Right in time for NANoWriMo I started a week long class on using the Tarot to help with story outlining and character formation. I’ve had this Universal Waite deck for oh, well over a year and after the initial fold of cards never really picked it up again. Part of that is because the kids think anything with bright pretty colors is for them and wanted to play Go-Fish with it.
After the first lesson I knew this was going to really help me with my writing. I am so glad I signed up for the class!
I have a lot of character writing books and lectures, I’ve written out as much as I can on a lot of the worksheets that accompany them or that I found online but I always seem to get stuck! There is only just so much that my brain can come up with out of the blue on it’s own. Using the Tarot was just amazing. Each card has an image (which vary depending on what deck you use), that image can help with a lot but once you look into what the proposed means could be well, the ideas just start flowing. And then the cards each have a reverse which is like bonus ideas.
I was able to give in depth characterizations for my 2 main characters, outline the issues and do some cultural outlining before NaNo started. This is farther than I’ve gotten before NaNo started. Monday I needed to outline another 2 main characters, the bad guy and the ultimate good guy (I’m writing fantasy), write a little more outlining on the cities and name a few more places. I didn’t get everything done but I got more done and with fresher ideas than had I tried to sit down with a blank paper and a blank mind. I highly encourage anyone interested to try it out the next time the class comes around.
Since NaNo is here now, I’ve also tried to get a few posts ahead on both blogs. There are times when I won’t be able to write (Thanksgiving comes to mind) and I want to get at least the basics down for post ideas so that when the day comes to write it I’m not sitting with a blank screen and blank mind.
Tuesday, I got over 3200 words written for NaNo. I’m trying to get ahead since I know holidays and such will end up putting me behind. The outlining is really saving me here. I’m trying to get as much done this first week as I can. I still have things to fill in with my notes. And of course, there’s the post-NaNo editing, at one point I was just making up parts of a boat. Ah well, that’s the nature of the NaNo Beast.
I’ve also gotten through another 1+ chapter in Nancy Kress’ Characters book. So far so good!
How is ROW and NaNo meshing going for you guys? How about you non-NaNo Rowers?