power, perhaps as a kind of demigod. Her greatest fear is falling in love.
Stay tuned for more characters, plots spreads, and who knowsâ€¦maybe even a setting. Let me know how your novel is coming. If you post your NaNoWriMo tarot usage on a blog, include the link in the comments. Feel free to add me as a writing buddy (and let me know, so I can add you). My user name is mysticfaerie.
Contest Winner Announcement and Special Halloween Treat!
Donâ€™t forget, on Thursday Iâ€™ll announce the winner of the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight and will present a very special interview with an artist who is a true treat.