Three Card Creative Writing Spreads – Part 2

Greetings fellow writers and tarot lovers,

coffee and writingIts time for another batch of tarot spreads designed to assist us with our creative writing projects.

For today’s post I decided to focus on character development. Character development can be crucial, especially in longer works. The more you know about and develop your characters, the more their actions, choices and narratives take on an organic flow. Sometimes characters take on a life of their own and they will tell you what what they would do next and you just have to transcribe. That’s when the writing process really gets magical.

A little caveat, you can of course spend too much time on character development and never actually get around to writing the story at all. Be mindful and don’t feel like you need to know every tiny detail before you can start writing your story. Often characters will reveal things about themselves along the way too, so while you can get the gist of your character with these spreads, allow room for some natural development as well.

A caveat to the caveat: I ended up with an entire second story because I got so caught up in writing back story about a character once, and we wouldn’t have the Silmarillion if Tolkien didn’t love to extensively develop his characters and story environments, so if you get carried away during character development it could also be a really good thing. As in all things, know thyself. Know when thyself is just procrastinating, and know when thyself is on a roll. 😉

Basic Character Development Spread

Basic Character Development Spread

One way to do this first spread is to use only the court cards, but using the entire deck works just as well.

Card #1 – Personality: This is one of the character’s core personality traits. Its likely the most dominant one, or the one that they show to the world and express most externally.

Card #2 – Strengths: This card represents a skill or trait that the character has which is helpful or useful to them throughout the story.

Card #3 – Weaknesses: Weaknesses represent traits or tendencies of the character which get in the way, create obstacles or undermine a character’s success. It can also point out an area where the character may need get help or assistance from another character.

Antagonist Development Spread

Antagonist Character Spread

A lot of the time the antagonist in a story is the most fun to write. Its a chance to let all our shadows come out to play without any real world consequences. This spread focuses on getting below the character’s facade and seeing what sneaky, devious mischief they are really up to. *evil laugh*

Card #1 – How this character appears on the outside: This is the face your antagonist shows to the world (or other character, you can certainly use this spread for characters other than a strictly identified “antagonist” and this can be a good way to examine the many facets of a character.). This is what they want everyone to see. This is how they intend that everyone perceives them. This card will tell you if they are overtly antagonistic, passive-aggressive, or trying to pass themselves off as one of the “good guys”. Maybe its the armor they wear as emotional protection.  It could be an idealized version of themselves which they project out into the world.

Card #2 – How this character actually is on the inside: This is the truth beneath the mask of Card #1. This is who the character really is. This likely represents a part of themselves they are trying to hide, either intentionally or unintentionally, either to achieve their own antagonist ends or out of shame.

Card #3 – Hidden Motivation/Ulterior Motive: This card tells you what is driving the character’s antagonism and what their hidden agenda is. It represents what’s in it for them and what they are trying to secretly achieve (or maybe not so secretly).

I hope you enjoy these spreads and that they inspire dozens of interesting characters to populate your writing.

(If you liked these spreads check out my Basic Plot Development Spread and my Three Card Creative Writing Spreads Part 1)

Until next time…Write on dear friends 🙂

Your Most Valuable Relationship – A Valentine’s Day Post and Spread

Many Blessings! Thank you for celebrating Valentine’s Day with me!

The Lovers - The Collective Tarot

The Lovers – The Collective Tarot

I believe that the most important relationship that you have, or ever will have, is with yourself. It impacts everything and effects your day-to-day experience of this life more than any outside influence ever could. On this day which celebrates love and relationships, I feel that it is paramount not to forget this most significant relationship and to spend time focusing on self love and being mindful of how you get along with you.

I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to take time to nurture your connection with yourself. Banish any thoughts or conditioning that says that it is wrong, selfish or self indulgent. It isn’t. In fact it is vital.

For me, the most important part of nurturing myself and my relationship with myself is, like any relationship, communication. I have to focus carefully on how I communicate with myself, what I’m saying, what the tone is, whether I’m being passive aggressive, whether I’m taking a dig at myself.

Nine of Bottles - The Collective Tarot

Nine of Bottles – The Collective Tarot

Communicating with love, kindness and compassion is essential to create a nurturing relationship between you and you. That’s not to say it needs to be all positive and lovey-dovey and no accountability. I’m nothing if not pragmatic. But there is a huge difference between saying “Self, this didn’t work. Its ok. You made a mistake. Let’s make our peace with it, make our apologies, move on and try something else.” and saying “What the f&%$ self? Are you stupid or something? This was never going to work. Everybody hates you now. You just ruined EVERYTHING. Gawd, you suck!”

OUCH!

Yeah, healthy self talk and self communication is where its at.

The other self-relationship nurturing thing that I can’t live without is doing things alone or having dates with myself. The great thing about going on a self-date is that you get to do exactly what you want, no compromising. You are saying “I deserve the things I want. They are important and I choose to make them a priority.” Its also a great opportunity to get back in touch with what you genuinely enjoy. Sometimes we spend so much time going with the flow of other peoples plans and expectations, or even our own plans and expectations, that we literally forget what we enjoy at heart and soul level.

During one particular period of my life, one where I was quite the lost puppy, I had someone ask me what I wanted, what I enjoyed doing and I found myself dumbfounded that I didn’t know. I knew what I thought I was “suppose” to want and enjoy, what I thought was “cool” to want and enjoy, but I had completely lost touch with what I ACTUALLY wanted and enjoyed. Well that was a hell of a wake up call, no joke.

Ace of Bottles - The Collective Tarot

Ace of Bottles – The Collective Tarot

If you’ve lost touch with what lights you up and makes your soul sing, this could be part of what’s going on and I would encourage you to sit down with yourself, have a little one-on-one with you, and see if you can tap into what your honest and true preferences are, what you want, what you enjoy. It may take time, it did for me, but eventually those things that your heart and soul loves and desires will be revealed.

I always know when I’ve encountered something or tapped into something that is a deep love or passion of mine because out of nowhere my heart swells (not literally, thank goodness), and my eyes start tearing, and my gut starts chattering and then I know that I am engaging with something that is profound and sacred to me. In my case its not the most subtle of barometers, but learning to listen to that intuitive cue has been invaluable. For the longest time I shied away from those experiences because I didn’t feel comfortable crying. Scratch that, I HATED crying, but when I realized that those tears were myself trying to tell me something vital, I was able to appreciate the tears and feel grateful that my inner self was speaking to me so clearly through them.

So this Valentines day honor and nurture the life-long relationship between you and you. Make space and time to grow it. Make space and time to listen to what you need and want, what you find exciting, what inspires you.

In the spirit of developing a glorious relationship with self, I have put together a simple relationship spread exactly for that purpose. Here it is:

Card #1 – The current state of your relationship with self – This card will tell you a lot all on its own. It will give you a general message about where you are with your self-relationship, but also it can reveal that your relationship with self is too heavily focused on one area or seriously lacking in an important energy. If you get the Queen of Cups for example, it can show that you are very tapped into your emotions and emotional needs and being self supporting in that way, which is great, but at the same time all that water energy (Cups represent water and Queens also represent water) it might mean that you aren’t giving yourself the pep talks or tough love that you may need to get motivated and take action, or perhaps you’re coddling yourself.

Card #2 – What may be hindering this relationship – This card is intended to point out blocks to your self love and self-relationship. It represents what is getting in the way of being there for yourself and supporting yourself. It can also point out how or where you need to heal and repair your connection with self.

Card #3 – What you can do to improve this relationship – This card offers you advice for improving your relationship with self and getting over the blocks that are making self love and self support difficult. Its purpose is to give you an action step to take to effect real, positive change in how you and you get along.

I hope you enjoy this spread. If you try it out, I would love to hear what you thought of it.

As a special Valentines Day gift I am offering 5 free readings using this spread (I will post when they are all taken up). Just fill out the form below and I will have your reading back to you sometime in the next seven days (hopefully sooner.). Before you fill out the form just take a quick look at my policies. By submitting the form you affirm that you agree to these policies.

Have a blessed day and may your life be full of love and nurturing, supportive relationships with other and with yourself!

All free readings have been claimed! Thank you for your interest!

