Resources – Zodiac Types book


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.


Doing the right thing …

I’ve spent three months working on the latest short story to be posted here.  It’s called, ‘Debt of Honour’.  A young sailor is marooned after a mutiny, but then the ship returns to the island a year later.  The Lord might well say, ‘vengeance is mine’ but our young hero has other ideas.  I’m entering it for the Global Writers March competition, so once again, here’s hoping.  

Whilst we’re on the subject of doing the right thing, I’ve made fair progress with Chapter 1 of my novel.  The working title is, ‘A Life of Choice’ and the main character is a young man by the name of Jim Faulkner.  He looks, sounds and acts remarkably like I did at the same age when I joined up.  By this weekend I intend to have Chapter 1 edited and be working on Chapter 2. 

In the knowledge that I’m now converting my autobiography to a fictional novel (laced with fact), I am more content to continue.  I would appreciate any comments on my decisions to go down this route.  I appreciate comments or criticism of any of my writing.   

On poetry, I am underway with a series on the analysis of dreams.  I will continue with that idea.  My most difficult task in the future is to avoid spending too much time on verse because it distracts me from my ‘conventional’ writing.