Tarot Tuesday: January Prompts

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Either use the images alone as a visual prompt for your writing or use the information included below each pic for a bit of extra inspiration. Follow me on Instagram to get prompts weekly as they are posted.

The Fool vs The World 

Prompt: Use the two cards as goal posts for the beginning and ending of a story. 

Pictured cards from The Nightmare Before Christmas Tarot Deck

The Fool represents your character at the beginning of their adventure, they might be a bit impulsive, naive and inexperienced but that doesn’t mean he is a fool. Pictured here as Jack Skellington the protagonist of The Nightmare Before Christmas, he was enthusiastic and determined, yet ill-advised to take over Christmas. 

The World represents the completion of a journey, when your character finds what it is that will make them whole. 

King of Wands 

Prompt: Use the demon Asmodeus and his attributes as the inspiration for a villain. 

Pictured cards from the Occult Tarot

Asmodeus 
Makes men fly into passionate rage and desire. Destroys the happiness of married couples. Wastes the beauty of virgins. Reveals the future.

Past, Present, Future Spread

Prompt: Create a narrative by reading the cards from left to right as past, present, future.

Pictured cards from the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot Deck

Past: The Sun (The Grateful Dead) A good-hearted hero pays a dead man’s debt and then befriends a stranger on his journey. After a pattern of good fortune the stranger reveals his identity as the dead man the hero helped. 

Present: Page of Cups (Encantado-Dolphin Shapeshifters) Natural animal spirits with the ability to transform into humans. They were known for wreaking havoc, including shifting into handsome men to seduce young women. Although if properly respected they could be protective and healing spirits. 

Future: The Chariot (The Wild Hunt) A savage phantom army of hideous horses and wild dogs hunt down the damned and carry bad omens for those who dare to spy. Their ruthless display knows no mercy as their unearthly wails foreshadow death. 

Lucifer’s Cage Spread

Prompt: Use the Lucifer’s Cage layout and card interpretations as a guide to writing out your character’s major conflict. 

Pictured cards from The Supernatural Tarot Deck card layout and instructions from included guidebook
  1. The Cage: The behaviors, action, or situations holding you back. 
    Death: A challenging and major life change. 
  1. The Seal: The action that needs to be taken in order for you to overcome the obstacle represented by the cage card. 
    The Hanged Man: Open your mind to new ideas and perspectives. 
  1. Breaking the Seal: What will happen when you take the action revealed by the seal card and are freed from your personal cage. 
    Queen of Pentagrams: You’ll take advantage of the opportunity to use your power for profit and create a life of abundance.

If you enjoyed these prompts, consider checking out my Tarot Tuesday Writing Workshops coming up in March, weekly at 2pm online via Zoom.

Check out Eventbrite for a full list of current and upcoming workshops.

When a Prompt Just Isn’t Enough

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There’s no denying the usefulness of writing prompts. They work great as a quick warm up to get your creative juices flowing. I’ve use them to generate new ideas when I have no idea what to write. I can’t count how many of my stories and poems that started as a response to a prompt. Even if you already have a project in mind they can give you a starting point, which for many people that’s the hardest part.

I have a number of writing prompt books, but have started to find them pretty boring. They’re all pretty much the same and usually very simple. I find myself spending more time looking for a prompt than I do actually writing. Lately instead of simple books of prompts I’ve been going for ones that include more involved exercises. While they can include simple prompts they also include activities that are more interactive or push you to find inspiration in new and different places. I’ve listed a few of the books I’ve found especially helpful below.

The Writer’s Lab: A Place to Experiment with Fiction

At first look this doesn’t look like a book for adults, but when you’re getting creative age doesn’t matter. I think this book would be incredible for people of all ages. It includes a range of different exercises, and some of them seem a little childish, but it’s an absolute gem when you want to get the creative juices flowing. They’re fun, different and get you thinking in different ways. I highly recommend it.

 


Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers

This is just one in the series of Write Now books, all focused on particular genres. I love the way this book is set up. It’s broken up into sections focusing on different aspects of the writing process. The essays offer advice and lessons on a specific concept and an exercise that puts it to use.

 

The Artist’s Way

So this isn’t exactly a book of writing exercises, it’s not even focused on writing, rather it’s focused on expanding creativity. I include it because the exercises and writing tasks help open your mind to finding inspiration in new and different places. It might not directly lead to any new writing but the affirmations and reflective tasks can cause an attitude shift making it easier to focus on projects your already working on.

 

These are just a few I thought of immediately. I’ll update or post a longer list sometime soon.