Writing & Tarot: Character Prompt 2
Updated: Sep 28
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?
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!