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November 15, 2012
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OC Appearances

:iconcityprincess01:
cityprincess01 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012   General Artist
I have an OC that dresses all in black and wears a leather jacket all the time. He has pale skin, black hair and red eyes (being a fallen angel does that too you in my story). He does this because it makes him stand out in a world where all of my other characters are flashing their own unique styles.

To anyone who has experience in making OCs, do you think that my character's appearance may look a little mary sue-ish. I'm don't think so because there are reasons why he looks this way but I would like a second opinion. :-?

On another topic, What Does Your OC Look Like? :D
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:iconlovelyinblack:
Lovelyinblack Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student Artist
The personality and actions of a character are what make a character a Mary Sue. So no, your character's appearance does not make them a Sue. However, your character's appearance seems slightly generic for a fallen angel. It reminds me of a lot of anime characters. However, it's not necessarily a big deal, as long as his appearance isn't a major focus. Overall, his story is what's supposed to make him unique.

Since everyone here is posting drawings their characters I'll do the same. Her appearance has changed slightly though... just haven't had enough time to post anything new :/

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:icon2aliens1astronaut:
2Aliens1Astronaut Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I'm fortunate enough in the fact that my playthings come with clothes already. I sometimes think that the clothes they wear is an extension of their personality. There are few that just appear to me. I cannot see the color of their hair or skin. I do not know what they like or don't like. I suppose they expect me to clothe them.
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:iconclaycowboys:
ClayCowboys Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Writer
Appearance doesn't necessarily make a character a Mary Sue. Character does. And if you have any doubts as to whether your character is a Mary Sue/Gary Stu or not, there are a few litmus tests out there you can take (some of them are kind of 'meh', but there are some that aren't bad).

As for my lead character, here's what he looks like:

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:iconterrytatcher:
TerryTatcher Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Well... if there are reasons... what are they?
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:icononceuponanight23:
OnceUponANight23 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Not Mary sue-ish at all. ;)

my OC is a 11 yearold boy with pale skin, black hair, bright blue eyes and an inocent smile. he hates dressing in red, since in the simbolism of my story red simbolizes death and my OC dies at the end. he likes wearing green shirts because green reminds him of nature.
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:iconmerlok1:
Merlok1 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think that he's mary sue-ish but I don't know his personality or motivation. I think that is what makes the difference

I've got an OC which looks oddly similar to yours:
Samael is the child of an angel and a demon what makes him a greyblood
he has long black hair and light blue eyes like a snake.
He something like the guardian of the earth
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:iconcityprincess01:
cityprincess01 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012   General Artist
thanks for the reply!
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:iconschris91:
schris91 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Filmographer
Based on your description, I've seen like 2000 of your OC on dA.
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:iconytcyberpunk:
YTcyberpunk Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Mary Sue" is a relative term. The same thing that makes someone a Mary Sue in one fictitious world may be totally normal in another. Example: there's a literary character named Mara Jade. She's an orphan, has powers almost equal to the hero, falls in love with him, and turned from evil to good. The twist? She's Mara Jade, a character in the "Star Wars" universe, where virtually all of the main good guys are orphans, have "special" powers, and make important switches from bad to good (or vis versa).

You say that your OC inhabits a world full of unique-looking people, so I don't think he sounds like a Mary Sue. Even if he is rather unusual looking, that alone doesn't make someone a Mary Sue.
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:iconsmilkey:
smilkey Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Do a unique design on your OC's clothing. Yah, it would make your OC a bit mary sue-ish, but sometimes it can't be helped without sacrificing the concept behind the OC. I think appearance-wise, besides the color schemes, design has a huge impact on the appeal of an OC.


My OCs are all in the fantasy genre....so...they look like fantasy OCs..... =P They are all humanoids cuz my imagination is that limited :B
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:iconcityprincess01:
cityprincess01 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012   General Artist
thanks for the advice :)
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:iconsmilkey:
smilkey Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
welcomess
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:icondevilkid-chan:
DevilKid-chan Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Perhaps slightly Mary-Sue-ish, yes, but if you give him a personality that can distract from that then I'm sure you can get away from it. Think about other things when designing the character's appearance, as they are overlooked ridiculously often and are much less commonly viewed as cliches: things such as the way he stands when he's waiting for a bus, things like whether or not he fiddles with anything when he's bored, things like the speed he walks at and whether or not he walks with his head up or down. Things like whether he has any piercings anywhere or any weird touches to his speech; these outwardly visible touches to his general appearance will all help define your character's personality without directly saying a thing about it.
For example, if he stands with his legs a rough shoulder-width apart and his hands at his sides when he's waiting for a bus, it might suggest someone who's studied martial arts before (I've noticed that that's a common way for people to stand without even realising when they do or have done such practices). Also, if you know anyone with black hair or a leather jacket, you can always sneakily study it when they aren't looking; perhaps assess its condition, think of what it reminds you of, etc. This way your descriptions will be less cliched, making the character seem a little more real and less Mary-Sue.

