1. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    How would YOU react?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by tcol4417, Jan 21, 2013.

    Hit a bit of a snag here: Just worried I'm not considering the full scope of possible reactions for a character and that their response to certain information isn't in keeping with, well... everyone else's.

    Your lack of significant talent has forced you into the employ of an enigmatic recluse for menial errands and chores. Their eccentricity and the things they get up to (upsetting powerful people, experimenting with dangerous substances) get you into enough trouble to make you want to leave, were it not for the effects of an accident making you more or less dependent on them for a remedy. It is after much pain and trouble that you learn that they are, in fact, a god. A pagan god, which explains their cantankerous self-absorption and hammers home the notion that they really don't give a fig about what happens to you and really were using you as a minor convenience to achieve their own ends (which they've probably lied to you about).

    I'm summarising here, but that's the basic essence of my character's plight. The response that I have currently is that the MC reacts pleasantly enough, but abandons the (somewhat disempowered) deity at the first available opportunity, figuring they have a better chance on their own than next to the narrative equivalent of a lightning rod covered in TNT.

    But what would YOU do?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wouldn't work for him long enough to get into trouble... the first time i was asked to do something immoral, illegal, or unethical, i'd be outa there... and would report him to appropriate law enforcement, if it was something illegal...
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just how dependent upon him am I for a remedy? What are my alternatives? Just what powers does this pagan god have, and how could he harm me if I were to leave his employ or turn against him?
     
  4. Salamander
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    Salamander Member

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    If was suddenly made aware of the fact that such creatures as gods existed and manifested thusly, I would probably leave and find a more powerful, more stable god-employer.

    Then again, I wouldn't want to anger an unstable pagan god lest I end up on his feasting table, and you have mentioned that he is dependant on something the god provides, so... I guess either he found a way around that or it's no longer so vital otherwise he wouldn't leave.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Surprise us! Make your character unique, not a clone of one or more of US.
     
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Cog really doesn't like workshopping / brainstorming.

    It depends on the power of the God and what they may do if I stayed or turned against them. If they truly don't give a fig, then I'd stay while pilfering the silver. The revelation wouldn't change any opinions about the activities, but be more of a revelation to put them into context... and may even be fascinating. I mean, a pagan God! That's not something to run away from because of some moral objection, or even danger. That's so incredible I'd stay just to see what the heck else goes on!
     
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  7. Junipergins
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    Junipergins New Member

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    How I'm getting my heart into this:

    Sounds like your character is in a pretty unique situation and it's hard to say how I'd react because, well, I can't sympathize with working for a self-centered deity.

    However, I sympathsize with being in a one-sided relationship... when someone means so much to you, but the feeling isn't mutual. There's that creeping realization that they don't return your feelings and you're all of a sudden disposable, once your semester is finished and they no longer need your anatomy notes. I know you're not writing a love story, but that's the way I'm trying to chew on it. Here's how I "would" react:

    Conflicted at first. The relationship is not something you want to let go of rashly. Your character has a working relationship with a god, which is pretty incredible and spectacular, so they wouldn't want to throw that away, not at first. I think as the story goes on and th relationship become more challenging, it depends on what kind of main character you are. Are you star-struck and a push-over? Are you reasonable and mature about the distructable nature of your partnership? Maybe you are vain and proud and can't stand being the loser in a relationship, so you plot for them to depend on you to write their final research proposal for them then, Wham! break it off the night before and send them the charred remains of their burnt paper (or in your specific case, have your main character turn the tables, put the deity in a position where they depend on the main character, only to have the main character intentionally screw them over simply to assuage their own feelings of being disposable).

    At least that is what an egotistical and insecure lady like me would do.
     
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  8. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    He may not like it, but I'm of a mind with him. If you're asking others to do the thinking for you, the character can never become YOUR character; he'll forever be someone else's in some small way.

    And don't take out your personal opinions on others in public in an attempt to put them down.
     
  9. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I'm wondering more about the main character and what type of person they are/comes to be. They certainly wouldn't have the same reaction as me if we're different types.
    Now, I can't say that I can relate to the exact situation, simply because I don't know a god, but I do know a little something about being a servant/errand person to someone else, and here's how I reacted to it:
    At first, I didn't really think much of it, I just went with it and said I could deal with it. As time passed by though, and the situation steadily became worse, I found myself starting to feel stressed, fustrated and annoyed at myself and at the person that I was "helping". Eventually, things got to the point where I was running in two emotions, super depressed, or extremely pissed off. I found I didn't like my life anymore, and I didn't like everything I had to put up with and all the times I had to take the fall for the trouble the other person got into, so I decided to do something about it. I started to tell people no, I wasn't going to do it anymore, and I started making the person I "helped" realize that I wasn't going to be around all the time waiting on them hand and foot. Instead, I started to find ways of leaving the life I had been leading, and leaving behind that person, and everything that went with them.
    Now, I find that I'm happier, that I'm not so edgy, and that I feel a lot better about my life and where I am. This may not relate to the whole god thing, but it's a similar situation, and it is something to consider. I still stand firm with my original statement though that it depends entirely on your character and the type of person they are.
     
