This is a randomized tarot writing prompt for character creation. The purpose here is to help flesh out a cast of characters to use in the Chaos Pen Challenges, or elsewhere. For this series, we’ll be focused on making protagonists.
The spread that I’ll be using for this prompt series was inspired by the article, A Character Anatomy: Seven Places Where Character Meets Story. Rather than rehashing all of that, I encourage you to read it since it’s well written and explains the concepts we’ll be exploring better than I could.
This is what the Character Anatomy Spread looks like:
This is the character’s public identity. Examine the card and its keywords to consider what your character’s identity is, how it can drive a story and either help, hinder, or distract them in getting what they need.
Queen of Swords
- MOTHER OF THE MIND
This is the character’s capacity to achieve in life. What are your character’s strengths, weaknesses, skill sets, and abilities?
Knight of Wands
- CHARGER OF THE SOUL
This is the expression of your character’s Self. How do they present themselves to others? How do they tend to interact with the world around them?
Ten of Cups
What does your character need? In other words, what drives them to take risks or even reach forward in their life?
Ace of Swords
- GIFT OF THE MIND
What story does your character believe in their mind about themselves and the world around them? It’s perfectly fine for your character to operate on a false belief.
- POWER OF ACTION
A passion is something that we either believe in or love strong enough that we are willing to suffer and make sacrifices for it. Whether it’s a healthy passion or not, what is your character willing to suffer or make sacrifices for?
Ten of Swords
Why is your character like this? What is the major event or memory that scripts the Interior of your character and thus shapes the rest of who and what they are?
Five of Pentacles
Now that you have notes on each part, examine and assess them as a whole. Imagine what kind of person this is. Make edits as necessary until the nature of this character makes sense to you. Flesh out the details. Once you have all that, decide what they look like and what their name is. You may even try writing a brief scene to get a feel of what they’re like on the page. Keep this character on file for later use.
~ Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1986
~ Credit for 3D model and assets used in this rendered image can be found here.