Character Skills and Talents: Astrological Divination

solar_system_astrologyAs writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer.

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story.

Description: exploring the study of the placement of stars, planets and constellations, to determine how astrological structure can affect personality and influence life events. A character who has studied astrology extensively can chart an individual’s celestial path by using the date and hour of their birth. This information can offer unique insight into their. . . see more of this interesting post written by Angela Ackerman at Writers Helping Writers

FIVE ACT STRUCTURE – based on character going from unconscious to conscious, or clueless to self-aware

astrology_chart_4I’ve been studying story structure and plot design lately and have come up with a five act structure that works for me.

My eyes were opened when I read James Scott Bell’s book, “Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between”.

I can see this being good for avoiding middle muddle and writer’s block.

So, without further ado, here it is:

FIVE ACT STORY STRUCTURE:

* MC = Main Character

ACT ONE = Unconscious Inaction (20%)
SETUP / HOOK / ESTABLISH EMPATHY
ESTABLISH WANT / “FLAW” / WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT / FEAR, CORE WOUND
DISTURBANCE, INCITING INCIDENT / DEFINE STORY PROBLEM
MENTOR(S) / ALLIES / REFUSAL / RELUCTANCE
FIRST DOORWAY / MAJOR COMPLICATION / ACTIVATES EXTERNAL GOAL (based on WANT)

ACT TWO = Unconscious Action (30%)
ENTERS STRANGE NEW WORLD (or strange part of old world)
MC REACTS TO CONLICTS, TROUBLES, TWISTS and TURNS
MAJOR REVERSAL / CRISIS / THEY’VE MADE THINGS WORSE

ACT THREE = Awakening (10%)
MIRROR MOMENT (from James Scott Bell) (MC looks within)
TENSION / REALIZATION / FINDS REAL NEED (as opposed to WANT)
“DEATH” EXPERIENCE, MUST SACRIFICE OLD UNCONSCIOUSNESS
2ND DOORWAY / MC DECIDES TO ACT / REDEFINES GOAL(S)

ACT FOUR = Conscious Action (20%)
DELIBERATE CONFLICTS / SPECIFIC GOALS
THE INTENSE MOMENT / FALSE CLIMAX / ANTAGONIST REVEAL
FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

ACT FIVE = Transformation Shown (20%)
FINAL PUSH
JAWS OF DEFEAT
VISIBLE TRANSFORMATION / MORAL CHOICE
FACES WORST FEAR / “FLAW” OVERCOME OR REDEEMED
CLIMAX
RESOLUTION, TIE UP THE STORY PROBLEM / FINAL SHOT