Looking for some writing inspiration? I often turn to Tarot and oracle decks to give my creative writing a jumpstart. Here’s how:
- Use the court cards for character development. Tarot court cards (Kings, Queens, Pages and Knights) exemplify personality traits. This makes them tricky in Tarot readings, but awesome if you’re trying to develop a character. Looking for someone who’s steadfast and true? Study the Knight of Pentacles – slow moving but careful, honorable but prickly. Court cards have both positive and negative traits – a benefit for multi-dimensional characters – and have become my short-hand when I’m trying to remember how a character will act in a certain scene.
- Oracle and Tarot can drive character arcs. While I was struggling with my heroine’s arc in Steam and Sensibility, I came across the Oracle of Shadows and Light. Not only did the deck have a steampunk flavor – ideal for my steampunk suspense – but it also seems tailored to young women – ideal for my young, female heroine. I quickly picked out three cards that demonstrated my character at the beginning of the story (The Violet Duchess – stifled, bored and stuck), her change (Poe – learning something new, advanced technology), and who she becomes to triumph at the end (Dress of Alchemy – release your power!). These weren’t random draws – I went through the deck to find cards that seemed to suit my character, then used them to add depth to her story.
- Meditation. Stuck for an idea? Shuffle the deck, pull three cards, and see what they say to you about your story. You can address each card to a particular story problem – e.g. one card can represent the conflict, another something the hero must let go of, etc. For example, if you’re looking for conflict and draw the Seven of Swords, which shows a man running away with swords in his arms, it could represent a theft, an incursion, or a deceit of some sort.
There are lots of great sources of writerly inspiration. But especially for paranormal authors, Tarot and oracle decks can provide a fun and colorful creativity boost.
Where do you get your inspiration?
About the Author:
Kirsten Weiss is the author of Steam and Sensibility, a steampunk novel of suspense, and the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mysteries: the urban fantasy, The Metaphysical Detective, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective, The Infernal Detective and The Elemental Detective.