Nicole Krell wrote a brilliant blog post about how she uses astrology to build characters.
In short, she pulls up a good zodiac chart (like this one) to help her decide which traits to use to create well-rounded, deep protagonists for her novels.
Besides being a Virgo, I don’t know jack crap about astrology. So I looked up what a Virgo was supposed to be/act like. Here’s what I found:
Virgos are interested in: poetry, literature (yep!), mathematics (not me!) and other scholarly pursuits, diet, exercise and projects.
Virgos tend to be: helpful, self-effacing, perfectionists, who avoid conflict. Can be patient, observant and judgmental. And may have a difficult time showing their feelings.
Physically Virgos are: “a graceful figure, a roundish head, delicately-shaped lips, large and clear eyes, small, symmetrical, and refined features, a high forehead, and thin eyebrows. Also, they are thought to usually be of slightly above average height.”
To me, that sounds like a pretty awesome character description. Does it fit me perfectly? No. But could it suit a fictional figure? You bet.
You can also use astrology backwards. Say you want a character who is…impulsive and outgoing…but needs more fleshing out. You can scroll through the chart looking for synonyms and you may end up with an Aries –“Aggressive, willful, powerful, assertive; enthusiastic about whatever interests you at the moment, focused in short bursts, unlikely to sustain interest in the long term; ego expression; adventurous, pioneering.”
In my opinion (which may not be very valuable), the zodiac chart is based on personality generalities. Do enthusiastic people have short attention spans? Sure. Some of the time. Do I know people like that? Oh yeah.
So the next time you need to build a new character, your answer may lie in the stars!
(Okay, okay, that was cheesy. I couldn’t help it).
I’m an Aquarius… and that’s pretty much all I know about astrology.
@William: Until today, I didn’t know much more.
I used to really be into astrology–I did complex charts many, many moons ago (I’m Leo with the Moon in Gemini and Libra rising). I’ve used astrology in creating characters, and it can be quite interesting.
@Norma: It’s such a good idea! I’m not surprised other authors have done it!
@Redleg: Sure. Why not. *fist bumps* Go Virgos!