Writing Tarot

No new drawings, because I’ve been swamped with got-to-pay-the-rent work about which the less said, the better.  In the evenings I’ve been working the outline for my new book.

I’m still discovering who the characters are and why they got to where they are. I needed a way to help me figure these things.  Problem is, it’s easy to slip into the groove where  my main character is, essentially, me.  And the secondary characters are suspiciously like characters from my favourite books.

To “throw myself a curve ball” as Brendon says, I’ve been doing tarot readings for each of my characters.  This helps me figure out who they are and what they care about.  I’m fairly new to reading the tarot.  It’s quite a fascinating process.  I tend to be a bit skeptical about the mystical side and use it mainly as a tool to help me consider many different sides of a question.  But I must admit that I got some pretty uncanny results.  Either there is something more going on than I like to admit, or the human tendency to recognise patterns where there are none is even stronger than I suspected.

For example.  One of the characters is the “love interest”.  He will develop a crush on my main character, although at this stage it is unclear whether the relationship will get anywhere.  I asked the question “Tell me more about this young man.”    The first card, that stands for “the heart of the matter” and such issues as “central issue” and “outstanding feature” was the Two of Cups.  The second was The Lovers.  That made me stare.

The Two of Cups is all about  attraction, particularly between two individuals, “recognising that a bond is developing”, making an exclusive connection.  It is the minor arcana equivalent of The Lovers. The Lovers deals with the urge for union, the strong connection between two people as well the commitment an individual makes to certain beliefs and values.  And, of course, sexual and romantic love.

So that was quite appropriate.

The reading I did for my “evil” character was just as apt.  Her heart cards were the Three of Swords and the King of Pentacles.  The Three of Swords is about betrayal, hurt and loneliness.  The King of Pentacles suggests qualities of reliability, competence, the ability to succeed, “working towards a goal with resolve”. Her reading was a study of contradictions.  Reconciling these  has helped me think about this character in a much more complex way, figuring her out as a human being rather than the symbol of evil she was before I started this process.

Of course, just the act of laying out the cards and looking at them helps me think.  Such amazing, potent images.

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