Hi, you guys! I am back with the CHARACTER series! I’m so excited with how last week’s was received, you all make me so happy and I love you guys so much! This week will focus a little bit more on plot, although character development is definitely a huge thing here. I know a bit more about the plot facet of this, but there’s so much to explore that it should not be limited to that!
Horoscopes and Astrology
You heard me right. Horoscopes and astrology, though doubtful in accuracy for reality, can be huge assets in writing. Unsure what to do to your characters next? One person seeming a little flat? This can help.
I’m not going to go into the mechanics of how all of this is decided as I, frankly, do not know, but to make a long explanation short, depending on what part of the year you were born in, you have a sign that is supposed to affect your personality and fortune. Here’s a brief overview.
Knowing your character’s birthdays can help in a variety of ways, the least being that your other characters know when to celebrate. You can implement personality elements of their zodiac sign, you can check their horoscope and throw in an event or two… the list goes on and on.
Thinking about where your character stands regarding astrology and other ‘new-age sciences’ can be helpful, too. Do they believe in it wholeheartedly or avoid it like the plague? Or do they dabble it in here and there? Do their opinions change throughout the book, and why?
The Chinese Zodiac is also something to pay attention to, regarding characters, especially if the story takes place at a fixed point in history. Even with fantasy, you can very easily use the year progression and folklore around each animal to give your characters specific personality traits and even luck. Some years- the year of the dragon, for instance- are hugely lucky, whereas other signs might have less favored characteristics- greed being an example (Rat). This particular zodiac has its own horoscopes, and if you know both the star sign and the Chinese Zodiac animal could really be a power tool regarding plot and character.
Creating a fictional Zodiac for your story
Knowledge of a variety of zodiac systems in our world can be helpful when creating your own. Every culture has their own method of divining the future and this type of divination is one of the most common. Here are some steps to get you started!
- Decide on the divisions- will sign be determined by birth year, as in the Chinese Zodiac? Or will it be determined by the stars, with a cycle going by in a year? What about the time of day that you were born, or the location, or the foods craved by your mother? There are a plethora of ideas regarding this out there, give it some thought and something is sure to come to mind!
- How many divisions will there be? Is the number auspicious in any way? What titles do they have, and where do they come from?
- Decide on the characteristics of each division. What mythology is behind each one? Any heroes that define it? Gods and goddesses?
- What folklore is behind the zodiac system as a whole? How widespread is it? Who in your story believes it? Is it accurate? What influences it?
Hopefully these help! Even if none of your characters believe it, even if it never surfaces in the story itself, every little bit that you can add to your culture will pay off. Ultimately, you will have not only three-dimensional characters but a rich setting as well, and your plot will benefit.
I hope you all are having a good week! CHARACTERS will be back on Saturday for either a tag or a linkup I’m not entirely sure what it’ll be yet!
What do you think? Would you be interested in a tag or a linkup? Have you used horoscopes in writing before? What are your thoughts on it? Will you try using them in the future?