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Some old thoughts, accidentally rediscovered 🙂
Maybe something useful here somewhere?
The “novel” I mention never occurred, but the tips did work in terms of creating new combinations /personality traits.

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Detail, Famille Raton, Jules Verne. Detail, Famille Raton, Jules Verne.

Chinese Zodiac.  Yup, that’s my new writing trick.

My characters felt like they were lacking in depth.  I was having a hard time giving them interesting personalities. After all, there are a handful of major characters but a string of supporting characters.  Yeah, they each had their own personality, but the minor characters felt very two-dimensional.  One guy was turning into a caricature.

Then one day, a stroke of good luck made it all so much easier.  My family ordered Chinese food from the little Mom and Pop restaurant up the street.  We were sitting at the table and looking at the Chinese zodiac place mats.  The next day I was telling everybody how my Mom, Dad, brother, and husband are ALL Tigers.  It turns out that my son is a Snake and I am a Rat.

After NaNoWriMo I was feeling out of sorts so…

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27 thoughts on “Zodiac Writing

  1. That’s an interesting device. You do always have to find the ‘trick’ that makes a character work, but I’d never thought of using something like this – could be useful. Personally I always like my characters, though, even the unpleasant ones – I’m not sure why 🙂

    Btw one of your wackier chats with Georgia here unless I’m very much mistaken 😛

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    • Hey, wacky chats can be a very good thing 😀

      Really hoping this can come in useful for you some time.

      Some day perhaps I’ll revisit fiction writing …sigh….

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        • Really? Well, that’s good news! You’ve got such a great ear (eye?) for characterisation, even in 17 syllables on occasion, that I’m sure you’ll write some wonderful longer fiction if you just relax and let it flow.. 🙂

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        • Thanks Blake — that is so encouraging — if you only knew. I’ve really been stumbling these days. Feeling a bit boxed-in – but that is a long story.

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        • Boxed in? That’s clearly no good. But really, there are so many different forms at which you excel that I’m sure you can get yourself ‘un-boxed’ with very little trouble, with the swish of a dove-like wing 🙂

          And I do look forward to seeing more of your latest adventures in prose…

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        • Yes, being boxed-in has been a bit of a headache. But. That is my fault … I’m going to have to explore more options. 🙂
          Swish! 😀

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  2. Ah … now I understand … I’m a dragon and I’ve been told one of the few signs with which I’ve few problems is the rat … snakes are the only sign that can dominate a dragon … both my son and husband are snakes btw … which is not good for them … but there’s an aspect few westerners know .. the Chinese don’t believe that the Zodiac predestines them to anything … but the year in which one is born tends just to give one certain characteristic. I read a story once where a man who didn’t like what was written in his celestial zodiac, so he snuck into heaven and changed what was written on his scroll … moral of the story … you can always change your fate.

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