1. Happy-Epistemology
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    Happy-Epistemology New Member

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    A character who doesn't have a soul

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Happy-Epistemology, Apr 13, 2008.

    So, I've got a character with no soul-a Soulless One. This means, on a basic level, she has absolutely no conscience, no morals, maybe no emotion.

    She was created by the main baddie as a lab experiment to invent a 'Master Race'-people who do not have souls, spirituality conscience or religion. She has next to nothing in her "right brain"-the creative, imaginative side. She also has violent tendencies, and has quite the sense of entitlement.

    Physically, she's very small, because the baddies wanted to save their resources. She's 140cms tall and she doesn't have any hair apart from a buzz cut. Her skin is very pale and she can't reproduce-again, the saving-resources thing.

    So how should I develop her? And what should I call her? At the moment, she's Eugenia, but I'm also thinking she should be Enid or Gertrude.
     
  2. Slippery
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    Slippery Contributing Member

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    If she was bred, or created, I have to think that she would have a name that would denote what version she was. You could pick a number that sounds particularly elegant. I like Eleven. People could call her Elle for short, etc.

    Two different things come up off the top of my head as far as development.

    For one, she has no soul. Perhaps this is a new technology that her creators developed, and maybe they can't predict what will happen when she begins to interact with normal people. Will she begin to develop signs of a soul? Does having a soul involve something that science cannot control? Perhaps her major development will be that she gains one.

    If she has been engineered to be unable to reproduce, I can see this bringing up a great number of problems. Will she be enraged at this? Will she find a man she loves and wish for children, and later seek to adopt a child? Or maybe, in her travels, she comes across a child in dire straights, and motivated by her marital instincts, which her creators could never quite take away, she decides to take care of the child, and ends up defying their original ideas of an emotionless race.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  3. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    since she was desgined as an experiment sort of thing, I wuold suggest a name more like Xatra, or Thyrone, or something that sounds like an experiment name, not a normal name.

    As for developing her, I do not think there is much to develop if she does not have any amotions or anything. I wuld like to know a little about the plot of the story as it is all well having a charector sorted but you need something to actually write about. It sounds like a good idea though.

    Heather
     
  4. MarcG
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    MarcG Contributing Member

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    People only have a conscience if they have morals, for the most part. Read The Stranger if you're looking for insight into that.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Research sociopaths and sociopathy on the web. Behaviorally, that's a good character model.
     
  6. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    if a character has no soul; but is human essentially there an android with flesh.

    so try to focus on not showing emotion (no exclamation marks, simple/consice/military word choice, etc.) and the idea that she has no soul and therefore no emotion but has a consciousness not programing like an android
     
  7. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Read the Oz stories with the Tin Man.

    I've got a similar situation in my story that started after watching Chobits of all things. What's the problem with loving a Ridiculously Human Robot, especially if neither of you knew she was a robot?

    Then again, she wasn't a lab experiment, so that gets broken down. And I'm assuming the lack of conscience means there will be no love in it?

    Well, they say that the left brain will compensate, so while she strongly asserts that she's not creative, she'll notice intricate patterns that "She would think were beautiful if she had a soul". Actually, Dexter, the show or the books, might be a good place to see for not having a soul, he keeps saying he doesn't have one, but he cares for Rita and her children, and Debra.

    But then again, that's me on the Tin Man bent. Hell, I might even be going to far in assuming she's the protagonist. I just love the idea of someone who asserts that they don't have Emotion X, and yet they constantly display Emotion X.

    Of course, like Honorius says, the flat tone and lack of emotion in general are the hallmarks of a good Tin Man. Like Cameron, from Terminator. Or Chachamaru. Or the T-800 even. I'll stop now.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No soul and no emotions are two different things. No soul means nomaral compass, no inhibitions, no sense of guilt. Frankenstein's monster is the archetypal soulless creature.
     
  9. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    It sounds like a Borg to me - have you ever watched Star Trek: Voyager? The character Seven of Nine might give you some insight.

    If you're not a trekkie, here's the short version: The Borg are a race of organic lifeforms who have augmented themselves with vast cybernetic "upgrades" if you will, and who seem to have no conscience, no creativity or design (their starships are giant cubes or spheres) and absolutely no regret. They cannot reproduce on their own, so when they meet a new race, they "assimilate" it into themselves by taking its members, hooking them up to the collective "hive mind" and adding the Borg implants. They gain the knowledge of each of those individuals for the entire collective. They have no regrets about assimilating and wiping out entire races of people. When you meet them in space, the last thing you'll hear is "We are the Borg. Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

    Seven of Nine was a human girl named Annika who was abducted and assimilated at a very young age. She was later freed from the Borg. She spent a long time wrestling with what it was suddenly like to have a conscience and to regret the millions - literally, millions - of lives she had taken and races she had extincted.

    Sounds like your character is somewhat like a Borg. Should be something interesting to read, I look forward to it!
     
