Astrology and the art of complex characters in my novel Closeness


Astrology is a key part of lesfic author Y.L. Wigman’s writing process, including in the new novel Closeness.

I’ve been studying astrology since my teens, and I know how handy it is for understanding people. Astrology is like another language that describes personality, patterns and behaviours. The horoscope is a map of the heavens at the moment of birth—a blueprint, if you will, that gives insight into character and tells a multitude of stories. How good is that?

You know there are twelve different signs, but you may not know they are grouped into defining elements: fire, earth, air and water. The fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are earth signs. Gemini, Libra and Aquariusare air signs. And the water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Sun signs within each element have an affinity—a relative easiness between them. In my new book, Closeness, I’ve chosen the element of fire for the two main characters.

Astrology in Closeness

Duscha, the town planner, is a Sagittarius and Honor, a business-owner, is an Aries—two fire signs. When I create a character, I look for an appropriate birthdate, draw a horoscope, and interpret it as if she’s flesh and blood. Every sign is an archetype that’s always modified by the rest of the horoscope—its other planets, their positions and the dynamics between them. Two planets are never more than a sign or two away from the Sun’s position. They are Mercury, which describes how you communicate, and Venus, which describes how you love. In a horoscope, they may be in the same sign, or just next door.

In Closeness, Duscha has vision from Sagittarius and practicality from adjacent Capricorn (earth). Honor has enterprise from Aries and tenderness from adjacent Pisces (water). They could just as easily have been different, but I chose a basically compatible combination.

The finer points of each horoscope helped me to describe how they think, love, act and react, and behave under stress. Their virtues and faults make things both easy and difficult between them. Like all fire signs, these two characters are assertive, yet can be impatient. As the saying goes, a halo doesn’t have far to fall before it becomes a noose!

In my previous books, I used astrology just as handily. Filigrane pairs Kreyna, the intense and secretive Scorpio, with Frances, the deep-feeling, family-oriented Cancer—both water signs that can be highly empathic, yet prone to disillusionment.Milgrane pairs Taite, the meticulous and pragmatic Virgo with Sabine, the sultry, beauty-loving Taurus—both earth signs that are thoroughly grounded, yet can be self-sabotaging worrywarts.

With the help of astrology, the couples in my books are one-off complex characters who relate to each other in their own unique style. In Closeness, Duscha and Honor are two equally memorable, fiery women who are pushed by circumstances to be their authentic best. Have a good read, and see for yourself.