Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Tarot Collage

I've talked before about how I make collages for my books using pictures from the web or magazines or my inspiration folder (where I have hundreds of images from old magazines that I save because they speak to me for some reason.)

One fun thing I did that made a great artist's date/writing exercise was create a tarot collage of my hero and heroine's journey. There's no real trick to it. You just pick a tarot deck with imagery that appeals to you (this was The Secret Tarot by Marco Nizzoli*), spread the cards out on the table, then pick those that resonate with your vision for your protagonist. That's what I did for GRAVE MERCY.

So the top row was the major influences impacting the two main character's lives, and then the second row was the  hero's journey and the bottom row was the heroine's.

Or, you could be even more official and do an actual tarot reading for your characters or story. 

Mostly just a fun way to get in touch with the story at the intuitive level. Sometimes the cards you pick can surprise you.

*I have used my paltry photoshop skills to cover up some of the images so they would be work (and MG!) safe.


Sydney said...

Interesting. At what point in the writing process do you do this? Also, have you ever tried drawing up horoscopes for any of your characters?

Mae said...

I read a book series where they would use something similar to tarot cards to figure out what's happening.

I'd very much like to be able to do something similar for my characters. I think it's quite helpful, and it's very helpful to think in that way. Who is this character? What do they want? What stands in their way? Why do they want what they want?

kathrynjankowski said...

I love this!
My MG fantasy includes a Tarot reading that addresses the MC's journey. So cool to see you've done this as a collage.

Leanne Tremblay said...

Thanks Robin! I love to sneak a peak into other writer's scrapbooks! I've dabbled a bit in collage and love it. I have odd photos, bits and pieces taped all over my walls in my office. I linked to your post in my blog. Thanks again! (Theodosia rocks btw...just sayin)

Robin L said...

Sydney, I don't have a specific point in the process that I do this. Just whenever I feel the need to work on the story in a non-verbal, intuitive way. But usually somewhere in the first half of the first draft.

Mae, that's why I loved this exercise so much--it answered all those questions but in a visual way.

So glad you enjoyed this, Kathryn! And an MG that has tarot reading sounds tres cool!

Leanne, so glad you enjoyed the peek! Even happier that you are enjoying Theo. :-)

jaclyndolamore said...

Awesome. I got a Tarot deck last year for this exact purpose. Although I'd like to get more familiar with the meanings. I'm better with astrology and I've used that before too.

aquafortis said...

What a fun way to free-associate about your story or characters! I'll have to try it sometime. My husband has a really cool Dave McKean tarot deck, which, I imagine, would inspire very different results from my old standard deck. (Makes it sound like we're into tarot...not really...)

Robin L said...

Jaclyn,I have been slowly teaching myself what some of the different cards mean, and have thought about doing an actual tarot card reading for my characters. Except I realized I didn't know enough about it and thought the random, visual impulse oriented method would be just as helpful. :-)

Sarah, I am not wildly into tarot, except that I am wild about a lot of the artwork of the various decks. And now I have one more I need to add to my collection, because that one of your husband's is VERY cool!