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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Adding Character Depth With The Zodiac

At a loss for character traits? Feel like all of your characters are too similar or too blah? What better way to add a little depth and variety to your manuscript's cast than by checking out the friendly neighborhood zodiac.

Get’em right here, folks! Built-in traits for up to 12, count’em 12 gorgeous, three-dimensional characters.

Is your character a ...

Capricorn: Practical, ambitious, humorous BUT pessimistic, miserly, and rigid

Aquarius: Friendly, honest, original BUT unpredictable and detached

Pisces: Imaginative, selfless, sensitive BUT escapist, secretive, easily led

Aries: Adventurous, courageous, confident BUT quick-tempered, impatient, impulsive

Taurus: Patient, warmhearted, reliable BUT jealous, inflexible, self-indulgent

Gemini: Adaptable, eloquent, lively BUT nervous, inconsistent, cunning

Cancer: Loving, protective, imaginative BUT moody, clinging, overemotional

Leo: Generous, creative, faithful BUT dogmatic, bossy, patronizing

Virgo: Modest, meticulous, practical BUT worrier, overcritical, perfectionist

Libra: Diplomatic, romantic, socialable BUT indecisive, gullible, self-indulgent

Scorpio: Determined, passionate, exciting BUT jealous, compulsive, secretive

Sagittarius: Optimistic, good-humored, intellectual BUT careless, irresponsible, tactless

If you look closely, you might just recognize a character of yours or one from a well-known book! Apparently Ron Weasley from Harry Potter is a Pisces and Hermione is a Virgo (according to JK Rowling).

*By the way, the descriptions for zodiac signs do vary, so please don't be offended if you check yours and it isn't spot on! I know mine makes me sound like kind of a meanie, and I'm not :) These particular traits are from AstrologyZodiacSigns.com~ click the chart for full descriptions from the website.

Happy Writing!


  1. I've also been looking up the Chinese zodiac! Love this idea.

  2. I love that each of these have something good and something negative. I need to copy this! Oh, and cancer totally fits me. And virgo definitely defines Hermione's character.

  3. It's said in HP that Tom Riddle was born on January 1st- making him a Capricorn. Snape was born on January 9th, so he's also a Capricorn.

    All good villains are Capricorns. (Guess what I am)

    On that note, my villain is a Gemini. I know all the horoscopes for my characters, though I didn't plan it that way. It was more through their actions that I realized what they were. It ever comes into play in my book, but as the author, it's just a fun tidbit of back-story I like to know.

  4. Lindz~ awesome info! That's really cool that you know all of your characters' horoscopes :)

  5. I agree with Lindz - all good villians are Capricorns and Gemini!

    Cracking up as the signs for my daughters and husband are SO RIGHT ON! But my sign is Aquarius, and these descriptions seem a little off. I usually see sensitive, introverted, artistic for Aquarius. Definitely not PERVERSE! Yikes!!! But detached is right on (though only until you get through my outer shell!) GRIN

  6. This is really interesting. I'm a Scorpio, not sure what that says about me or my characters! Everything listed under my sign makes for good characters, but not necessarily good people! Yikes! ;)

    xoxo -- Hilary

  7. Ooh, that's fun! I'm a Scorpio myself, and that description sounds a bit frightening to me LOL! Eek!

  8. Hey, I don't remember seeing your bio or writing pages before - are they new? What fun! I love your blurb about Tripplehorn Parker, debate team and the hippos! You've also reminded me I need to get signed up for the Rocky Mountain chapter of the SCWI too (I'm missing a letter. I never get that acronym right).

  9. What an excellent idea to keep characters developed!

  10. Lindsay C and Hilary W.:

    I don't think Scorpios seem bad at all (though I did originally think it fit Lord Voldemort before Lindz pointed out that he's a Capricorn--but that's only because I couldn't think of where else he might fit it)!! They've got great traits--passion and determination are essential for being a writer, right? :)

  11. I have a Birthday book that supposedly gives traits for each day of the year! I used it to help develop one of my characters (a Cancer).

    Oh, and I'm a Scorpio too. Is there a trend here?

  12. And I have to ask you -- how do you know Voldemort is a Capricorn?

  13. Beth~ if you check out Lindz's comment above, she notes that Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) was born on January 1 :)

  14. Oh, this sounds like fun! I don't always think of personality when I think about my character's birthdays. Great idea. It reminds me of building characters in the game Sims.

  15. This is awesome! I'm going to link it on my Friday post.

  16. Heeey, interesting list! Now I will have to figure that out for my MC. Trouble is, now that I'm revising, I have to move her birthday from Nov. 20 to sometime in December! Thus, her sign will probably change. ;o)

  17. I never would have thought of this as a way to flesh out characters--it's awesome! Also, tremendous fun. :D

  18. LOL Well mine (sag) definitely describes me. :D

    I love this idea.

  19. Love the idea--gonna' file it away for my character sketches coming up for next WIP. Thanks for passing this on...!

  20. Love this! Could even be a clever solution for writer's block? Haha!

    BTW... new follower alert!

  21. Wow, mine is fairly spot on, actually.

    Also, what a cool way to get over characterization hurdles!

  22. Apparently the zodiac signs changed a bit ago. People born 2009 and later have a different zodiac than people born the same day as them before.
    I love this idea for digging into characters, it's really helpful to get ideas about traits and what strengths/weaknesses naturally go together.

  23. This is different and helpful! Thanks.