I would answer the second half of your question, only I've typed so much already... you must be really bored ^^; But I hope this helps you!
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:iconcityprincess01:
cityprincess01 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012   General Artist
it helps me lots :D thanks!
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:icondevilkid-chan:
DevilKid-chan Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's good :D You're welcome!
And good luck with your writing!
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
I would pay more attention to how he sees the world than how the world see's him. He is a protagonist in prose, right? Not a model in photography.
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:icondevilkid-chan:
DevilKid-chan Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, that perhaps depends on whether the story is written from his perspective or not. If it was another character meeting him, then it might be a description of their view on him, regarding what they can gather about his personality from the way he acts. However, you may be right; it would be odd if the story was introducing him based on his thoughts and he happened to be thinking about the way he was standing.
It is a good idea to keep in mind the way a character thinks and feels though, because from whatever perspective, the way his mind works will be reflected - slightly - in his posture and/or speech patterns, meaning these things have to be relevant to his feelings. All I'm saying is that these things say more about a character than simply describing hair colour, eye colour and clothing.
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
If he isn't the protagonist he is pretty safe from being considered a Mary Sue.
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:icondevilkid-chan:
DevilKid-chan Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmm, well. I guess it's all down to the writer.
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:iconshurely:
Shurely Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I find myself less inclined to read stories where the characters are wearing clichéd or Mary Sue-ish clothing, simply because the imagery I receive from reading about them is rather off-putting. However, this is just a personal preference. I commend writers for producing characters that are truly unusual and stand out, both in appearance and personality. Still, I think giving the reader little information about the characters is refreshing, as fully describing your characters can be dull to read, and allowing the reader to have their own image of the character means they have their own attachment to them, I guess you could say. It's like movies: the director's interpretation and portrayal of the character is given, which may be totally different to your own, therefore you might not like the movie because the character you imagined is completely different to the actor.

I have loads of OCs, and it's very hard to make them all different. One of my newest ones is utterly insane but sly and seductive. She has immense power and has the tendency to abuse it on petty things.
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:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012   Writer
I tend to associate lavish description of clothing with "Mary Sue" characters more than any particular choice of clothing. That is to say, if a writer chooses to begin a story by telling us what the main character is wearing, I begin to wonder if they're more interested in creating an awesome self-fulfilment character than they are in telling a good story. In any case, who the character is should be far more important than what they wear (though you can illustrate one by describing the other).

That said, I may be a little biased as I don't like to spend a lot of time describing characters. Instead, I try to drop in a few significant details that help build up an overall impression. The protagonist of my "main" novel has thumbs instead of fingers and a fairly conspicuous surgical scar running down from behind her left ear. Her clothes are practical, but pretty shabby. She's quite short.
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
If he looks normal for his world, what's the problem.

But yeah, who cares what he looks like. The story is told from his perspective looking out at the world. "He" as an visual object should hardly ever appear in the narrative.

p.s. Outside of fan fiction, original characters are mainly just called characters.
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
My current protagonist is a hairless grey skinned alien who looks a bit like a 17 year old human. In context, this is perfectly normal.
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:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist
As others have said, there are many other more important traits to consider than appearance. That said, the appearance alone does strike me as a bit on the cliche side. That may not necessarily be a bad thing, since the reader will experience more than just the description you gave. There's no need to make every single aspect stand out as unique on its own.

I think where you may start getting into trouble is if you use all to familiar imagery to get your character across, instead of your own original ideas. A fallen angel is certainly nothing new - but your own twists on the type of character could make for very interesting reading.

I think what is going to make this character, or break it, are the reasons you mentioned. If you're worried about the character, I think a more effective way to get good advice would be to find someone to critique the writing itself, not your own description.

Since you asked, here are the descriptions of a couple of my characters. There are illustrations if you're curious - but I'll leave them as links instead of thumbs so you can picture them in your mind :)

1. Nobody was scared of Marcus. He did not stand very tall. He was scrawny. He had short, black straight hair that showed his ears - the sorts of ears one would be more inclined to twiddle than to believe heard great beasts. And, of course, he spent all his time in the tower. [link]

2. Her reflection in the rippling water caught her by surprise. Her long black hair appeared as a very dark blue against the water. She reached into the water and ran her finger through it, watching the ripples distort her image. Her dark blue eyes so perfectly matched the shade of the water that it appeared as though it were moving through her. [link]
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:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Student General Artist
For me, Mary Sueishness is found more in how the character acts rather than dresses. Not to say that their dress isn't a part of it, but for me it can be balanced out by a good personality.

