Writing Meme: Day 9- Creating Characters

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

Oh, Isis in heaven- how do I describe this?   It’s such a long process of discovery.    It often begins with images of a person and lines of dialogue popping into my head.   Other times, the story idea will come first, and I will think- who would be the best characters to create, to invite to take part in this particular tale?

Once I have an idea of a character, I often like to create an astrological profile of them.  Not a full chart, but their sun, moon, and rising signs, so I have a clear picture of their outer mask (how they perceive the world and are perceived by others), their general personality, and their more hidden wants, desires, and fears.

But as I said, it’s a long (very) long process, because my characters will change (and hopefully deepen even further) through each subsequent draft.   Sometimes their original essence that I envisioned remains, and other times they are so utterly changed by the end that it is hard to believe they came from me.

Not being a parent,  I imagine it’s like one passes on their DNA and some characteristic traits to their offspring.  But then as the child grows, it becomes quickly apparent that they are their own being.  And then come the fights.  “I won’t do that!  You can’t make me!!!”  Feet stomp down the hall, door slams.   And you sigh and realize you have to revise your manuscript again.

Published in: on October 2, 2010 at 9:16 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Emily Dickinson: An Astrological Look

Emily Dickinson- Poetess.  Born December 10, 1830.  Amherst, Massachusetts

1. Rising Sign: Scorpio

One’s Rising Sign (or ascendant) is the sign that was rising when a  person was born and reflects their persona, or how they present themselves to the world.

“I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!”- Emily Dickinson

Rising Scorpios exist in a world of black and white.  An intensity seethes under the surface and their will is indomitable.  Often quiet, they prefer to work behind the scenes where nothing goes unnoticed by them.  Very perceptive, they always see through pretense.  A cool facade hides a deeply passionate nature.  When they love, they love fully; and when angered they can be surprisingly cruel for they easily see their victim’s soft spot.  Strongly loyal, they never forget a kindness or an insult.  Intuitive, sensitive, and suspicious- they have a deep-rooted need for privacy, and are loners at heart.  Possessing remarkable recuperative powers, and being very patient, they continue going after most have faltered.  Creative and clever, they often embrace the dark side of life and explore it in artistic ways.

2. Sun Sign: Sagittarius:

One’s sun sign denotes their outer, general personality

“Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
’T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.” – Emily Dickinson

Sun Sagittariuns are restless and independent.  They cannot be held down to routine or to the will of another.  They have a thirst for knowledge and their life is spent in the pursuit of mental exploration.  Straight forward and seekers of truth, they are frank and honest in their dealings with people.  At times their bluntness may accidently offend which is not their intention.  They are open-minded and endlessly fascinated about the world around them.  Optimistic and cheerful, there is a sense of childlike play about them.

3. Moon in Libra

The Moon sign denotes one’s inner, hidden personality

“I died for beauty but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth, the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.

And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.” – Emily Dickinson

Those with Moon in Libra possess a charming quality.  Graceful and elegant, they have high aesthetic standards.  Fair-minded, they have an inherent need to be in peaceful surroundings and will use their strong diplomatic abilities to accomplish such an ideal.  Artistic, they have a natural eye and ear for harmony.  Caring and affectionate, they often form life-long friendships. Deeply romantic, they see themselves reflected in the person they love.  An inherent need to be in a relationship may cause clinginess and jealousy at times. 

emily dickinson

Happy Birthday Emily Bronte: An Astrological Look


Emily Bronte: born July 30, 1818

Rising Sign: Scorpio

The Rising Sign, or Ascendant is the sign which is rising at the time of one’s birth.  It denotes one’s outward demeanor, how they are viewed by others, their unique imprint on the world.  How they see, and how they are perceived.

As many astrologists believe the Rising Sign to be even more important than the more well-known Sun sign (including myself, amateur that I may be) I am concentrating first on this aspect of Miss Bronte.

  Often cool and reserved on the outside, never ones to smile much, a passionate soul seethes underneath the surface.   When they become interested in a subject they study it to near obsession.  Love for them, is all or nothing.  They’d rather be alone than be in an “okay” relationship.  Intensely private, they let few people into the deeper recesses of their hearts. 

Loners, they work best alone, though they can also be good leaders with their clever and persuasive minds.  Charming conversationists, they draw the other person into speaking while they sit back and listen.  

Often psychic, they easily see through the fake masks that people wear.  They have no patience for pretense.

Extremely patient, they rarely make rash moves.  Rather they take their time feeling out situations and people. 

Usually calm, when evoked, their temper can be furious, snapping back with great cruelty as they easily see others’ soft spots.

Ruled by the planet Pluto- Rising Scorpios have intense emotions, strong sense of self, determination, and powerful imaginations. Their strength, usually is not of the outward in-your-face kind, but rather, a quiet inner power.  When they desire something, they seek their goal in an understated way, never giving up until they have achieved it.

Highly spiritual, they are often drawn to the occult, mysticism, and things unveiled.  Sharing an affinity with animals is quite common.

Sun Sign: Leo

The sun sign denotes one’s general outer personality

The fiery sun of Leo evokes a proud, exuberant presence.   Loyal and courageous, the Leo is as majestic as the King or Queen of the jungle.

 Dignified, ambitious, and charismatic, they are natural leaders.  They can be overbearing; very stubborn, once their mind is made up, it can be almost impossible for them to budge, making them difficult to deal with at times.

Kind, extremely giving,  they embrace life with a true joie de vivre.

3. Moon Sign: Cancer

The moon sign denotes one’s inner personality, including their secret fears and desires.

Moon in Cancerians have a great love and need for hearth.  They can not be far from the security of home.   Extremely sensitive, they often hide behind a hardened exterior like their symbol, the crab.  Very receptive and impressionistic, they excel in art and literature.

Due to the hardened exterior they create, they may appear sharp and “crabby”.  Ruled by the quicksilvery Moon, their moodswings are swift and ever changing.  Depressed and sullen one moment, sweet and loving the next.

Not one’s to easily open up and share their emotions, they are in truth, one of the most sensitive and romantic signs of the Zodiac.


The Old Stoic by Emily Bronte
Riches I hold in light esteem,
And love I laugh to scorn;
And lust of fame was but a dream
That vanish’d with the morn:

And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is, “Leave the heart that now I bear,
And give me liberty!”

Yes, as my swift days near their goal,
‘Tis all that I implore:
In life and death a chainless soul,
With courage to endure

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , ,