Sunday, October 10, 2010
Finding Inspiration in Cards and Quizzes
I really enjoy quizzes overall, not just because they help me procrastinate writing, but because they can give me some insight into my characters. After I take the quiz as myself, I channel my characters and take the same quiz as each of them in turn. It is actually an interesting way to see if I am taking the easy route of making all of my people into either me or the anti-me. And the canonical wisdom tells us that either of those extremes can lead to less interesting character development and more predictable character interaction. I am trying to create unique individuals who get into interesting situations.
One quiz subject I enjoy is the "What Tarot Card Are You" subject. I consistently test as "The High Priestess," the card of science, wisdom, knowledge, and education. Not a big shock for a scientist and writer, I suppose. My main character comes out as "The Sun," supposedly the card of happiness, contentment, and joy. Ironic considering how angsty he is, but perhaps this is the emphasis of what he wishes he had. His best friend is "The Heirophant" who brings "the divine to earth," a kind of "guardian angel." An excellent description, and an image that makes my mind wander to a few new ideas for him. The MC's lover tests out as, well "Love/The Lovers." Hmmm.
And if taking the quizzes isn't enough inspiration for new directions for your characters, then go ahead and actually get tarot readings for them. Again, a little playing around with your favorite search engine will lead to sites that have computers generate instant tarot card spreads. I certainly do not suggest calling "real" people or paying for anything like this, it is just for entertainment and ideas. But this was very enjoyable for me, as my main character had a computer reading done about his love life, and learned he needed to set it aside and concentrate on family celebrations and outings instead. An excellent idea.
For additional card fun, check out the "science tarot" on facebook. This link was sent to me by a friend and I had a good time browsing the art. I noted that the Queen of Wands card, the Storyteller, is Carl Sagan. Something of a paragon for those of us who long to tell the stories of science (real and otherwise) in a way that captivates, informs, and enlightens.
But approach these quizzes advisedly. One of my characters tested out as "Jar Jar Binks" in a Star Wars Character quiz. I haven't felt the same about him since.
Image Credit: Empress is used with the very generous permission of Tsabo6 on deviantArt.
My comments: Tsabo6 creates some incredible art filled with mystery, beauty, and darkness. Empress is one of several concept art tarot pieces in the theme of "high fantasy with a hint of oriental mood." I was enthralled immediately by this piece, which has such balance and beauty. Certainly if this were a real tarot deck, I'd be in line to get one. Art like this is so inspiring, and keeps the mind open to new possibilities and options.