Markings and Tattoos

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

Today, we're going to talk about one of my favorite things - tattoos!!

I love tattoos - in fact I have 5 of them with plans for many more! Wanna see? (I love how my skin tone changes in each doesn't do that in real life, I promise.)

(left arm)

(right arm)

(outside right ankle)

(left shoulder blade)

(inside left ankle)

Also, I hate that the images are so fuzzy, as it makes my tatt's look all faded. But they're not! They still look brand new in fact, even though some are going on 6 or 7 years old.

Anyway, I didn't write this post just to show off my lovely tatts (though yes, it was part of it!). When writing, and your character has a tattoo, the same amount of thought must go into the design, location, etc as if you were getting a tattoo yourself.

Think about why your character would get the tattoo. They just like them? Is there a special reason, like to remind them of someone or some event? What does the tattoo mean to the character?
The dragon is the start of a full back piece! The one I have now represents the future (crystal ball). My other shoulder will have a dragon holding a scroll (the past). A third dragon will be in the middle of my back holding an hour glass on its side (the present). The words "The moment is now" written in Germanic Runes will be across my lower back. (Okay, I have to say, that's an awesome tattoo!) So, what symolism does your characters' tattoo have? A hidden meaning maybe or just a momento of a loved one? Perhaps they just like it! (The cross and rose on my arm is an example of two symbols I just like)

And of course, deciding where to put the tattoo is just as important. All of my tattoos are in places where I can cover them up with sleeves or long pants for professional reasons. Granted, now that my work is online, I don't have to worry about it too much anymore.

The culture of your world can affect the tattoo choice as well. Are tattoos only given to those of a certain status? Or perhaps people with tattoos are criminals or stricken with some sort of disease and it is a way to mark them.

I actually get disappointed if I have a character that doesn't have a tattoo! But, not every character will have the personality or the want to get one. So make sure the right type of character has a tattoo. Yes, anyo type of person could have a tattoo, so if your character does have one, make sure it fits them. My Dad also has tattoos but I can promise you, he'd never have a little moon like I do! (Unelss it was holding an AK-47 but that's another story.)
Recap: Think about location, design, meaning and your characters' personality before making a tattoo a 'permanent' thing!

Didn't think tattoos were so complicated did you? Haha!

8 Responses to "Markings and Tattoos"

Dawn Embers Says :
December 8, 2010 at 8:10 AM


I never would have thought of this but it's a great topic and some of my characters do have tattoos. The angel has one from his human life, for example, but I'll let you ask him about it some day in chat. ;-)

In my epic fantasy, I don't call them tattoos but one of the elves has a large marking on his back as part of the punishment that included being banished from the community he lived in. It's a symbol to show the wrong doing he committed (which was being intimately involved with the prince/heir to the throne). Haven't figured out the design yet but need to work on that soon.

J. D. Brown Says :
December 8, 2010 at 11:38 AM

I think my vampire have a couple tattoos but that was just because I like them lol. It had nothing to do with the plot or their background, I didn't bother to elaborate.

My sirens on the other hand, have tons of Tattoos (except for Thea and Peony) and the reason for theirs is because they're rock stars and like to keep up with the bad-girl image. Also, as Greek mythical creatures, they just like the idea of body art. I did have a thought to sort of mark them with a Greek symbol but I haven't decided on the details of it yet.

Awesome topic, and I love your dragon tatt!

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
December 8, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Dawn: Yes, finding an exact design can be very important to the story. You can look up tattoo images of course that might give you some inspiration for the design of yours.

Jen: Yes, but I can see your vamps with tattoos, so even if you did it just because YOU like them, it still fits. I like the idea of marking your sirens with a Greek symbol - like maybe Olympus? I like my dragon tatt too! LOL I hope to get it colored in soon.

Mia Hayson Says :
December 8, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Great topic! I haven't thought too much about this for my stuff but I guess that's because most of my MCs are under 18. Hehe. I think I have a grand total of two characters with tats in my writing. I know SHAMEFUL. Geez.

This may also be a reflection of the fact I worry that tatoos are really painful. This is also SHAMEFUL but there you are.


Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
December 8, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Mia: None of my tattoos hurt. I laughed when I got the butterfly and I fell asleep when I got the dragon my shoulder blade. Now, when they got close to my spine it did feel a bit funny (imagine hitting your funny bone type of feeling all the way down your spine) but it didn't exactly hurt.

Charity Bradford Says :
December 8, 2010 at 12:34 PM

One of my characters will get this awesome celtic influenced tatoo of fire at the end of my faerie book. It makes me a bit sad to thing about because its based on this life guard's tatt from my neighborhood.

I talked about it over the summer on my blog and he said he'd draw one for the book (he designed his own) and my blog, but he never did. I hate not delivering when I *almost* promise to share something really cool.

It didn't hurt the LG was totally hot. :)

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
December 8, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Charity: That's great. Perhaps you can remind him to design it for you? Or you can looks up some designs like I said to Dawn. Of course, in the end, designing it yourself might be best as you know exactly what you want it to look like anyway! :)

Dawn Embers Says :
December 9, 2010 at 7:31 AM

It depends on the person and location. The cat I have on the left side near my collar bone didn't hurt at all but it was a simple design to and i'm kinda plushy. However, the fairy on my back right shoulder hurt. It wasn't unbearable by any means and I talked to the guy doing it the whole time but it did hurt.

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