1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Character Help

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GuardianWynn, Apr 10, 2015.

    Okay pardon my gush in advance. Recently I been writing one character a lot and as such I am seeing different sides to her. At the moment I am losing all confidence in myself. In the sense that I am not sure I am being dynamic and good or just writing her inconsistently which would obviously be bad. My hope is that if you read the wall you see before you that you may give me your two cents on which you think I am doing.

    @jannert I tagged you because you heard a bit about this character before. I thought you might have a neat opinion here.

    Okay Jacquelyn "Jackie" Tarvos also known as Tsuki no Tora (The Tiger of the Moon) was born in China. Raised by assassins(her family) instantly makes her unique. To note raised by assassins isn't meant to imply dark or anger. The house teaches this skill like any other. They are polite and the like. She had been raised since she could stand on how to fight but not in a brutal way. Like I mean they did hit her but not in a abusive way. She was hit while learning to fight just as you would get wet learning how to swim. Killing has no more moral impact on her then taking out the trash though.

    She has a mixed relationship
    with her family. On one side she loves them but she doesn't claim this or even realize she feels this way. I say this because when they call she answers. When family events happen she goes. She sends money home just because it feels right. Yet she will curse at her family and hold them in distain. This is because growing up she was always held in the shadow of her brother who had abandoned the family. It was never "Good Job Jackie" but "Almost as good as him" or "You bet his score!" She hated it.

    When she was 17-18. She left home. She wanted to make her own name. To prove it to herself, to her family and to the entire world that she was her own person and not her brother. So she worked, a lot. She did nothing else for the longest time. Pushing her limits and placing limits on herself. She generally only obeys half of her families teachings when she can. Her way of saying "See! I don't need to do it according to your rules!" which may be her biggest short coming considering she acts this way even when no one is looking.

    As life moved on she became bored and began reading in her spare time. Still being socially pathetic and never even trying to have a friend. In a sense she didn't even know how to try and was very scared at the thought of it. At the time I am writing her she is about 33. Becoming more and more bored with work she starts to develop a friendship. So new is the concept to just the constant "hellos" and "good mornings" to the clerk at her favorite food store that they begin to nag at her being. She begins sweating when she goes to that store and is very polite to them instead of her normal sassy attitude. At one point the man asks her to dinner. She accepts and has a full on panic attack at the dinner.

    This is where I am conflicted. Is this another side to her? Or me forgetting how she normally mouths off and is sassy and rude and not nervous at all around people. But there is a different dynamic. That is when she is working. When she is fighting. When people need her and are paying her or are her targets. This man that has given her a panic attack. Is reaching a different side to her? The lonely girl that wants love inside this assassin or am I just an awful writer?

    Random facts I think are not needed for this but hey why not.
    - She hates thieves and will not steal, period.
    - She thinks only those with power are truly capable of deciding. Though she does not impose this logic on non fighters. As she says "I push my limits. Pushing around people who don't fight is just being mean." She mainly uses this logic against bullies. Saying that she is only using their own logic.
    - Her brother has been dead since she was 20.
    - She is usually impulsive.
    - She hate being called Jacquelyn

    Thank you for your advice and time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  2. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. Just to see if I understand:

    - She was raised by fighters who trained her to use logic instead of emotions.
    - She didn't have very many actual friendships growing up.
    - She's shy with meeting new people.

    Seems to me that dating would be an entirely new situation for her. It's something she can't control, predict, or fight her way out of. It's logical (to me) that she would be nervous and have a panic attack.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually she would have had 0 friends outside of the family growing up.

    My mind still sees this concept of her meeting new people and not stressing out though but it is under like a job or someone contacting her for a job. I know the dynamic is different but my mind keeps going back to that.

    Then again while writing this I think I got it.

    A job she doesn't care. Rejection is not something that matters.
    A date she does care. Rejection would crush her.

    Is that the concept my mind is having such a hard time wrapping it's self around?

