Plotting: A Tarot card device?
Are you a plotter or a pantster? I’ve always thought myself a pantster, unable to plot. I try and I freeze up. Recently I’ve decided to try and plot in slow doses. I’ve tried the index card method of writing out major points, and rearranging them but my problem with that is that I often don’t know what those key points are. I write as things come to me… as those voices that all writers hear deems me worthy of knowing the next scene. It’d be easy to put random points together and say that’s it, but it’s another to write true to the story and true to the characters.
I will admit I’ve tried the whiteboard method and although that has worked somewhat in the past for brainstorming, it’s not a preferred method. Often times, ideas will come to me out of the blue, whether I’m on the bus or just drifting off in thought. I don’t have a method and I often wonder if I ought to try and figure one out because it can get frustrating at times waiting for characters to be comfortable enough to unveil a scene of events. And when you have characters who suddenly go shy on you, you’ll often spend days on end in silence… with writer’s block right on its heels.
A bit ago, I thought about tarot cards and how they could help a writer by the flip of a card… to tell the story’s path. I’ve often wondered if this would be feasible, if it would even be possible. Surely not everything would fall into place at the simple spread of the cards, but I must admit I am curious. Almost curious to try but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. In this article, it talks about setting up the card spread to either describe the character (which I’m a bit eh about. I like the chars to speak to me themselves about who they are and what they look like, etc) or using the cards to define plot hooks which I’m much more interested in.
Each card you place here represents at least one plot hook the game master (GM) can make use of (in an RPG) or that can be turned into a side plot or complication (in fiction). In the former case, make sure that you leave enough wiggle-room that the GM can use the plot hooks when and where he sees fit, adapting them to suit his material. Keep them short and flexible. In the latter case, make sure you adapt them to mesh seamlessly with your primary plot material so the added complication or plot doesn’t look tacked on.
But I was wondering, what do you find useful? Would you or have you tried plotting with the help of tarot cards?