As for my OCs, there's way to many to count. XD But here's a few:
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:iconbraik1993:
Braik1993 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't think it's Mary Sue-ish. His clothing's simple, it could be part of his personality. Even then, there's always the additional apparel, such as belts and gloves etc. that make the character a more unique character. My characters started out with bland, super simple clothing, but I've been updating their outfits as I study clothing and such. =3

As for my OC...I have too many to count. Lol. But, my favorite OC has to be Bell Dimora! ^^
[link]
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:iconspudfuzz:
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My boyfriend's main is similar, only blue eyes. He has an entirely black uniform with gold trim (robe/ tunic style). The colours and logo on it are all symbolic and have meaning. Character wise he just doesn't give a damn about aesthetics, and will prefer things over what works compared to what looks good. It still doesn't stop critiques from the anime world who say his appearance is too boring or plain. What am I supposed to do to make him more visually interesting if that's just the
way he is. I don't want to put him in a fur coat and slick hair do if it breaks his character. :shrug:
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:iconmadoldhag:
MadOldHag Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
First, I don't like the term "OC". I know it is common here at dA, but in the literature forum, well ... Why don't you just say protagonist or simply character?

I am mostly with `saintartaud here.

Why are clothes so important for your character? Is he vain? Does he wear them because he thinks that he more likely will be accepted in a certain social group? Is it kind of an uniform?

Why do you want to know what our characters wear? Why don't you ask for their personalities? Well, as you ask, this is closest to how I imagine his looks: [link] , even though this [link] picture tells much more about his personality.
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:iconkyteglory:
KyteGlory Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
He sounds cliched. Everybody and their sister dresses in black and has black hair and fair skin. And let me guess: He's a dark and troubled soul. Get in line.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
*Rovanna is right. The Mary Sue thing is getting old.

But I will say that appearance is never intrinsically "Mary Sue-ish" only a potential indicator of a Mary Sue. I know that seems confusing, but it makes more sense if you know what a Mary Sue is. That is, a Mary Sue is an OC lacking substantial flaws, or whose flaws don't register to the other characters. She's always smarter, nicer, prettier than the other characters, but always too modest to admit it. There is no obstacle she can't easily overcome. She's basically wish fulfillment for the author, rarely a complex, well-developed character who is realistically flawed/imperfect. What she's wearing isn't going to tell you that.

I will go as far to say, however, that if your main concern is this character's appearance, you're focusing on the wrong thing. It's not that appearance doesn't matter, but your understanding of the character's motivations and overall personality are going to have a lot more impact on the story itself. The main tricks with appearance is to make it all relate to the whole. Don't throw in certain elements just to make him distinct. Throw them in because they say something about his personality and add interest/depth to the overall story.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
Also, since you asked and I missed it, here's one of my characters with his kitty:


But this drawing is a bit more accurate to his features: [link]
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
As *Rovanna said, it's not that his appearance necessarily makes him a "Mary Sue", but that his looks are rather generic for his type. Of course there are reasons why he looks as he does -- but they're all your invention, aren't they?

Characters from my main series:
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:iconcityprincess01:
cityprincess01 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012   General Artist
your characters look very nice :)
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The artist did a very good job with them in that one. The glass mugs anachronisms, but forgivable since the characters look so much like themselves.
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012   Digital Artist
Forget about Mary Sue. The term is getting old and it irritates me. However, it's very common for 'dark' characters to dress that way and have that sort of vampiric complexion. So you may think about whether he looks distinctive enough, because you don't want him to come out generic.

I think the way your character dresses should reflect the way he would realistically choose to dress and how much money/access to clothes shops he has, but try to steer clear of cliches. So if it makes sense for him, then go to town. (Like why does he want to stand out? And do most other people wear colours, then? Because when I wear black jeans and a leather jacket in winter, I don't stand out because everyone seems to wear black here in winter.)

Also, in terms of appearance, if you want to describe it in your story, try and go beyond hair colour, eye colour, clothes. Think about how they stand, move, what they do with their hands, expression etc. (Some people don't find appearance and clothes important and don't describe it, but to me it is important)

My main characters look like this since you asked :B [link]
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Based on that description, he sounds too generic. However, what helps make him unique is his backstory and what he does there. :shrug:
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:icontheblackbullets:
TheBlackBullets Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
What's his personality like? What's his backstory? These are questions I'm certainly more interested in and so will your readers.
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:iconcityprincess01:
cityprincess01 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012   General Artist
In my world, the characters are half angels or half demons. This character (Milo) is a fallen angel. He's not quite accepted by the half demon group so he acts as a mercenary/hired gun. He's intellectual and clever, but suffers from major depressive episodes.
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:icontheblackbullets:
TheBlackBullets Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
See, there you go. I think you're onto something. The more time you spend with your characters, the more developed they become.

And since you asked, this is Mowzzie...I'm still working on her. I need to draw a full body of her.
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