THREE GREAT REFERENCE BOOKS

The New Chinese Astrology by Suzanne White

The Complete Book of Astrology by Caitlin Johnstone

The Ultimate Hit Singles Book compiled-by Dave McAleer

I’m building a new WIP using a new idea and an old half-finished novel but am beginning with a little planning this time; getting more into the characters before I begin writing – usually I just charge right in there. I need to write a new first chapter because the set-up is slightly different so preparations are bringing me to the start line which is sometime on Thursday; I’m joining in on a word-war with other writers from Litopia. I thought that it would be the perfect time to get into my all-new Chapter One. Only the setting is in my mind and who will be there so that leaves a lot to be imagined.

Meanwhile, I am finding out who my characters really are from their date of birth, using both Western and Chinese astrology.

There is also the aspect of music; people often hang on to the music of their teens. The hit singles book is old, I picked it up in a charity shop, and only goes from 1954-1998 but it will do me perfectly…and I can get the last years on the net.

By using the three books mentioned, I have discovered elements of character that I might have passed by. Because I felt that my old woman character would have a thing for Connie Francis, Dean Martin and Cliff Richard, I instinctively knew that she must be a Piscean. It turns out that in Chinese astrology she is a Metal Dragon. I now have all the maps I need to build this woman…and for the first time I have a picture of one of my characters in my mind (she looks a bit like Fay Weldon). I could never see them before – maybe that’s why I’ve never finished a novel!

The old novel was written in first person from two POVs but I’ll be changing to third and re-writing that. Using the three books on them is amazing, in that I can see them come to life in a way I couldn’t before. I’ve done the age-charts by creating a table in a Word document so I can see who was how old when. This is definitely way more planning that I ever did before but it’s not a restrictive deadbolt – I can still call myself a Pantser!

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