    Like if someone trying hire her calls her Jacquelyn(which she hates) she would punch them in the throat.
    But if on the date the guy said Jacquelyn she obviously wouldn't react the same.
    This seems to make sense. I think.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I can't add much to what @Lea`Brooks said. I think your situation is very plausible. If you're raised without a lot of love, in the sense of touchy-feeling love, and if nobody exhibits that kind of love to each other in front of you, you are going to be completely bamboozled by it. Feelings are natural, and she's been trained to put them aside to get the job done. It sounds as if she's not been encouraged to marry or to develop normal relationships LIKE love Her own family has partly rejected her, and that's nothing to the kind of rejection she faces out there in the big bad world. She will feel love for her family, but that's not the same thing. She has her place in that pecking order, and there isn't really any way to change it. However, out in the world, everything is up in the air for her. Anything can happen. Feelings of love for people outwith the family group can be scary even for those of us who know what they are, and know what we expect to happen. I think you've got the makings of a really interesting story with this complication. I presume it's going to get complicated?
     
  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. Damn. Now I feel silly for posting a thread asking for help. lol.

    Well, complicated. Yeah. Probably right. Well technically I didn't correct lea. She wasn't on a date. The invite to dinner wasn't actually a date.
    The man invited her to a friendly dinner with his wife. Yes. Ouch, right?
    Overall I think the book's focus is less on her lack of love and more on her emotional control altogether.
    From panic attack from nerves being near a crush. To pure anger and being unable to display proper patience. To the moral responsibility of doing what she needs to do over what she wants to do. The books end goal shows her gaining a purpose and some stability but not a boyfriend. lol
     
  6. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    Just something that stuck out to me; she's got a western name, was born in China, and is also known by a Japanese pseudonym?
     
  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did also state while born in China that her parents were not actually Chinese. Actually a lot of her self stretches across different areas too.
    Like she says she knows English, Chinese and Japanese languages.
    She knows Hapkido a Korean Martial Art. Kempo A Japanese Martial Art and Sambo, A Russian Style Martial Art. Also she uses Twin Hook Swords. A Chinese weapon.

    Would it be fair to say she is cultured? lol
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Is she a cultured person? What do you mean by "cultured"? If you wanted to get to know your character more, assuming you want to get it as realistic as possible, this could be an interesting dimension to explore. You also better specify which Chinese language she knows. People who actually know Chinese tend to make distinctions like this. She also sounds like she's been influenced by a number of cultures - what impact might that have on her personality and thinking etc? Does she feel like she belongs anywhere, if she's multi-cultural? She obviously knows English from her parents and Chinese from being in China - where/why did she learn Japanese?
     
  9. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    I did kind of assume that she would simply have been born to a western family, but the presence of the Japanese pseudonym was what threw me for a loop.
     
  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh by cultured I mean like she knows culture. Actually all the things she knows she learned by her family. She was home schooled. She has a large family. They sort of encourage the children to pick things they want to learn. All the things she learned were her choice by family members. The concept is in the same way previously family member became studied and then began teaching. The kids grow up and become teachers.

    Like she doesn't know a Chinese martial arts because she didn't pick to learn one. She also doesn't speak Korean because she didn't pick it.

    Is that bad?
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "She knows culture" is like me saying, "I have ideas." It's such a vague statement as to be meaningless. I think you're gonna have to expand on what you mean. Which culture? Given that she has quite a lot of freedom over what she learns, you might want to research into the culture(s) she might be particularly into so her knowledge and reactions come across as authentic.

    However, how cultured can someone really be if she's only ever exposed to things that take her interest, and never made to learn anything against her will? That's got to have an impact on her personality - perhaps resistence to go through anything she does not immediately like the sound of, stubborn refusal to do certain things or listen once she deems them uninteresting or irrelevant, not giving much mind to what someone else thinks because her wishes and what she considers important were always affirmed and rarely challenged. How complete can her knowledge possibly be in any area, if everything's passed down by family members and they all learn only things they want to learn? And how does she compensate for knowledge gaps - say what if she wants to learn how to cook French cuisine but no one in her family has ever shown interest there, thus no one knows the subject?

    These are all just assumptions I've made based on your very short post, so I could be very wrong about all this :) but it does show you the scope of this character - I think you could have someone very interesting there if you fleshed her out.

