November 21, 2023

Astrology for Character Development


Astrology is something that not many of use when we’re creating our characters, but it can be a neat layer in your character development. Using astrology, we can learn more about our characters than ever before.

First, knowing your character’s sun sign (Aries, Leo, Pisces) can provide you valuable insight into the core of who your character is as a person, such as their ego and sense of self. All you need to know is your character’s birth month or day to calculate this, if you have a specific date in mind, or if you know a sun sign that sounds like a fun one, you can chose a birthday to coincide with that sun sign. You can research sun sign facts to understand the basics of each one to find a sign that matches your character.

Second, you can dig deeper in to your character by calculating the moon sign and rising sign for your character. In order to do this, you’ll need to know your character’s birth date, time, and location. This isn’t usually information we think about, but if you take some time, you’ll be able to nail down this information. It could be as easy as using your own birth time, the birth time of one of your children, or a time of day/night you’re attracted to, maybe a time you always tend to wake up or look at the clock.

The moon sign is your emotional and intimate self and will greatly help with understanding your character’s desires, emotions, and deep-rooted feelings. This would be a great aspect to explore for romance writers.

The rising sign, also known as the ascendant, is the version of yourself that people see at first glance. It’s your outer self. Knowing this sign for your character will help you to craft how other characters may respond to him or her when they first meet.

You can create an entire birth chart for your characters and download a free report packed with insights from

QUESTION: Have you used astrology for character development before? Do you know your sun/rising/moon signs? Mine are as follows Aries (sun), Taurus (rising), Scorpio (moon).

November 14, 2023

My Muse Says, "Hi!"


In Greek mythology, there are nine goddesses (known as muses), daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences:

Calliope – Epic Poetry

Clio – History

Erato – Lyric Poetry

Euterpe – Song and Elegiac Poetry

Melpomene – Tragedy

Polyhymnia – Hymns

Terpsichore – Dance

Thalia – Comedy

Urania – Astronomy 

Usually when we think of a muse, we think of a person or a force that is the source of inspiration for a creative person. Sometimes we visualize a fairy-type creature sprinkling us with glittery star dust, which can cause people to think that the idea of a muse as silly, and they balk at the idea of needing a muse to inspire them. They will say something like, “If I waited for a muse to inspire me, I’d never write.”

To me, a muse is a manifestation of your creativity that can make you feel less lonely in the writing process. This manifestation gives you someone to greet when you open the document for your work-in-progress or pick up a pen, someone to vent to or yell at when things aren’t going right. 

When I was little, I had an imaginary friend named Ena. As the youngest in my family, and often pushed aside by my siblings, my imaginative (and lonely) mind did the only thing it could to help me to grow, nurture my creativity, and give me a companion I badly needed and craved; it invented a friend for me and only me. I didn’t have to share her with anyone, and she was always there when I needed her. My entire family knew about Ena and embraced the idea of her. They would even ask me about her like, “How is Ena?” And I would be happy to deliver a report. 

November 07, 2023

Restrictive Writing Rules


One of the biggest causes of writer’s block is all of the restrictive writing rules floating around out there. Many of these writing “rules” are created by other writers and editors. Most of the time, they are opinions, and writers fall for them, thinking they are law, but they are not. Usually you can tell which “rules” are opinions, like not writing sentences that start with “as” or “-ing” words (gerunds).

For Example: As she rocked the baby, she hummed under her breath.

Or: Shaking her head, she glared at him.

There is nothing wrong with those sentences. Nothing at all. They are grammatically sound. More importantly, you very well can rock a baby and hum simultaneously. You can also shake your head and glare at someone at the same time. Writing sentences like this is NOT a sign of a hack writer, as some would say (I actually saw this wording in a book for writers), which in fact is an awful thing to say. Talented, dedicated writers have sentences like this in their work. I do, and so do well-known authors.

The only time I have a problem with sentences that start with “as” or “-ing” words is if it’s impossible for a human to do the two actions mentioned at the same time.

For Example: Running upstairs, she hopped onto her bed.

Unless her bed is in the middle of the staircase, this does not work. The character would have to run up the stairs, enter her bedroom, and then hop onto her bed.

Another writing rule I came across is not to write about tears. Yes, really…tears. This rule was published in a book of writing rules shared by published authors. I found it at the library and couldn’t believe the “advice” in it. The author for this rule said not to write about tears in any shape or form. No teary eyes. No tears on your characters’ cheeks. No lingering tears. Etc. Etc. Etc.


Tears are an emotional reaction, a physical cue that happens when we are sad, happy, or angry. Tears mean something is going on internally, and one way for that turmoil to get out is through the formation and shedding of tears. Tears are normal, natural, HUMAN. You can’t write about a crying character and not mention tears.

I feel a tear coming on right now that this rule exists in a book that writers can read.

Another rule I find crazy is to use only 10 exclamation points per manuscript. Or not to use them at all. Let me just say this…

I HATE RESTRICTIVE WRITING RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There. I abolished that rule.

I feel so much better now.