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  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Brainstorming and workshopping can be invaluable to unlock one's own mind, and not even rely on other people's ideas specifically. It can stimulate creative thought. An idea might spark a new line of thinking and the writer can discover the solution to their problem for themselves. It can also be invaluable in learning new ways to approach characters and story, opening avenues in the mind that may never be explored if writing in creative isolation. This process can help with future work that won't need outside assistance or brainstorming due to the expanded experience and education of the writer.

    Writing is often like solving a puzzle. And sometimes it's good to learn a few tricks from others before you can start solving them on your own. Otherwise it can lead to eternal frustration.

    And I didn't try to put him down. I made an observation.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No one on this board is likely to have been in the situation described. There is nothing anyone can contribute that is beyond the imagination of the original poster.

    My opinion is that a writer needs to exercise his or her imagination. A writer must be an observer of human behavior.

    As for your observations regarding me, observe all you want, but keep the ad hominem remarks to yourself. Making an observation and posting it are two entirely different things.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I'm confused. If I'm doing things that get me into trouble, then I must be pretty desperate for this remedy. So why would this new information make me any less desperate? It sounds like the remedy was pretty optional in the first place, so I'm with mammamaia in thinking that I'd already be gone.
     
  13. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Don't mistake my intent - I'm looking for alternative perspectives on the matter, not a direct solution. I've already got something I'm currently working with, but I was wondering if I might have missed something.

    I am well aware of the uniqueness of the situation, having attempted several times to think of an accurate analogy. Plot-wise the relationship is similar to that between the main protagonist and antagonist precluding the actual story in Amnesia: Dark Descent, but that's such an obscure reference that it does little to help me. A bleak summary is that you want God to save you from a damnation you earned by accident while serving Him, but after a decade spent praying for forgiveness and giving everything you had (including the less savoury parts of the dogma like floggings and executions), it turns out that he'd been standing next to you the whole time and really wasn't paying that much attention to your personal efforts: Just concerned with forwarding His own agenda.

    I didn't expect it to be a scenario people could easily imagine a resolution to. If it was, I wouldn't be here.

    Many thanks to Junipergins and SilverWolf - not precisely possible in the circumstances I have planned, but certainly something to consider.
     
  14. Amin
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    Amin Member

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    More a general reaction than my own

    Since I know nothing on how your character behaves other than a paragraph's worth, I will not tell you how I would react because the chances are it will have nothing to do with your MC. What I would imagine from anyone, whether they believe in the Gods or not, is disappointment and possibly anger at having been treated so by a deity/some significant being. This could trigger an irrational reaction, such as rebelling, or it could make him all the more cautious as this being could do anything to him.
    I think you need to consider the severity of the situation combined with your character's personality and how they take such serious news. That's if you haven't already.
    Your character might be a particularly calm person who does not agree that negativity is the way, so may well stay rational. On the other hand, he may be a volatile person ready to do what ever it takes to reach his goal and not react well to being told the God doesn't care about him at all. The spectrum is huge.
     
  15. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Personally, I wouldn't be at all surprised.
     
  16. Dragoon119
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    Dragoon119 Member

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    It really depends on wheater the god is a man or a woman.

    Man: Try and befirend, get him to think that I am cool with him up until he gives me the remedy and then I'm booking it out of their as fast as possible.

    Woman: Try and seduce her so that she could prepare it faster and still run outta their after she heals me.

    Either way I'm outta their after the drug is made because from the sound of it, that god is going down one heck of a dark road and if the protagonist doesn't bail out now. He may not get a second chance.
     
  17. Sved
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    Sved Senior Member

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    I was thinking "Stockholm syndrome" or drug addiction or perhaps personal circumstances such as wanted by the law or the tax man! (as reasons to stay) but when I read the last post I realized it's about guilt.

    Feeling guilty or feeling you owe something is a powerful feeling and I'm sure many of us, including me, has done things we shouldn't just because of that feeling.
     

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