  10. Klee
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    Klee Contributing Member

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    Sounds almost exactly like Alraune (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alraune). As to how you should develop her I go with Cogito's suggestion and research sociopaths.
     
  11. nburwell
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    nburwell Senior Member

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    This is what the left brain can do:

    LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
    uses logic
    detail oriented
    facts rule
    words and language
    present and past
    math and science
    can comprehend
    knowing
    acknowledges
    order/pattern perception
    knows object name
    reality based
    forms strategies
    practical
    safe


    Perhaps her comprehension is not what her creators expected it her be. Perhaps, even though they created her, her ideas do not correlate with theirs. Perhaps she is set, because left brainers are analytical and goal oriented, on her ideas being correct and she has completely different ideas of (bettering the world, teaching others, etc) being world dominant. Just because she only has a left brain and has no-soul (and essentially will never question her spirituality or religion) does not mean that she does not care about others. And even if you choose not to have her feel emotions, natural human instinct, at least in its originality, is to be close to and help other people. It doesn't always turn out that way based on people's experiences but you could have it that she starts out being very inclined to help others.

    This character seems like the kind that would be interpreted as being very mechanical by her creators, before she was given life, but then became something completely different than they expected. That does not mean that she has to be a predictable character. I would be surprised if you could come up with a good, interesting story with her being the exact character that her creators wanted her to be. It just doesn't leave much room for possibility. I don't think that the readers would even recognize her being different as a predictable situation. Once that happens, you can carry it off in an infinite number of directions.

    If she will be different, it will be like saying that someone can be anything they want to be in life. She can become anything. Her personality can change in any which way. There are limits and it may seem like those would make it harder to define her personality, but I think they make it more fun because with each limit (only has a left brain) you get to twist her personality in a different direction where before you would have most likely kept going straight. Limits give you definition, which gives you shape.

    She sounds like a great character and a wonderful base for a fun plot. Good luck. I look forward to reading the story.

    ~Natalie
     
  12. ACCERBYSS
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    ACCERBYSS Member

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    Just out of curiosity how are they able to quantify and measure her souls non-existence? "her souls non-existence" that part inspired this question in my edit: is there a soul waiting for her some where?

    If they are able to measure this, does the rest of society have access to this technology?

    If so how will this affect her in the outside world to be regarded as soulless and treated as such?

    Does she know she doesn't have a soul?

    If she does, does her sense of entitlement lead her to feeling entitled to have a soul or go about "getting one"?

    Could this be the reason for her violent tendencies? Her miss guided attempts to attain what she believes are her entitlements. She wishes to posses that which she sees every one else possessing, a soul.

    What is the bad guy’s definition of “The Master Race”?

    By saving resources are they trying to perfect a particular aspect of their ideal?

    How close to their idea of perfect is she?

    Is their ideal of soullessness paradoxically a spiritual pursuit?

    Maybe this is driven by the creator’s personal fears and inner demons. It could be an act of kindness on his behalf to save his creations from the universal human condition of suffering.

    Are there others? Do they interact? How are they affected by their interactions?

    If she is the only one created so far, through her comparative analysis of those around her how does she react to the conclusions she draws from those comparisons?

    The movie Equilibrium could be of inspiration to you as it deals with what would happen in an emotionless society.

    Sounds interesting, keep us up to date with your progress.

    - Accerbyss
     
  13. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    i've read Frankenstein so just on a side note Frankensteins monster actually had a wide range of emotions (he got angry, he got sad, lonely, etc.), he could talk, and even had a feeling that Frankenstein was his father but abandoned him.

    also no soul, no emotions, and no conscious are similar but different things.
    i.e. a rock has none of the above.
    a computer can process data/"think" but has none of the above
    generally if something has a soul its alive (depending on religions and ideology animals have no souls but we do) if it has emotions you can tell if its sad/mad/afraid by looking at it. and if it has a consciousness it can make its own choices.
    (instinct and programming are natural inhibitions. i.e. we dont think "i think i'd like to breathe now" unless we're holding our breath. but we do think "would i like McDonalds or Burger King?"
     
  14. Happy-Epistemology
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    Happy-Epistemology New Member

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    Thanks for your questions-they really made me think. Basically, the 'baddies' want to erase all spirituality from humanity. They are atheists who believe religion is false and misleading. They don't believe souls are necessary. This character is the first one of their 'master race'. She is aware of her soullessness and believes it makes her better than the other characters, due to how the 'baddies' programmed her.

    The main theme of the story is spirituality and religion, and gods are widely recognised. The baddies are unique in that they don't believe in gods. There is also a spirit world, which is seperate from the physical world.
     
  15. Anna_Pavarli_76
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    Anna_Pavarli_76 New Member

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    I think that's what the person was saying. Frankenstein's monster had emotions, but was soulless--they're two different things...ironically, I'm reading that book in English for the first time (almost finished and I actually find I kind of like it, which I didn't think I would).
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you, Anna - that was exactly the poiint I was trying to make.
     
  17. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Man, Equilibrium is nuts.

    It's better than the Matrix.
     

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