Cocktails, Characters & Quirks

I love creating stories. One thing I loathe in my own writing, though, is characters who lack depth. They are cardboard cut-outs with no imperfections. These characters bore me to tears. What about you? If you were going to introduce them to your friends, what would you say?

“This is my heroine, Joie. She heals animals. She loves her godmother. She’s pretty.”

Yeah. I won’t want to hang out with her. She comes across as perfect, right? Nobody is perfect. At least not in my group of friends. I want my characters to be real not cardboard cutouts.

Now what about:

“This is my heroine Joie. She heals animals. She thinks she’s too short. She has a jealous streak a mile wide but she is a loyal friend.”

So she sounds far more real to me. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. We have flaws as well as strengths. I think she is someone I could be friends with now. Moreso than the cardboard perfect Joie from before.

Okay, but how do you get those quirks? How do you develop a character who is 3-D…believable? One way that I do it is with a simple three card Tarot spread. Try this out for your next character and let me know the results.

Cocktail Spread

The premise is that you are going to a party with your character as your guest. You are going to have to do a short introduction when you get there. Draw three cards for the following positions.

Job
Personal Life
Quirk

Using the award-winning Ghosts And Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt (U.S. Games Systems, INC 2012) I drew the following cards for a different character:

  • My character’s job requires them to be a mentally focused warrior. He can’t let his guard drop ever. (King of Swords)
  • My character’s personal life has too many ties to his past so he really doesn’t like to talk about it. (5 of Cups)
  • His quirk is that he parties so he can be one of the guys but he really wants one of the guys. (4 of Cups)

So, from this, I realized my character is a gay soldier who has rejoined the military to get away from a bad relationship. 😀 It’s my story so I get to let my brain wander wherever it likes. King of Swords is a warrior. When I saw the 5 of Cups next, I immediately wondered about his past relationships. Why would he be a warrior with a broken heart. But the 4 of Cups showed me he had a bunch of regrets but ignored them by indulging in the drink too much.

Or, if I were going a more paranormal track, I might say that he was an eternal warrior(job) who was haunted by all the loves he’d lost(personal life). He avoids water because that is how the ghosts of his past connect to him(quirk). And there’s nothing worse than being nagged by a dead ex!

This is a good spread for the main characters and the villain.

So what are your cards? What is your take away? I’d love to hear what you think. You can use any deck. A deck of playing cards (look the meanings up online) can work as can any oracle deck.

This exercise is from a workshop I used to teach online. I’ve turned that month long Hero’s Journey (a Tarot for Writers workshop) into an eCourse. Now you can take advantage of all the lessons, handouts and writing prompts whenever you like. No more waiting for me to set up a workshop. It’s my secret weapon for NaNoWriMo.

Some great books are:

  1. Vogler, Christopher, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
  2. Campbell, Joseph, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
  3. Pearson, Carol, Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World

A more extensive bibliography comes with the eCourse.

If you like, I’ve got a video here. It is on YouTube but was on Periscope first. It’s not great quality video wise…it was my first one. 😀 I do a few exercises including this one. 😀

If you are doing NaNoWriMo, I’m there as TarotByArwen. I do it every year.

Please note that links included may be affiliate links which means I get a small monetary payment if you buy via them.

Originally posted in 2012. I've updated the post and republished.

Tarotscopes 10/14 – 10/20

Today’s deck? Dreaming Way Tarot from US Games. t I love this deck, y’all!

Feel free to share these. And I love hearing from you so let me know what you think of them. How is your week looking for you? How was last week?

  • AQ PgPent Study harder. Learn more. Work on written projects. Don’t wander too far. Stick to the subject for best results.
  • PIC 10P Successful outcome. Others approve. Ask U to share yr wealth/knowledge. Business grows. Expect success. Listen to advice.
  • ARI PW Sometimes U have to wander to learn. Write a letter to your self for 10 yrs later about where U expect to be. Get in the game.
  • TAU World Knowledge is power. Use that knowledge to move to the next thing. Understanding yr success leads to more. Accomplishment.
  • CAN 5C U have plenty left. Yr joy is in yr hands not theirs. Focus on what U have. Yr hula hoop, darling. Not theirs. Let them go.
  • GEM 6Cp Emotional responses w/o thought are for children. Revisit old friends. Learn from their success. Value what they offer.
  • LEO KnS Where are U rushing off to? Stop. Time to get a plan of action BEFORE charging in. Is it really yr battle to fight? Really?
  • VIR 4S Rest is recommended. More mental projects coming soon. Take this much needed respite. Allow yr mind space to rejuvenate.
  • LIB 4Wnds Partnerships need boundaries. Commitment requires stability. Celebrate yr hearthstone by focusing on others this wk.
  • SCO 1Wnd Growth starts at the bottom. Passion fuels it. Seed energy for starting something fun & new. Make it happen now. Fast wk.
  • SAG QSw Speak w/ authority. May have to be sharper than U like but they must listen this wk. U will need to take charge of your life.
  • CAP 5Wnd Don’t let others control U. Play by rules U know & understand. When U are pawn 4 others, it’s wrong. Games are likely.

Three of Cups, Dreaming Way Tarot, US Games, 2012

July 2012 Tarotscopes

Your July Tarotscopes podcast is ready. And don’t miss out on my free book. Just sign up for the newsletter under “Intuitive Tarot” to get your copy right away.

It’s a fabulous first day of July, isn’t it? I hope you love my new website design as much as I do. Some things have been moved. Consider it a treasure hunt. 😀 Your July Tarotscopes podcast is ready. And don’t miss out on my free book. Just sign up for the newsletter under “Intuitive Tarot” to get your copy right away.

Joy, Rachel Pollack & Workshops

I do love being a joy seeker, but there are times when it is hard. Times when I want to just wallow in feeling blue or rage against the machine that seems to run the world I have to live in. I have never claimed that being a professional joy seeker is easy. And I never will.

I will claim Continue reading “Joy, Rachel Pollack & Workshops”

Ostara Tarot Blog Hop: Bloom Where You’re Planted

Hi there! Welcome to the Ostara Blog Hop. Hopefully you found me through Andrew’s blog. The next blog link is at the bottom of this one. Have fun! If you are in Austin, TX, come take a class with me. 🙂

Our topic was “Paint a journey with new life” which relates to the Goddess Ostara coloring the world with flowers. I love the image of this beautiful Deity trailing flowers wherever she goes. It makes me think of Continue reading “Ostara Tarot Blog Hop: Bloom Where You’re Planted”

Control, Inspiration & Overdoing It

More on Arwen’s exploration of the Elemental Dignities.

Continuing on with the Elemental Dignities work, I am now using the Rosetta Tarot. Yes, I finally unwrapped it. For those who aren’t in on this joke, when I got this deck, I couldn’t get past the Fool card. It was so full of symbols and meaning. Truly couldn’t stop staring at it. 😀 I finally made myself unwrap it. Did the initial flip-through yesterday. The Death card in this deck is Continue reading “Control, Inspiration & Overdoing It”

Cold, Bold & Holy

Remember you can see my daily cards (video or written format)by liking http://www.facebook.com/TarotByArwen1

Today’s three card draw brings back an old friend. Well as old as a friend can be when I’ve only known this deck for four days. 😐 Still, this card has been showing up a lot for me with the Mary-El Tarot. I will pay more attention to the book this time.

Today’s Elemental Dignities are Earth/Fire/Fire which is a strong Continue reading “Cold, Bold & Holy”

The Tarot Train Is Pulling Out! Are You On Board?

Allllllll abooooaaarrrrd! The Tarot train is leaving the station. First stop, Imbolc.

Allllllll abooooaaarrrrd! The Tarot train is leaving the station. First stop, Imbolc. What can you expect? Continue reading “The Tarot Train Is Pulling Out! Are You On Board?”

SPREAD: Hula Hoop Spread

Animated woman hula hoopingI have a saying that I learned from my sister.

“That’s not in my hula hoop.”

It refers to what I cannot control. And, darlings, that’s a lot. I cannot control the driver in the car next to me–no matter how much I scream or smile. I cannot control my upstairs neighbor–no matter how much I shush her friends when they are too noisy. I cannot control an acquaintance on the path to self-destruction–no matter how much I would like to.

None of that is within my control. It’s out of my reach. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what is and isn’t within my sphere of influence. I have an Continue reading “SPREAD: Hula Hoop Spread”

REVIEW:Tarot Flash Cards

Tarot Learning Cards Living Magick Card SeriesI was sent a copy of Tarot Flash Cards from the Living Magick Learning Cards(r) Series. The creator are Jadzia DeForest & Jay Greenman DeForest. This 2010 publication is 84 cards including the 78 that relate to the Tarot.

When I got the box, I was very Continue reading “REVIEW:Tarot Flash Cards”