 

Short & Sweet New Year Spread

Greetings Tarot Loves,

Its funny, I don’t have anything to blog about for months and then suddenly I’m waxing prolific. Its interesting how creativity ebbs and flows. I’m not complaining though, its great to be blogging regularly again…though I make no promises about keeping this pace up for any length of time.

Now, down to business…I have a quick three card spread for you to try out. Its intended to give you some insight for the upcoming year. So many folks use elaborate New Years spreads, but I wanted to design something a little less complex, it could even be used as a supplement to a larger reading.

3 Card New Years Spread

Card #1: Your Point of Power: This card represents you, what you can do and what you should focus on to make the upcoming year a roaring success. It indicates the strengths that you bring with you into the new year, the lessons that you’ve learned in the past year that will help you and the things that fall within your sphere of control.

Card #2: What You Need to Leave Behind in the Old Year: This card represents those things that need to be released, that you don’t want to bring into the new year with you. They are obstacles, things that aren’t serving you and will only hinder you moving forward.

Card #3: What You Need to Embrace in the New Year: This card represents the energies that will help you in the New Year. These are the things that are coming your way, that you are drawing to you. They can be resources, other people who will assist you or attitudes and behaviors for you to adopt.

A Holiday Gift for You!

If any of you, my dear subscribers, are interested in getting a little New Years insight, I’m giving away 6 short New Year Readings based on this spread. I have some extra time over the next 10 days and I’m itching to do some readings. Please fill out the form below, include what you want me to focus on in the “Question” section and I will have your reading in your inbox by Jan 1 (provided no unforeseen calamities strike.). I will note on this post when all the readings have been claimed. If you submit an inquiry I will e-mail you to confirm your reading within 48hrs. Please note, you need to be a subscriber on my blog or have liked my Facebook Page to be eligible. I look forward to reading for you. 🙂

Love & Blessings

PS-Please check out my Policies & Ethics Page before submitting your inquiry, just to make sure that you understand how I do readings and what I am able to read about.

All of the free tarot readings have been claimed! Thank you for your interest.

Three Card Creative Writing Spreads – Part 1

Eight of Pentacles The Steampunk Tarot

Well Met Tarot Friends,
This is another post for those of us who are writers as well as tarot lovers…or for any writers who find the idea of using tarot to enhance their writing, intriguing.

My Plot Development Tarot Spread was such a hit that I decided to post a couple more spreads for you to try out in your creative writing practice. I actually have a ton of these, so this will be Part 1 and if there is continued interest, then I will post more in the future.

Unlike the Plot Development Tarot Spread, these spreads are short and sweet, only three cards each. Its enough to get your creative juices flowing, without being overwhelming or too time consuming.

So without further ado, here are three 3 card spreads that you can use to inspire your writing projects.

SPREAD #1

Creative Writing Spread

In general this spread is pretty self explanatory. It just gives you a very broad outline of what your story arch could look like.

Card #1: Beginning – This part of the story is where you set everything up, introduce your characters, setting, situation and conflict or story catalyst.

Card #2: Middle – This section usually involves the meat of the plot. This is when journeys take place, information is gatherer and events occur which either help or hinder the protagonist.

Card #3: End – The end is the culmination of the story, all the elements from the beginning come together and we get some sort of resolution. This can be a grand final battle, a character has an epiphany, they become who they were always meant to be, they defeat the antagonist, the find what they were seeking etc.

SPREAD #2

3 card creative writing tarot spread

Similar to the first spread, this spread tells you what your story arch could look like, however with this spread we are getting more specific. Instead of a very broad picture of what is going on, this spread gives you ideas about why things are unfolding the way they are.

Card #1: Situation – This card represents the catalyst for the story. It is the things that must be resolved, dealt with, avoided, stopped, changed etc. Essentially, it is the reason that the tale is happening.

Card #2: Challenge – This is what makes resolving the situation so tricky. This is what the protagonist(s) must overcome or do to enable a desirable outcome. It may also indicate the solution to resolving the situation.

Card #3: Resolution – The resolution card represents how the situation is ultimately resolved, or not resolved as the case may be. It illustrates how or whether the protagonist is successful or unsuccessful or maybe something in-between.

