Sunday, May 15, 2011

Astrology, Sex and Character Savvy

We all want characters that are vital and authentic. Believable. People we can fall in love with, cheer for, or shrink back from in fear. They must be ‘real’ enough to grow, change, love, shock, express ideas and have minds of their own. When all those ingredients come together, magic happens but how to get there? What makes a character come to life?

There are different ways to approach character development but my go to technique is astrology! In my novels, I’ve give my characters actual horoscopes. If I’m ever uncertain of how they might behave, I check their chart. Moon in Pisces? Disappear! Sun in Aries? Advance with sword swinging! Mercury in Libra? Discuss it with everyone for quite some time before deciding what to do. Astrology is a wonderful way to get inside a character’s head.

The horoscope tells me what makes them tick—their limiting beliefs, past patterns, core values, darkest fears and authentic goals. It answers questions about how they dress, their likes and dislikes, how they act under pressure. It can even give me hints for physical traits if I’m at a loss. Aries sun? Red hair, scar on the face. Sagittarius Moon? An old hip injury but great legs. Gemini Mercury? A stutter that only shows up under extreme duress. The horoscope can also help me see where my people, and creatures, will grow through the choices they make and the challenges they face. It also has a lot to say about their love life!

Take the ascendant, or rising sign, for example. It’s the sign that was on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth. It has long been associated with how we take action and initiate anything from journeys, fights, ideas to sex! When it comes to romance and intimacy, the rising sign gives great inspiration. Consider how each sign on the ascendant would 'make a move':

Aries — Pounce! Usually little or no warning.

Taurus — Surprisingly sensual, though ardent. They selectively fail to hear the word ‘no.’

Gemini — Much talk before action. They seduce with words—sometimes quite eloquently.

Cancer — They retreat, you follow. Not opposed to emotional manipulation and/or allure.

Leo — Beware of public places, unless you like such things! Boldness, flash and glam!

Virgo — Seduces with atmosphere, candles, music, tantric manuals. Everything just so.

Libra — Wine, dine, listen and engage until there is nothing left between you but the erotic.

Scorpio — Seduces with their eyes. Always, the eyed! Thirty seconds or less and you’re a goner.

Sagittarius — They promise the world, and usually deliver, metaphorically at least.

Capricorn — They buy you things. Excellent taste. Always first cabin.

Aquarius — They use the element of surprise—often surprisingly well. Much dialog.

Pisces — Enchantment. Their very being is an aphrodisiac. Poetry optional.

Astrology helps me write characters that ring true and that’s the sweet spot, the place where I close my eyes, watch the scenes unfold and type as fast as I can.

How about other writers? Do you have a favorite way of keeping track of character traits? Readers, who are your most 'real' characters and why? I’d love to hear about them!

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Kim Falconer is a New Supernatural Underground author writing epic science fantasy novels about real people in extraordinary situations—nano-technology, witchcraft, quantum computers, fast horses, hot bards, stunning tattoos and environments on the brink of destruction.

Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. Book #1, Path of the Stray, and book #2, Road to the Soul are out now. Book #3, Journey by night is out Sept 1. Currently she’s writing an entirely new series. You can find out more about her at kim.falconer.com. She posts on the 16th of every month.

14 comments:

Terri Garey said...

Cool technique to get inside your character's heads, Kim! I'd honestly never thought about that method, and I can see where it would help!

Personally, I was just glad to see that I can seduce anyone with my eyes (my husband claims that's true), and that my husband likes to buy me things (that's true, too.) ;p

Your books look awesome, btw!

Sharon said...

how fascinating! and it sounds like a lot of work for the initial character write ups. Do you follow your personal horoscopes or use the stars to plan things?

Kim Falconer said...

Thanks Terri! When I Tweeted this post, I heard back from so many Scorpios! They really like that one, and it's so true (as anyone on the receiving end of those looks knows!)

Thanks for dropping by!

Kim Falconer said...

Sharon, as an astrologer, I tend to spend more time looking after other peoples charts and answering their queries but yes, I do take note of my own transits. For example, I know when to pitch a new idea to my publisher, start a herb garden or do the taxes. Have a dinner party . . . go on a hot date!

