Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tarot Story Challenge: Setting the Scene

An aspect of tarot which has fascinated and frequently haunted my thoughts is the use of it for fiction writing. Authors such as Stephen King and John Steinbeck have both been known to make use of the cards for inspiration, and as I struggle to find my own wells of creativity, I have been longing to give it a shot myself. 

NaNoWriMo has been yet another nifty thing I have longed to try, but I never seem to find myself able to commit. There's no judgement, just writing, so why do I shy away every time? In a call for challenges, one of the members of the Discord group I host brought my attention to the Tarot Story Challenge on Instagram. Unfortunately, we did not end up choosing this challenge as the one we would complete as a group, but I couldn't let this opportunity pass to force myself to write. 

The challenge is laid out for a card (or spread) for each day of the month with character development falling too near the end for this challenge to be alongside NaNoWriMo, but I plan to complete it anyway. Once I've completed the planning outlined in this challenge, I will write a short story (not a novel) and share it! My aim is not for the story to be perfect, or the best you've ever read. My goal is only to write--to say I've completed a goal I set out to do. (Or maybe it's to distract myself the writing I should be doing instead...) Either way, it can't hurt to give it a shot.


I'm also starting several days behind, so I'll be doing the first nine days at once today!
  1. What is my intention with writing a fictional story? The High Priestess (reversed) Much as the priestess spirals from the tower, outward into the world, I look to spiral inward to find new depths of creativity. I haven't written creatively in seemingly multiple lifetimes, and I want to use this challenge to show myself that I am still able to write.
  2. Overarching theme of the story: Queen of Wands (reversed) Beauty is as beauty does.
  3. Hero: Who are they and what is their motivation? 6 of Discs (reversed) & Ace of Cups (reversed) This hero has all she needs and more. So much more that it may seem unnecessary and even unfair to others that our hero has so much more than them. Though she gives freely, it comes from a place of tragic self-love. She believes her bounty is an infinite resource which she can replenish endlessly with her own spirit.
  4. Antagonist: Who are they and what is their motivation? 4 of Cups & 6 of Wands Our less than noble antagonist lacks, or believes they lack, some part of their lives that could emotionally fulfill them. They seek to be (and feel) as on top of the world as our hero.
  5. Ally: Who are they and what is their motivation? 8 of Wands (reversed) & 10 of Wands This ally is missing some brightness in their life, and they live vicariously by being a friend to our hero, but they carry with them the oppressive force of social norm. They want to flee their ideal, but don't know how.
  6. Setting: What environment is it set in? 10 of Pentacles The story will take place just outside of expectation. Our characters reside in world that we embrace as familiar, but is not quite. Their lives exist woven in with family and close friends in a place they have always known and was built by their ancestors. 
  7. Themes & Motifs: 5 of Cups Frustration, disappointment, and discovering things are never as great as they seem plague the characters.
  8. Narrative Voice: Page of Cups (reversed) Our narrator is young and naive to a fault. They don't  understand the events unfolding before them beyond a surface level, and they are unable to show empathy or receive the message of the story.
  9. Weakness and Strengths: 5 of Wands I'm worried when it comes to the actual writing I will be frozen by a need for perfection. I will need to find ways to fit in each element perfectly, and if I can't I may give up. However the beauty of this challenge is that it's harmless. If I remember this, I'll be able to remain calm, do my best, and simply move forward in the story I toss together.

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