How The 3 Ladies Of Destiny Can Help You Seal A Character's Fate

How The 3 Ladies Of Destiny Can Help You Seal A Character’s Fate

Writers Write creates writing resources and shares writing tips. In this post, we show you how the 3 ladies of destiny can help you seal a character’s fate.

The 3 Ladies Of Destiny

In Greek myth, three goddesses control the destiny of mortals – the sisters of life, suffering, and death.

  1. Clotho spins the thread of human fate.
  2. Lachesis measures the length of the thread.
  3. And Atropos cuts the thread – she decides when we die.

In Roman myth, they appear as NonaDecuma, and Morta. I’m sure that last one will send a shudder down your backbone.

So why are talking about these three women?

Three threads – how to tie them together

These three elements help you decide the fate of your three main characters– but especially your hero or anti-hero.

  1. How and where will they be born?
  2. What kind of life will they live?
  3. And, most important, when will they die?

As DH Lawrence wrote, ‘Life doesn’t mean length of days. Poor old Queen Victoria had length of days. But Emily Bronte had life. She died of it.’

How true, don’t you think?

Live fast, die young

Some heroes live short but spectacular lives. It’s almost a formula for creating a legend or an icon. Think of James Dean, Heath Ledger, or Rudolph Valentino.

How could you create a similar tragic but enduring character?

The wisdom of icons

Other characters seem to live so long they become legends, many times over, in their own lifetimes. Think of Maggie Smith, Nelson Mandela, or Queen Elizabeth II.

How could you write a character that becomes a legend – whether it’s for their wisdom, survival, pride?

In a novel, you’re the tailor – you’re in control of the thread and you decide when to cut the thread.  You summon these three ladies to help you decide the destiny of your characters.

Read more about the power of myth in one of my earlier blogs or these prompts from Amanda Patterson.

[TOP TIP: Use our Character Creation Kit to help you create great characters for your stories.]

by Anthony Ehlers

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. The 13 Secrets To Great Characters
  2. 5 Things You Can Learn From People Watching
  3. Gender Benders – A New Way To Look At Characters

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our course in Johannesburg.

Posted on: 13th July 2017