Express Your Theme and Message with Tarot
As we all know, Nano Wrimo isn’t the end of your writing project–you still have to–dare I mention the E word so early? Yes, Edit. *dun dun dun* Of course, don’t stress yourself out by launching into the process of editing right away. You literally just finished the hardcore writing sprint–and it’s been an intense writing month indeed! Give yourself a high-five, pat yourself on the back and commence a congratulatory fist bump. You’ve finished! Yay!
Having that said, if you still got a bit of energy left in you: in this post, you will find a handy tarot spread to help you explore and solidify your story theme and brainstorm/evaluate some of the best ways to express it.
Alright! Without further ado–here we go!
How are you connected to the theme of your story? It is my belief that every story we write is a manifestation of ourselves or at least parts of ourselves. In more ways than we can consciously understand, a story is a reflection of our values, our ideals, our worldviews, and our experience. It is an organism born out of our mind, body and soul. In this manner, how are you as a writer and person reflected in your story? How have you or which parts of you have you “manifested” in your story, consciously or unconsciously?
What is the message you are trying to send out? This doesn’t have to be a clear or direct message that is moralistic or didactic in nature. It could simply be what you are hoping to achieve through your story and what you are hoping to impart on your readers. What are you trying to convey through your story? Why is the story being told?
How can you best express your theme? Is it through a particular relationship between several characters–or a singular choice by a character that defines an important story moment? Is it through the collision and convergence of macro-structural forces? Is it through some unforeseen unnatural disaster? On the other hand, this could be referring to more “meta” elements in which how you wish to come across as a writer, through things like structure or language.
What hinders the expression of your theme? Again, this could point to a fictional or storytelling element, or it could point towards your experience and choices as a writer. Perhaps you are concentrating too much on a minor character and the shift in spotlight kind of throws your protagonist’s arc off balance. Perhaps you are projecting your own experiences or desires unto your character’s development, forcing them to take on your own personal narrative and causing a conflict or schism between your original goals for the story vs where it is headed.
How might your theme deepen, evolve and grow? This is the advice card! Use this to trouble-shoot, problem solve, and improve your craft and story. If you’ve gone through the precious four cards, you should have a pretty good idea of what the general message is and this card should tie everything together nicely as a grand summary card.