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  • Writer's pictureFallon Clark

Writing & Tarot: Character Prompt 2

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

I love a great character-driven story. The internal world. Relationships. Transformation from first page to last. And a character-driven story requires a dynamic character with all the trimmings and trappings of a real person: backstory, internal conflict, voice, perspective. But creating a veritable Pinocchio of a character isn’t easy.

To start, flesh out a dynamic character with a rough idea of how the character is. This includes knowing 1) What the character wants; 2) What the character needs; and 3) What inner trauma informs behaviors. Then, 4) drop that character into a situation to see how they behave.

The Devil: This character wants something exciting, perhaps something that may be dangerous or forbidden. This character may give in to temptation or physical gratification and may find a kind of thrilling, fearful joy in making their own decisions.

Princess of Wands: This character needs good sense and benefits from a show of culture and wisdom, possibly from a mother figure. The character may have come from a background of unfulfilled potential and may need abundance in some form or another to find peace and contentment.

Five of Wands: This character’s inner trauma is one of strife or battle without hatred or bitterness, a struggle that results in avoidance. Likely, this character has seen some s#!$ and may take things personally or may approach conflict with aggression.

Prince of Cups: This character finds themselves in the company of a sweet-tempered but naïve person, and the naïve person becomes a test. How will the character respond?

Based on what you know about the character's rough how:

  • What is their likely backstory?

  • What are their strengths?

  • Weaknesses?

  • What nervous ticks or habits may they employ?

  • Do they have unique features that stand out?

  • How will they identify their needs following the achievement of their wants?

  • How will the test help the character move beyond their inner trauma for growth?

Now, add basic physical descriptions (maybe a bit of glitter if you're feeling particularly spunky), a setting, and go!

Happy writing!


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