Writing a Novel or Screenplay

I often work in the writers' room of a private library, so I know how many people are struggling with novels, screenplays, and other writing projects. I see them all the time, shuffling their index cards, marking up their print-outs, staring disconsolately at the screens of their laptops, or playing solitaire. I sympathize. Writing projects are like diets: easy to begin and easy to put aside. Here's how to better your odds of completing your project:

1 Begin a creative writing project when there's a New Moon in your third house; a New Moon in the fourth house (if you're penning a memoir); a New Moon in the fifth house (especially if you're working on a screenplay); a New Moon in the ninth house (of publication); or a New Moon in Gemini.

i Begin when Mercury is direct. If Mercury happens to be in Gemini, in Virgo, in your Sun sign, or in the same sign as your natal Mercury, that's a plus.

i Look for an active Uranus if you need to generate some original ideas; an active Neptune when you want to stretch your imagination; and an active Pluto when you're ready to dig into emotionally complex material.

1 Take advantage of Mercury's retrograde periods by using them to revise.

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