A few years ago, for my birthday, my sister gave me a deck of Tarot cards called The Dragon Tarot. I had several other decks of cards in my possession at the time, but I didn’t have the same affinity with those decks as I instantly developed with the dragon deck.
I have friends who would definitely frown on my even thinking of owning a deck of tarot cards, much less having an affinity with one, but that is not my concern. I love this deck and use it as one of my best loved writing tools ever. I have a book, also, called Tarot for Writers and learned from it to use the tarot as a means to plot a story.
I’ve written about this previously, but was reminded today, when I spotted an anthology call that I wanted to submit to. I immediately grabbed my dragon deck and shuffled the major arcana cards to find my protagonists and antagonist. I drew the moon, and judgement as my protagonists, and the sun as my antogonist. I can already see the dim outlines of the characters related to those cards taking shape. I then shuffled the court cards and drew two cards to represent minor characters. I drew the Ace of Cups and the Page of Pentacles. Again, immediately connecting to the types of people these cards might align with. So just by shuffling some cards, I have got my main characters minor characters and a sketchy idea for how they all fit together.
Next, I will work with the whole deck to find character motivations, barriers and how those will work to form my story.
This is a quick and simple way that I work when I don’t already have a story or characters in mind for something. How do you go about getting an idea for a particular call?