SPREAD #3

Character Relationship Creative Writing Spread

This spread explores the relationship between any two characters in your story. Notice that the cards are not laid out from left to right like the other two spreads. For some additional insight you don’t have to restrict the character positions to people. You could choose for Character B to be a particular environment and examine how Character A feels about that environment, or you could examine the relationship between a character and their past, or a character and their fear. Its creative writing, all rules are optional. 🙂

Card #1: Character A – This card indicates the personality and attributes of the first character that you are examining, as well as characteristics that may effect how they get along with Character B.

Card #2: Character B – This is the other character or entity that you are looking at. Like card #1, this card explores the attributes and personality of this character, especially in relation to how they react or interact with Character A.

Card #3: Their Relationship – The word relationship isn’t implying something romantic, it could, but its more about how the characters relate to each other, how they feel about each other and how they act around each other. This card sums up what that looks like.

One thing that you can keep an eye out for when you do this spread is the differences and similarities between Card #1 and #2. This will give you additional information about the dynamic between characters. Are they both the same suit? Are they suits that don’t mesh well. Is one a Major card and one a minor card? Are they peers? Do they have a lot in common? You get the idea. 🙂

Well, there you have it. 3 spreads to help invoke the muse. I hope you enjoy and use these spreads. Please let me know what you think if you try them out.

Until next time, keep on writing.

Check out Three Card Creative Writing Spreads – Part 2 for more creative inspiration. I hope you enjoy!

Creative Writing – Basic Plot Development Tarot Spread

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I love writing and I love combining tarot and story-telling. Using the cards for writing prompts and designing spreads to generate story ideas are two fun ways to do that.

The spread that I’m sharing today produces a general plot outline. The purpose of the spread is to get the creative juices flowing, perhaps even open pathways to the muse, who is quite a fickle creature.

When it comes to “interpreting” this kind of spread you aren’t really looking for “accuracy” as much as you are looking for something that clicks with you creatively. The amount of freedom you have is what makes it so much fun.

As you go along ask yourself…What in the cards is exciting or compelling?

If you start on the first few cards and then completely deviate away from the rest… who cares?! It’s your story! You’re on a roll! The inspiration is flowing!…That is what the spread is designed to do.

So without further ado, here is the spread. (I provide a more detailed descriptions below the diagram.)

Basic Plot Spread

Card #1 – Hero/Protagonist: This card will represent your main character. You can separate the court cards from the pack, shuffle and select one if you want to get a definitive personality type. I use the whole deck myself.

Card #2 – Current Situation: These are the circumstances that the character is experiencing at the beginning of the story. It can describe an emotional state or physical situation. Usually it will have some undesirable aspect that will operate as the catalyst for the story.

Card #3 – Goal: This may be closely related to Card #2 or it may be the catalyst for the story by itself. It is what the character is attempting to accomplish. If it relates to Card #2 it is likely a remedy for the current situation, if not the goal is driving the character and the plot on its own.

Card #4 – Obstacle/Conflict: This is the thing that is getting in the way of the character’s goal. It can be a person or circumstances or a character’s own flaws. It can be related to card #2 as a specific aspect of the current situation.

Card #5 – Who Will Help/Ally: This is a person, a secondary character that will assist the protagonist in achieving their goal and/or overcome their obstacle. I suppose this could also be considered as “what” will help if you don’t want an additional character here.

Card #6 – Who Will Hinder/Villain: This is another secondary character who will get in the way of the protagonists progress. It can be the villain of the story, it can be an accomplice if you’ve already identified a villain in Card #2 or Card #4,  or it can be a secondary or independent obstacle.

Card #7 – What They Must Learn: This can represent an area of growth, a point of transformation or a lesson that the main character must learn in order to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way.

Card #8 – Resolution/Outcome: The completion of the protagonist’s journey, the culmination of their efforts. This is the moment that the rest of the story has been leading up to, where you tie everything together.

I hope you enjoy working with this spread and I would love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below.

Happy writing all, 😉

-Cameron

Looking for more creative writing spreads? Check out these other articles.

Three Card Creative Writing Spreads – Part 1

Three Card Creative Writing Spreads – Part 2

Get in The Flow With This Tarot Writing Exercise