Thursday, November 7, 2013

Creative Writing - TAROT--THE FOOL

Writer's block isn't really a block. It's more of an "everything I want to say has already been said". So how do you create something different? What makes my story more intense, more dynamic than the hundreds of other stories published on the same day?

Well, let's take a look at The Fool. The Fool is the first of the Major Arcana cards. At first glance you see a young person standing on the edge of a cliff looking toward the sky. A flower in one hand, possessions in a small bag. At first glance, it does appear that the young person is, in fact, being a fool. Their clothing clearly isn't what you would need for a long journey, and the bag isn't big enough to carry enough to sustain them very long. And last but not least--they're standing on the edge of a cliff, clearly not paying attention to where they're going. Foolish.

But let's examine this card/story a little more. Look at the colors. Blue, calming. White, purity or innocence. Orange, energy. Gold, riches. Green, life. The flower is a symbol of seeds planted or to be planted. The cliff--eminent danger or perhaps--A LEAP OF FAITH.

In the case of The Fool there are two interpretations. Either the young person is too naive to see the danger ahead of them, or they are fully aware of the danger, but still willing to take a leap of faith into the unknown trusting that all will turn out well.

Is it foolish to jump off a cliff? Perhaps, but how do we learn except through our mistakes.

The Fool is about focus. About letting go of what you think you need or want to make you happy, and simply focusing on the aspect of happiness itself. Trusting. Trusting that what you need will be there when you need it.

Tarot cards tell a story. A story in which The Fool is the main character. The other cards represent the different stages of his journey. His trials and tribulations. His growth and development. His friends and enemies along the way.

So must be our main characters. They must have a drive. A purpose. A journey on which they must travel. Perhaps to others they will seem ill prepared. But their purpose lends strength to their character. What you have to say may have already been said, but not by your characters, and not in the way your characters will say it.

I've read many books that have these strange words slipped into the pages. Words that until I look them up I have no clue of their meaning. I've done this myself at times when writing poetry. It improves my vocabulary and can work very well in poetry. However, in the flow of a story if the word stumps the reader, causes them to lose the flow of the story, then you should think twice about using those words. If you had to look it up, then the odds are that your readers will have to look it up also. And is it out of character? Does your guy/gal really think or talk that way?

So if you're beginning a new book--begin with The Fool. Instill him/her with the qualities you desire, whether it be calmness, purity and innocence, energy, riches and life--or the opposite, rage, darkness, poverty and death. Define their struggle, their purpose, their journey. Add the trials and tribulations they must face along the way. Friends. Help. Perhaps a little love. Be creative.

And most important of all, don't be afraid to take that leap of faith. Before you finish anything you have to first begin. What may be pools of darkness to some, are beautiful healing waters to others.

And if you draw The Fool in a Tarot reading, well that just means it's time for your journey to begin. Enjoy it.

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