A time for everything :)

Helen Lowe said...

Hey Kim--sounds like a lot of fun! And btw--welcome to the Underground. :)

nymfaux said...

Welcome to the Underground!!!

What a great post!!!!---I've always loved reading my horoscopes and learning about astrology--I'm really curious about how you got started, and what you use to "chart" things--I saw a computer program a couple of years ago that said it would chart things...but it just gave me a bunch of statistic-type things I didn't understand...I guess I was hoping for something I could learn to interpret myself...

I'll definitely looking forward to hearing more about your books and reading more of your posts!!!!

nymfaux said...

Welcome to the Underground!!!

What a great post!!!!---I've always loved reading my horoscopes and learning about astrology--I'm really curious about how you got started, and what you use to "chart" things--I saw a computer program a couple of years ago that said it would chart things...but it just gave me a bunch of statistic-type things I didn't understand...I guess I was hoping for something I could learn to interpret myself...

I'll definitely looking forward to hearing more about your books and reading more of your posts!!!!

Kim Falconer said...

Thank you for the warm welcome, Helen! It is fun :) he he he

Kim Falconer said...

nymfaux, I appreciate the welcome!!! Makes me feel right at home :)

My father was an astrologer before me so it's in the blood! :) I weave all kinds of astro-notions and hints into my Earth/Gaela series :)

You can do your chart for free at Astro.com. From there you can see what your rising sign (Asc or Ascendant) is. Let me know if you want me to walk you through the steps. The site is a great resource for keen students.

I've been doing astrology readings for almost 40 years! (I had to count that on my fingers twice!) I use the winstar professional program from Matrix Software, but I learned to draw up charts by hand, back in the pre-computer days. That used to take a hour of maths per chart. Now it takes three clicks! Amazing the technology we have. (I write about that too!)

Thanks for weighing in!

xxxKim

Terri Garey said...

Well, that was interesting... I just did my chart at Astro.com, and while it's beautiful, I have NO idea what it means! I'm a Scorpio, Gemini rising.

nymfaux said...

Wow--That's so cool that your father passed it on to you!!! What a fun thing to share!!!

Thanks for the site, I looked at it--Very cool!!!

Sun Sign=Libra, Ascendant=Virgo

I've always felt Libra-esq, because I'm indecisive ;) But I have no idea what to do with the Virgo...

I remember a class in college, where I was talking to a friend about how I liked to sit in the same spot all the time, and didn't like change. She asked my sign, and said that was really weird for a Libra. And ever since, I've been even more curious about it ;)

It's so cool to look at but now I definitely need more research, because I don't know what all the back and forth red and blue lines mean...And I don't know if it's weird that my chart seems to be really heavy on one side and empty on the other--or if that's normal?

And it totally blows me away that I see back and forth lines, but someone like you can look at the chart and figure out horoscopes based on it.

Yes, I am SOOOO looking forward to more of your posts!!!--And very interested in your books!!! :D

This is so much fun--Thanks!!! :D

nymfaux said...

Update--I just did a chart for my sister, and hers has a rectangle going through all the signs, whereas mine looks more like an X and is totally blank for six of the signs (Cancer, Gemini, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, and Capricorn), with a little blip in Taurus.

Kim Falconer said...

Terri, if you know your sun and rising sign, that's a start! You can read what sign all your planets are in if you look at the grid in the lower left. (create an 'extended' chart if you don't see it)

Nymfaux, It's totally natural to have different chart patterns. You can get an idea of them here: (can I post links?) http://www.kimfalconer.com/chart_patterns.html and you can learn all about those lines on my 'aspects' page here: http://www.falconastrology.com/astro_loa_101.htm

If you want to learn more about astrology, build up from the basics by learning the signs, planets, houses and aspects. It's a language and a symbol system. Astro.com is a great resource for learning. Let me know how you go!

nymfaux said...

Thanks for the links!--I think I'm a bucket ;)

This is a lot of fun!--I'm definitely going to enjoy spending some more time checking these out!!! :D