I’m so glad to see resources like Astro-Characters appear in the marketplace for authors who want to add another dimension to their characters by using astrology, a discipline that is gaining more traction overall in American society.
In this volume, you will find the basics of astrology as they are applied to people: sun, moon, and rising signs are discussed and standard characteristics for each of them are provided. The book is laid out in such a way that you can easily find the material you need when you need it.
One of the best things about this book is that Hall dispels the common myth that many have about astrology without realizing it: That your sun sign is everything. Hall addresses this point in the first chapter by talking about the Moon sign and the rising sign (ascendant). Adding these other two factors into the book will not only give a lot more possibility to character development, but will also make each fictional person seem more real.
Chapter 4, “Interview Your Character”, is worth the price of admission alone here. Taking the time to answer this list of questions will really bring out a lot of flavor. And the questions here are not just astrology-based. While Hall starts off with some astrological information, she really gets into the meat of creating a character while she asks questions you might not have thought of, like “Is your character sociable?” “What is your character passionate about?”, and “What dreams did your character have that have flown away?”
As a sun sign Scorpio, I was thrilled to find a section on sexual astrology, because as Hall points out, “At some point your character will be thinking about sex.” In the case of Scorpio, perhaps s/he will be thinking about it a lot more than others. But it lists the sexual “Achilles heel” of each sign as well, a vital part of bringing astrological life to sexual situations. Cancer sun’s vulnerable spot, for example, is “clinginess”.
Of course, you’ll find a chapter on sun signs, with each one listed with interesting details, like what to expect from a particular sun sign as a partner. Go ahead in there and check out your own sign first; you know you want to. As a professional astrologer, I like the layout and I like the information. It’s presented in such a way that there’s no need to have any background in astrology to create convincing characters.
In short, this book is a fantastic resource for any author who wants to bring more depth to their characters by using astrology.
~review by John Marani
Author: Judy Hall
Compass Books, 2013
pp. 186, $19.95