    As for the question of why she has a Japanese pseudonym - it's not a bad thing, but it is very unusual, so there should be a reason for its existence otherwise it might just come across as odd. Even if the reason is simply that she loves Japanese and so picked a Japanese name to go by - but there needs to be something to explain it.

    Why doesn't she have a Chinese name, for example? If she lived in China, a Chinese name would come in handy. As an assassin, I can't imagine you'd wanna stand out too much in public - having an unusual name in a different language from the locals will make you stand out and draw unnecessary attention. I should know - I'm actually Chinese. My Chinese maiden name is unpronuncible by Europeans, my English name is confusing for Czechs (I live in Prague) and my Czech married name is also unpronuncible by both the English and Chinese. My husband's name is very common - it's Jan - which means he sends his photos along with his CV whenever he applies for English jobs because every English and American thinks he's a girl. Basically, trust me when I say, your name draws a lot of attention - admiration, interest, confusion, mockery, incredulity. It can spew a whole conversation.

    Given Jackie's not a people's person - is she really going to want something like this constantly with her?

    All just questions you should answer. I'm not saying she can't have a Japanese pseudonym or that she must have a Chinese name - but these are questions to be answered I believe, if you wanna flesh her out.
     
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  12. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    It's not necessarily bad. The fact that there I didn't see any connection to Japan beyond the martial arts made me think that you might have b intended for the pseudonym to be in Chinese and gotten them mixed up (which isn't too hard to do, if you don't know what to look for).
     
  13. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Know what I love about this site? Detailed messages. Old forums? 1 liners everywhere. I guess I have to up my wall of texts. :D


    Yeah. You make a point. Obviously I need to now more than names and meaning to say she is cultured. I have to learn. Oh damn I suck at that kind of stuff. Sad face.


    Well her family wouldn't have made nothing an option. It sort of would have been like.


    "You are learning martial arts. Korean Tae Quan Do? Japanese Karate? Take your pick or I will pick for you."


    In a similar way she would have been trained in most likely history and philosophy. Likely at times in her life when training physically would have been difficult.


    On learning new things? Family would be happy to hear that. They would point you to the library. They believe strength above all else but acknowledge a warrior without a common sense is just someone elses tool.


    Some of your questions kind of need a bit of backstory. Considering your comment on my short post I am guessing you don't mind :D.


    The Order my universe. Set roughly 200 ish years in the future. After a magical revolution which caused world war three. After the fall out the nations changed. China became a state and a country no longer. In the new set up there exists only about 5-8 nations. Yeah I don't have the full map out yet. I sort of let the stories paint the lines a little. Asia in particular became a brutal place to live. A place where strength is considered right.


    Tarvoss was a man with a large family. With nothing for himself except the will to live. He moved to China and started a business killing people. It was his will. He was the original developer fighting concepts to allow non magical people to fight against magical people. A national treasure from the war. His motto was “Will my blade I shall cut destiny.”


    Jackie is just one of now hundreds connected to that legendary warrior.


    Okay some behinds the scenes concepts. The original Tarvoss(First I made) was a man named William(He is also Jackie's older brother). He was created and his family concept created before I placed them. I placed them in China because Asia's new culture reflected them. The name Jackie came from the idea of trying to sound like something that someone who named there first kid William would name a second kid. Plus I sort of suck at culture naming. This is a thing in general I do. Example in one book it takes place on another planet. I still mention customs like married and call flowers by there Earth names. Not because I think they would be called that but because I think wasting a page thinking up a new name only to have to explain it is that planets equivent to our marriage is a waste of reader time.


    For the code name. I never said she gave it to herself. Currently I am leaning towards her father giving it to her. As well as giving all his personal kids a name with a similar scheme. In the writing I did last night I had Jackie claim she thought the name was stupid. But it is the official coded name she has in the families home.


    Funny enough with the direction I am going. China is fine with her being an assassin. In all likelihood they know her real name and her coded name. The code name purpose is probably more for the country helping her hide from other countries hunting her. As Asia sadly to them will have to cooperate with certain request from other countries. But if that country can't prove Jackie Tarvoss is Tsuki no Tora then they aren't going to help you. Lol.


    Does that make sense?


    Did I miss any point?
     

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