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Sun Signs for Writers

Written by Bev Walton-Porter

Published by Writer's Digest Books 2006

168 Pages

Reviewed by Beth Morrow 2007– All rights reserved

As writers we have an innate, implied trust in a multitude of things we cannot explain with any measure of certainty (creativity, ideas, process, fictional worlds we create), yet we must rely upon these creative lifestyle elements to continue finding success in doing what we love most.

Why, then, is it so difficult to suspend our disbelief—for even just a moment—to contemplate the notion of how there might be something to this zodiac thing and that some of it might really apply to our creative lives and writing career?

In the introduction of Sun Signs for Writers, Bev Walton-Porter shares that her book was written for "…readers and writers…who…consider themselves creative [and]…are drawn to metaphysical or New Age subjects." My advice? Even if you’re not into your horoscope, astrology or anything touchy-feely that you can’t find solid research on before you believe it, check out Sun Signs for the fun of it.

Walton-Porter’s book is more than new-age stuff. She’s created a dynamic text with a balance of fun, insight and practical exercises for writers regardless if you’re an earth, water, air or fire sign. If you’re not interested in discovering more about yourself and your writing style through your zodiac sign, check it out for background information on creating dynamic characters.

For those unfamiliar with the nuances between sun signs (the zodiac sign corresponding to your date of birth), Walton-Porter begins with a simple introduction where we learn female/male signs (also known as positive/negative, yin/yang and passive/active), cardinal, fixed and mutable signs, elements of signs, ruling planets and a brief note on how to use the book. From there, she jumps into the signs, their qualities, personality traits, how each sign can combat writer’s block, deal with rejection, give and receive criticism and thoughtful suggestions on pursuing publication based on your sign’s strengths. She ends with a few writing activities geared toward the sign’s interests and talents, and completes the section with a brief listing of birthdays of writers with that sign.

For writers born on the cusp of a sign (near the date when the signs change to the next), Walton-Porter has included insight on how the traits of each sign mesh together. And for those of you interested in using the information in strengthening your characters through zodiac traits, the last section of the book contains more details and suggestions on how to breathe life into your fictional folks to create archetypes that move your story forward.

While the information (dealing with writer’s block, rejection, criticism and ideas for publication) is targeted toward the individual sign, I’d challenge writers to read the book from front to back as a simple reference tool capable of sparking all types of ideas.

More than a fun read, Sun Signs provided me with a few insights about my own writing style and process I knew implicitly but wasn’t certain how to use to my advantage. With Bev Walton-Porter’s help, I’ve got a few more tools in my writer’s toolbox for the next time I might need them and tangible ideas on how to improve my approach—no small accomplishment when you’re dealing with us stubborn, determined, predictable Tauruses.

 

About the author: Beth Morrow is a lifetime Taurus proud of her bullish nature. Her most recent article on helping fiction writers make the leap to freelancing is slated for the April 2007 issue of Romance Writers Report. She’ll be teaching an online course in June for the Hearts Through History RWA Chapter on the same subject—visit http://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/freelance.htm for more information. In addition, she authors an (almost) daily blog of resources for writers at www.fountainpeninc.blogspot.com. Visit her online at www.bethmorrow.com

 
 

         Last updated: February 23, 2007