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Original Characters in Fanfiction
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TOPIC: Original Characters in Fanfiction
#106527
Kagome Yuki Niwa
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Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 32
I love and I hate Original Characters because I never know at what point is my character too much. As writers, we have a bad habit of making our OC's absolutely perfect and wonderful in every way because we love them. We put time and dedication into their personality and their background and that OC is our baby and no baby of ours will be ugly in any way.

We want them to be powerful, beautiful, and wonderful.

However, many writers don't write for themselves, we write because writing is like breathing and we want to make people happy while we do it.

My question to all the readers out there - is how can we make our Original Characters more essential to our stories? What is it about them that absolutely draws you in instead of shying away from them in terror? What are the likes and dislikes?

If a writer is going to use an OC, it's best that we know how the public receives them. My reviewers tell me they like my OC's but what about him exactly? What made you love them so that it can be done again? For example, a lot of the fanbase for "Unspoiled" by Forthright fell in love with her OC Hisoka - but what about him an integral part of that story?

If we as writers know these things then we can make other characters like them and so can other writers who want to write with an OC and just don't know how to make it work without making it seem forced.

Under no circumstance should this be used for bashing or ranting. Constructive criticism only.
 
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#106528
Pyreite
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Re:Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 57
Interesting topic which I think is very relevant, especially for fanfiction writers.

I think for moi, in the example you gave of Hisoka, Forthy's OC, I could accept him because despite being an OC he was integrated seamlessly into canon.

Sesshy as a child would have had private tutors. The very best. Hisoka is that and more because he shares a relationship with the Inu Taisho, in a way that is neither forced nor incongruous. They're friends of friends, but also Hisoka slides into the background of every scene he's in. He becomes part of the furniture, the very make-up of Sesshy's past in such a way that a reader can't distinguish him from the canon of what they know defines the boundaries of Sesshy's world.

Hisoka doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

You can believe he's a scholar, because Forthy portrays him as smart and knowledgable by showing how Hisoka is intelligent in how he reacts to things and people, not by thrusting it under the reader's nose like a neon-sign.

The establishment of Hisoka's past is plausible too. Which also makes him fit into Sesshy's canonical arc without making it obvious that he's a fan OC and not a canon character.

The example here in Hisoka especially is that an OC is only convincing if he or she doesn't take center-stage.

They're essentially window dressing or additional props portrayed alongside and sometimes against the canonical characters.

Like a ball bouncing off a brick-wall.

The OC doesn't set the scene, they are part of the scene.

Fanfiction is about writing alternative worlds for various fandoms. What Ifs or May Bes become possible under the right circumstances.

OCs are part of that for many writers. The weakness in establishing OCs isn't in the character itself, but in the way that the character is introduced.

Too many OCs feel tacked on like an ill-fitting piece in an orderly jigsaw puzzle. Or they're a square peg trying to be jammed into a round hole. The fit is never quite right, and it can and will show in an author's writing.

Good OCs set a scene and become part of the background, but also have enough presence to make an impression good or bad dependent on their nature. They also never overpower canon characters, but rather enhance the story-arcs set up for those canon characters.

Like Hisoka being Sesshy's childhood tutor, but also in Sesshy's adulthood, being a good friend too.

Hisoka is a brilliant OC because he blends in and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. You can't tell as a reader that he is an OC because Forthy writes about him in a way that is both subtle and sincere.

Hisoka doesn't feel contrived.

If Forthy says he's Sesshy's childhood tutor.

You accept it, because Hisoka is too brilliantly convincing not to be Sesshy's childhood tutor.

~ Pyre
 
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Last Edit: 2015/03/30 18:43 By Pyre.
 
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#106530
inali
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Re:Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 39
I think the main question to ask yourself with any character, original or canonical, is: do they further the story?

If they're just there, because the writer thinks they're cool, then their presence is going to feel jarring to the storyline. Or like a self-insertion, and I'm not a fan of self-insertions personally.
 
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#106533
Sp@ceMonkey
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Re:Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 3
OC's, in my personal opinion, should be avoided unless you actually need them-- sometimes in AU the cannon cast won't cover all the roles you need covering, so voila! An OC is born. Short of that I honestly wouldn't use them at all. They become Mary/Gary Sues sooooo incredibly easily, and author insertion is really only fun for the author.

