Welcome to my first post for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop! Today I am going to be presenting some of my all-time favourite tips for generating writing prompts: using tarot cards. I’ve already shown you how to use them to create three-act plot structures and expanding upon that into Freytag’s Pyramid but there’s so much more you can do with them. Using tarot to beat writer’s block and just rediscover the fun of writing as play is easy and endlessly rewarding. So let’s get started!
First thing’s first: you don’t have to use the standard tarot card deck. What we’re aiming for is something called aleatory writing: writing which uses a randomizer of some sort. This could be dice or cards. There are a range of storytelling dice games such as Rory’s Story Cubes, and card games designed with storytelling or writing in mind. Story Forge, and the Storymatic are the most writing-focused of the bunch.
But tarot is unique. It is a system which contains all of the core elements of character-driven narrative. The 78 cards allude to every facet of human nature and experience that you really need to try hard not to form them into a story, which is probably how they came to be used for divination in the first place!
So how do you get started with using tarot in your writing practice? We all love a good book on the writer’s craft and, thankfully, Corrine Kenner has written Tarot for Writers, the perfect primer for anyone new to this fascinating engine of prompt creation.
But what if you already know a fair bit about tarot? Kelly-Ann Maddox has a great video on what she calls “the Bardic Technique” or “Storytelling Technique” for using tarot:
Will you be using tarot as part of your writing practice? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
21 thoughts on “Writing with Tarot Masterpost for #AuthorToolboxBlogHop”
Interesting post. I’ve heard about Tarot cards, but I’ve never used them in any form. Applying them to writing makes for a unique approach. Thanks for sharing.
You might want to try one of the many Tarot apps out there. The internet has plenty of free tarot sites you can play with without having to invest in a deck.
Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve never thought of using Tarot cards in writing! I like the idea you say that they so clearly fit into ideas of narrative and character. Maybe I’ll find a pack somewhere! Cheers.
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Any deck will do but the ‘standard deck will have, by far, the most resources available and be the most beginner-friendly. Try some Tarot apps too. The Fool’s Dog makes great apps for the most popular decks. Those are great for getting prompts on the go.
Thanks for the tips! I will look at those!
What I got from this post… was a story prompt! Story of my writing life… See what I did, there?
Is there a particular pack you can recommend for writers?
Firstly, thanks for stopping by!
My personal favourite is the Centennial Edition Smith-Waite Tarot Deck. It is the most attractive of the “Rider-Waite” decks, and there will be just oodles of resources available on card meanings. I also prefer mini decks and this one comes in the standard size and mini. It’s more portable, and easier to lay out larger spreads.
I’m so new to tarot that… what you said works for me! Do you do tarot readings too or just use the deck for story ideas?
Sorry if I went a little too deep; the deck I mentioned is the one people think of when they think of Tarot- it’s the standard one but there are thousands of creative variants!
Well, I do meditate with the cards as prompts for my day but I don’t believe it is possible to tell the future. It is a fun, relaxing, and interesting hobby, though! I just started using a deck called the Sacred Creators Oracle which has such lovely affirmations and delicate watercolours on each card. It really helps set the mood for the day.
Not at all! I clearly found it interesting.
Personally it would not surprise me if one day something “magic” were proven to have a scientific basis. Just like some cases of “demonic possession” turned out to be what we know as “epilepsy.”
Thanks for a fun read!
I’ve heard of this but had never seen in action. Thanks. Most interesting.
Anna from elements of emaginette
You’re welcome! I hope you give it a try. 🙂
Wow, that’s a great way to create prompts. I must trt this.
Let me know if you do! I don’t know anyone else who does this so it’ll be fun to compare notes!
OMG, this is such a cool idea! Endless writing prompts, what more could an author ask for? 🙂
IKR? I’ve never had to look for prompts anywhere else. And it’s just so much fun! Sometimes I will keep that story beat’s card beside me as I write so that I don’t get ahead of myself.
Hi again, Sonia. Just checking…is this your facebook page? I like to tag people when I post their stuff on there, so that’s why I’m asking. 🙂
I’ve fallen off the Facebook wagon, so to speak. lol I rarely use the platform these days.
I’ve never tried this, but I’ve attended a workshop on just this. It’s very interesting.
Welcome to the toolbox.
What a fresh and whimsical way to beat writer’s block! I’ll definitely be using this next time. As someone who has played D&D, I’m very into randomizers, but this is a take I haven’t seen before. https://bit.ly/30nJRbv
I really love doing tarot readings, and reading through this post, I wondered if maybe I could use my oracle decks for this sort of thing too! I have some of the story cubes but every time I seriously consider using them, they feel too simple for me. (They’re great for D&D campaigns though haha!)
Perhaps using a mixture of tarot/oracle with the story cubes may be fun? Hmm, next time I’m not on a writing deadline, I want to try this out! Thank you for sharing and welcome to the blog hop!