What’s Your (Character’s) Sign?

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).


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