Character

ASTROLOGY

Astrology presents a well laid-out and generally understood road map for how people are likely to work, love, interact with others, what their attitudes and interests are, etc. A considerable amount of material exists that can serve as the basis for dramatic characters.

Taken to extremes . .

As with most everything in dramatic storytelling, use of astrological characteristics is best done in extremes. Start with very recognizable signs. For the men: Aries, Leo, Scorpio. For the women: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Scorpio. Identify their three or four most common traits, exaggerating them when fleshing out the characters. Determine who they get along with best and worst in love and work and align them or conflict them as appropriate.

As an example . .

Take an Aries veteran cop, characterized by extremes in . .

  • winning at all costs, without regard to fairness
  • aggressive energy
  • mastery
  • quick action without thinking
  • excessive anger
  • childishness
  • extremely selfish

Toss him in with a Libran rookie partner, who is . .

  • fair-minded
  • passive
  • thinking endlessly before acting
  • emotionally balanced
  • overly generous

. . and you have a strong set-up for a story, with much ready-made material on how these characters will behave throughout the movie. How will they work together? How will they complement each other? How will they learn from each other? How will they change?

Such contemporary 'personology' classics as . .

. . are invaluable references for character creation and development.

Character change

Of all the ways astrology can be used to develop your dramatic characters, and drive your story, the most useful to you will be the roadmap such a set-up creates for character change. Characters who are so vastly different--like those from opposite sun signs--that they aggravate, irritate and exasperate one another, are also those who can effect the greatest change in personality and character in the aggrieved parties. Out of this mortification can arise respect for skills, talents, and approaches to life not yet tried or adopted. The extremes grow toward the center as your characters learn and change.

See also . .

| Help for Your Screenplay | Enhance Your Screenplay | Story Dynamics | Market Your Screenplay | Scr(i)nk blog | Magic Star: Character | Character | Attitude |

EXERCISES:
  1. Consider the individual personalities described for each birthday of the year in The Secret Language of Birthdays: Personology Profiles for Each Day of the Year. How could you use these? Remember how specific these are when picking birthdates for characters. How does this help you as a writer?
  2. Research compatible and incompatible romance signs in books such as Linda Goodman's Love Signs: A New Approach to the Human Heart. How can you use these personology studies to enhance a love story? How does selecting astrological signs to draw your characters around help you (and your audience) predict what will happen in the movie?
  3. Consider the differing characteristics of bosses and employees based simply on sun signs (perhaps through one of the many zodiac compatibility websites out there). How would carefully selecting these for your characters, either picking compatible or incompatible work signs, help you in developing your story?
  4. Consider which sun signs the major characters in such classics as Gone with the Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942), and The Godfather - The Coppola Restoration Giftset DVD (1972) might have been born under. How would it help you as a writer to lay these out when developing your characters, especially when approaching such grand epics as these?