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Keeping Masumi in Character

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Keeping Masumi in Character

Post  Masumi on Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:38 am

Thiago Lopes wrote:"...Senhorita," he patted his homeless doctor on the shoulder and slipped her some mon* into her hand, "You did an excellent job. I expect we will meet again soon,"...

One of the things I tried to do was to keep Masumi's personality distinct from mine. She's a lot of fun to write with, but one of the challenges is that it can be hard to get into her head sometimes, in this case to figure out what she would do with the money.

On one hand she could keep the money. This would be the most practical option, and the option where she would profit the most. The fact she is a beggar, what's more a woman traveling alone, marks her as a bit of a non-conformist, if not out-right a social rebel.

On the other hand, she is not necessarily a rebel for any other reason than survival. Her other option is to hide the money in the fish cart that she feels responsible for damaging, and to take a couple of fish she damaged for that night's dinner. Part of that motivation may come from a sense of honor, another part of it may be fuel by fear of the wrath of the cart's owner should he discover her as the culprit.

Either way, her immediate food needs are met. If it were me, my sense of pride would compel me to option #2, but then again I'm not a semi-shrewd and desperately poor beggar woman. Any suggestions in how to get into Masumi's head?
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Re: Keeping Masumi in Character

Post  Thiago Lopes on Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:36 am

Try behaving like her. Acting is the best way to get in-tune with the core of your characters.
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Re: Keeping Masumi in Character

Post  Masumi on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:27 am

Thiago Lopes wrote:Try behaving like her. Acting is the best way to get in-tune with the core of your characters.

Thanks. I'll try that.
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Avoidng the Mary Sue

Post  Masumi on Tue May 08, 2012 11:01 am

Masumi wrote:Her brothel in Kyoto was a virtual prison, covered by the smiling faces of brightly decorated girls. Yamamoto Kyoko was one of those girls shortly before she ran, otherwise working as a servant away from the spot light. Yes, she owed the brothel, her source of food and shelter. She carried the burden of the money that helped her family* as her debt. But it was a hopeless place for her. She was sold older than most of the girls, and had not realistic change of advancement. The owner of the brothel, and unkind person, had control over every aspect of their lives, and the fates of their potential children. Abortion ended many unwanted pregnancies, and some of the women too, because the brothel owner refused to support another child. The few carried through were destined to be servants themselves. She couldn't bare the thought of bringing a child into the life of chains, so she abandoned Kyoko and all her obligations. Masumi was free, though utterly alone. Masumi still quietly feared the repercussions of her actions in the next life.

*Most end up in brothels because they are sold as indentured servants by their impoverished families.

This is from "Masumi's Days Off." I know that a darker past is characteristic of the dreaded Mary Sue, but I needed a logical explanation of why Masumi became a beggar (why would a beggar be an improvement to a previous situation?). To the best of my knowledge, the kind of lifestyles I a portraying for these prostitutes are historically accurate. Yes, most brothels of that era will feed and clothe women better than their families could. A few women even have access to education. But Masumi was a simple servant before working as a lower level prostitute, and brothel heads did have control over all aspects of their workers. Prostitutes were endangered by disease, unwanted pregnancies, and the whims of those they were under.
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Re: Keeping Masumi in Character

Post  Thiago Lopes on Tue May 08, 2012 11:19 am

Well, a Mary Sue is a character who is unbelievable because they undermine the plot and characterization of the rest of the work. Their reasons for being are generally insipid at best. They have so many interesting traits that they become uninteresting.
Masumi isn't a Sue because she's believable. Now, if she were also the half-elven princess of Atlantis master Assassin dual-wielding hidden guns while inventing pop-tarts, then we'd have an issue.
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Re: Keeping Masumi in Character

Post  Masumi on Tue May 08, 2012 11:26 am

Thiago Lopes wrote:Well, a Mary Sue is a character who is unbelievable because they undermine the plot and characterization of the rest of the work. Their reasons for being are generally insipid at best. They have so many interesting traits that they become uninteresting.
Masumi isn't a Sue because she's believable. Now, if she were also the half-elven princess of Atlantis master Assassin dual-wielding hidden guns while inventing pop-tarts, then we'd have an issue.

Thanks. I was worried. /:
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