What’s Your Sign?
by Barbara Renner
Today is my daughter’s birthday. Can I get a collective “Happy Birthday, Jackie”? I won’t tell you how old she turns today because that will not only reveal her age, but her momma’s approximate age as well. Jackie was born under the sign of Cancer, a water sign that displays exceptional emotion and ultra-sensitivity. If you believe in the meanings and characteristics of the zodiac signs, then you already know this.
What do zodiac signs and horoscopes have to do with being an author? I would like to propose that writers use traits from the 12 zodiac signs to create their characters. Rather than using your best friend as the protagonist or killing off the person who bullied you in grade school, look toward the stars. All it takes is a little research on the Internet – unless you are already an astrology guru.
Man versus Woman Relationships: When writing a scene where boy meets girl, or spouses argue, or a blind date goes bad, consider using astrological traits in your descriptions. Sagittarians are curious and energetic, and they love to travel. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, and like change. A Cancer, on the other hand, is a homebody. They tend to be moody, pessimistic, and manipulative. If you pair these two personalities as husband and wife, your story could be filled with all kinds of conflict.
Love Story: Try pairing a Scorpio with a Taurus. Scorpio is the most sensual sign of the zodiac. They are extremely passionate, and intimacy is very important to them. A Taurus is patient and devoted, and they are sensitive to touch and smell. Wouldn’t those two make an interesting love scene?
Antagonists: Choosing the weaknesses of certain astrological signs could make for an interesting antagonist. An Aries personality can be impatient, moody, short-tempered, and aggressive. They are one of the most active zodiac signs and continually look for speed and competition, sometimes before thinking their actions through. A human Wile E. Coyote comes to mind.
Dystopian or Fantasy: Create an effective evil character such as President Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games by using Leo traits. The Leo can be arrogant, stubborn, self-centered, and inflexible. They enjoy being treated like a king or queen.
Researching the Zodiac signs can be enlightening when crafting the characters in your story. The importance of doing this is to keep their personality traits consistent. And who knows? It might be interesting to research the signs of your friends and family too.
Barbara Renner and her husband have lived in Phoenix for more than 40 years – almost natives, but not quite. As “Sun Birds,” they fly away to Minnesota to escape the summer heat – and fish. While in Minnesota, Barbara became fascinated with its state bird, the Common Loon. This prompted her to write four picture books about Lonnie the Loon – because everyone should know about loons. Since books about loons don’t sell very well in the desert, she is writing a series of picture books about Quincy the Quail. Barbara visits elementary schools as a guest author to read her books and share interesting facts about loons and quails.
Barbara is working on other children’s books and a special book about her yellow lab, Larry, called Larry’s Words of Wisdom.