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  1. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Lying, dog-faced pony Marine Supporter Contributor

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    Accepting Unsolicited Hush Money: How sleazy is my MC?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Iain Aschendale, Feb 13, 2018.

    MC can talk to dead people, like in The Sixth Sense. Dead people only hang around if there's something seriously unfinished that they need to take care of, otherwise most people just go to, well, we're not privy to that, but they don't hang about as ghosts. MC is always on the edge of being completely broke, so he's into some dodgy stuff (cold readings, homeopathic energy drinks) but he's got an internal code of honor of not scamming people who can't afford it, and not scamming the ones who can of too much. Fleecing, not slaughtering.

    MC meets the ghost of an elderly man who, while not abusive, was always pretty cold to his wife. The widow is well off, and the ghost is hanging around because he's got a deep, dark secret that he needs help concealing, and he's willing to instruct his widow to pay to make sure she never finds out. (Ma'am, your husband said to tell you that the day he proposed to you, you were wearing blue ribbons in your hair, but the left one kept coming untied. Also, please pay me $X for a service he's asked me to do for him.)

    MC is concerned about just what he's agreeing to hide, until the ghost directs him to the ammo can in the garage that has... a few old, faded, 1970s gay porn/physique magazines. It's the year 201X, so MC (who may be gay himself, not sure yet) sees no problem with this, but the ghost is frantic that his secret can never be uncovered.

    Is it wrong for the MC to take money (probably something semi-ridiculous, like $500 or a thousand bucks) in return for ditching a couple magazines in a dumpster without the widow finding out about them? MC is really, really low on funds, and while I don't want him to be totally sympathetic (he's got a bit of an Angels With Filthy Wings noir vibe going), I'm not trying to write a villain either.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    I don't think that's particularly sleazy. He's doing a service for the ghost, who presumably can't go on to The Great Whatever without it being resolved, and it's not like he's refusing to do it without payment, right? 'Cause that would be a bit shady, but still understandable given his financial situation, imo. As it is, just taking money from someone who's offering it in exchange for doing something for them -- I mean, that's just business. Checks out by my morally bankrupt standards.

    Granted, it's a weird situation for the widow, but he's not actually scamming her or taking her last penny, so I think she'll survive.
     
  3. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    The ghost says they are 'muscle mags' but actually these 'books' turn out to be much more compromising for the MC. Ghost has him by the short & curlies - ironically. Eurrr...anyway, is the ghost paying in Bitcoin?

    Some sort of twist might be fun - it doesn't have to be sicko stuff, something complex might...

    But I like your guy, sounds like a 'project,' eh..
     
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  4. ITBA01

    ITBA01 Active Member

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    Interesting idea you've come up with. I think it's a good way to show your character's personality. If I were in that position, I would probably just leave well enough alone and take the money. It's a bit dishonest, but I really wouldn't want to have that conversation with his wife.
     
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  5. Privateer

    Privateer Senior Member

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    Saving face for the dead dude and sparing the widow's feelings?

    It's dishonest, but still the right thing to do.
     
  6. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with your idea. It's not like the widow is broke or anything (or the MC takes all of her money), and your MC is low on funds, so I can see where he would be willing to take a little more then what is actually right for services rendered. (Just a little more):cool:
     
  7. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Lying, dog-faced pony Marine Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks to everyone, I've first-drafted the scene and settled on him being offered $500 to get rid of something "horrible". He's unsure, doesn't want to go to jail or cover up a war crime or anything, but when he sees the magazines, he gasps (at how mundane they are) which leads to ghost to offer increasing sums (thinking that MC is outraged), so MC reverse-bargains and "settles" for a number between the ghost's initial and final offer, a number that will cover some outstanding bills for him.
     

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