Resources – Zodiac Types book

Zodiac

Yes, it says zodiac ‘types’, not zodiac ‘signs’.

Many astrology books are aimed at giving a little information on each of the signs, but I came across a pocket-sized book that is worth owning. My tiny volume is in the Collins gem series and is titled ‘Zodiac Types’. The strapline is ‘from your looks to your friends, all is revealed’.

Okay, so you don’t believe in astrology, but this isn’t about how accurate the information is – it’s about how comprehensive it is.

Whether you are a reader or a writer, all fictional characters should have a certain appeal, which invariably comes about by them being well ‘drawn’ as ’rounded’ characters. No, it doesn’t mean they are overweight, it means they are more than cardboard cut-outs.

A rounded character comes to life for reader or writer. For the reader it provides credibility in the character and the story. For the writer it provides credibility for their craft and gives their completed work a greater degree of acceptance. In short, if a writer cannot produce rounded characters, those characters, the plot and the writer will all lose credibility.

What does ‘Zodiac Types’ provide?

First of all it provides the date groups for the star signs, which is a simple, but nice little touch in certain stories. There are also passages on favourites things: colours, numbers, places, occupations, etc. Moving on, we have character traits, physical attributes, likes and dislikes.

We don’t expect to see every detail about a character in one large paragraph, but it’s good to read snippets as the story continues. In this way a few small details help to give the character more substance and become more real.

Personally, I write a bio for all main characters when I’m writing. Once beyond the physical appearance and age, it can get a bit tedious, but a book full of ideas for the other aspects of the human being is an absolute delight to use.

Whether you’re a reader or writer, or both, think about your favourite character and ask yourself what you liked or disliked about them. The chances are, it won’t be their appearance or age. I’ll leave you with that thought.

 

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17 comments on “Resources – Zodiac Types book

    • Hi Julia. Thank you, and yes, it seems like a long time since I went on holiday in June. I may well put together a post about my new release in the next week or so, just before the launch. I’ll also be heading your way because I remember seeing a refreshed short story on your blog.

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  1. Hi buddy. Yes, it may not look like much, but I strongly recommend it as part of your ‘keep close to hand’ shelf. Hope all is going well with you.

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  2. Hi Tom, I too write a short bio of my main characters before I set off, although I have to admit they often run away with themselves in the writing process and change a bit. Terrible, unruly creatures those book characters. I try to write them but they run away and write themselves. 😉 Great post, thanks for sharing x

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    • Julia, looking at your comment and Heather’s, I reckon our characters all meet up in a quiet fictional bar somewhere, enjoy a particularly nice glass of something and discuss how they’re going to mess with the minds of their authors.

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    • Hi Damyanti. Yes, it helps us to create a ‘believable’ character, rather than just a character. Creating the right mix is fun too.

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  3. In the most evil person, there’s a spark of good; likewise, a good person’s soul houses a touch of darkness. Nothing is more boring than a perfect protagonist. I believe we as writers have to make our characters human, and that involves painting their character with a multicolored palette.

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    • I totally agree my friend. If we all fitted together, including the bad types, we would end up with some pretty boring tales. There is light and dark in all of us. 🙂

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      • Like you, I also do a bio of my important characters, flesh them out. A lot of their backstory is never mentioned, but it helps me know what makes them tick, hence know how they’d react in certain situations.

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  4. I agree with Kathy that we’re all flawed; When writing, the trick is to have just enough flaws not to alienate the reader; it’s hard to have empathy with a protagonist we can’t cheer on in some way.

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    • In my latest novel I enjoyed writing the ‘invisible’ bio for my primary antagonist. I’ll find out soon enough if I got the balance right. ‘Amsterdam Calling’ should appear in Amazon by the weekend.

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  5. Hi Tom. Good luck with your latest book project. My characters are so real to me it is as though they are friends, so a bio would be definite. Very good advice. 🙂

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