Tarot for Writers – Character Creation Exercise

tarot, fortune telling, tarot spreads, crystal ball, reading tarot, telling fortunesI mentioned in a post a few days back that I was waiting for Astrology for Writers by Corrine Kenner. My copy came yesterday. I’ve glanced through it and so far it looks great, but I haven’t yet done any exercises with it. When I do, I’ll post some of them.

But getting that book caused me to pick up my copy of Tarot for Writers. Remember how I said this was the go-to book for using tarot for writing?

Let me show you why by doing one of the exercises. This one is for character creation. And, before I proceed, let me say that using tarot for writing doesn’t have to be just for novels or short stories. You can use the tarot for screenplays, poetry, even for gaming.

Here’s a link to website that can help you with that. Using Tarot Guards to Help Plan and Inspire Your Games.

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot - Ciro Marchetti

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot – Ciro Marchetti

As for the Tarot for Writers’ character creation exercise, I first selected a card to work with. It’s the Page of Coins from Caro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

This is a lovely deck and one of my favorites to work with, especially when it comes to writing. The images are very evocative and can’t help but inspire me.

Here are the questions from the book.

Is your character a man or a woman?

Based on this card, a woman. Or perhaps a young man dressed as a woman? If so, why? Or, perhaps, could this character be an idea for a story about a fantasy world where people change genders?

When I’m doing these exercises, I tend to work through the questions as fast as I can. My objective initially is to brainstorm as many ideas as I can.

On to the next question.

How old is your character?

Based on this card, I’d say she (or he) is about fifteen. Maybe older.

What does your character do for a living? 

The answer to that question would have a lot to do with what kind of story I’m writing. The character in the card is wearing a medieval looking outfit, but even if I’m writing a story set in contemporary times, I can still brainstorm off this card. Pages in the tarot usually represent younger people, children, students, apprentices. Coins usually have to do with money, finances etc. Let’s say I’m writing a fantasy, however. My character could be an apprentice in some kind of counting house. Or maybe she is the daughter of a wealthy lord.

How does your character spend his or her free time?

Well, brainstorming off this card, I’d say outside. Maybe she likes to ride horses or she’s into gardening. Or, since she’s clutching that coin rather tightly, maybe she likes to sit inside and count all her money? Again, just brainstorming here.

I’ll do one more question. What are your character’s hopes and dreams?

Let’s see. Page of Coins. She’s young, wealthy or, perhaps not. Maybe she’s about to lose all of her money. Maybe she’s being cheated out of an inheritance and her hope is to not be left penniless.That’s why she’s holding on to that coin so tightly. If she is being cheated, by whom and why?

And from there, I’d just keep brainstorming until I’ve have gotten enough of an idea to create a story or I might just pull some more cards and continue brainstorming.


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