Having said that, there are successful OCs. Hisoka is a great example of that, so if you think the character is necessary and adds something to your story then rock on!
 
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#107698
ScarlettLioness
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Re:Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 2
Have to agree that at time you cant keep a open story going on forever with character that are canon, you will need to at times learn how to create new ones. That's when writing really starts you have to make them stand out but not overshadow what your trying to do so like example.

Kagome has adversary who hates her, don't let it be a mean girl stereotype (oh woe my lovely shessy wont look at cuase of the human) perhaps make her instead angry cause of her own childhood being unloved,(abusive, psychological trama) shes possive now of everything she deems her own.make her calculating useing people. Kind of like that.
 
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#108040
Y. Kajitaka
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Re:Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 0
I think it's a matter of making the character feel like they belong within the story canon—it may seem odd, but too often writers make their character stand out instead of fit it, and that's likely their worst mistake. Hisoka was a grounded character that while standing outside of society still fit in to the social structure, however awkwardly. His fears were similar to their fears, his worries their worries, and while his curiosity was different, Hisoka was still hesitant and proper and strict and a great lot of things that made him an appropriate character.

However much we love an original character, they are just like our real life friends and lovers—they simply aren't right without flaws, and we love the flaws right along with the rest of them. Their imperfections, their awkwardness, and their lack are all reasons to baby them more, because sometimes killing the character we love means we just love them that much more. And similar principles. XD
 
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Last Edit: 2015/07/01 01:33 By UntappedChaos.
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#108089
Omyouji
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Re:Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 6
I agree with everyone here, OC's are tough, and I personally try to avoid fics with OCs as main characters.

Not because I don't think other people can write them in well, but it's so hard to sustain the canon universe with characters that were never introduced in the anime/manga. I like giving characters that have smaller roles in the anime back stories and moulding them as if they were your own OC, but I have trouble picturing OC's otherwise.

That said, if you can think of a loophole where your OC could have been missed, or for them to be seamlessly written in, I'd bite. The key is not making your OC perfect. Every character in Inuyasha has their own fatal flaw, and it makes you love them because they're imperfect. Give them their fatal flaw, and your audience will connect with them on a deeper level.

OC villains are great though. There's a lot more flexibility in a villain, so it's easier to imagine them existing in the canon universe. I find them really fun to develop and give background stories to.

The question I have, what do people think about alternate universes? I've seen a few fics set in the medical time and such, and I have yet to really develop an opinion on it..
 
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#108090
Rinku
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Re:Original Characters in Fanfiction 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 7
As both a writer and creator of a few OC's myself, I agree with many of the various points made by people in here. Too many times an OC is made "too perfect" and tend to not blend with the actual InuYasha characters' personalities. Many people, from what I have witnessed, also tend to fixate on their OC's and try to make them relevant due to either favoritism from both personal attributes they added to the character or an earnest liking for them. An OC must have a role that doesn't overtake the story.

My first OC for example was "Ai" in my AU universe story, Just Roomies. I can't say much about him because he plays an integral part of my storyline (which is still not finished >.>U) but I have been told by some readers that he is well-rounded and a "believable" character. He is a part of the setting I have created and "fits in". I do not place him in the forefront but he makes his appearances (as Kagome's ex-boyfriend and Sesshoumaru's cousin) and I make sure that he is in the scene for a reason. For example, he doesnt' just pop into a scene for a brief sentence or action.

I think an OC needs a solid purpose in a story - they must contribute something to it that the original cast does not. My OC is both a villain and a hero. He is flawed. He is physically attractive but at the same time, his personality reflects he is vain, envious and devious. He has ulterior motives. These sort of "flaws" makes a character interesting and relate-able in my opinion.

Have a purpose for the OC, as a side-character that has an affiliation/relationship with someone in your story that is believable, and has pros and cons to their personality. A background story with a fleshed out character is rare but very enjoyable, like Hisoka in Unspoiled was mentioned. The Mary/Gary Sue thing does make me cringe when I read it >_<
 
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Last Edit: 2015/07/04 20:52 By ForgottenHero-Rinku. Reason: wording
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