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January 4, 2013


Replies: 433


PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Writer
So you drew a picture and have your OC all figured out down to the eye color and the scars near her bellybutton and all her favorite outfits.  You know she likes peanut butter more than jam and that she giggles when she talks to dudes. You feel like your OC is your BFF.


See, here's the thing.  Your "OC" (which, by the way, is a useless term unless you're writing fanfiction) is NOTHING outside of your story.  She's completely irrelevant.  If you don't have a story, there's no reason for you to have a character (unless you're role playing, which is not what we're talking about here).  Just STOP with the my OC blah blah.  What is your STORY.  How does your character fit into the story?  How do the events in the story develop her as a character while driving the plot forward? 

What does she want?  What's in the way?  And how will she overcome the obstacles you give her?  These are far more important than what she looks like or what she had for lunch.

Got it?

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Devious Comments

ChantellyHeart Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Student General Artist
When writing a story I don't think it matters. It distracts me from writing the story actually. And I also believe the reader should be able to create their own image in their minds based on what you tell :) thats the fun about reading. And writing I say. Giving me a full description profile of your five characters before I read the first chapter is useless. I forget everything within a minute of reading it, lol.

But creating OCs for other things is fun. Sometimes you need to release those random charactors flowing around in your head, response to a situation in your life, or just play around with somebody elses art style and create your own character inspired from it. :)
Graphospasm Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013   Writer
I agree that outside the context of a story, an "OC" is just sort of... well, there. However, I'm a bit confused by your post. Just as the OCs you describe lack the context of a proper story, so too, I feel, does your post. Are you saying that people should stop drawing their characters or writing character bios if they don't present a story alongside said bios? Because in my experience, brainstorming a character with all story set aside can be immensely helpful when you actually sit down to write that character's story.

You're right on the money when you say that character motivations matter far more than what they had for lunch, for the record. I can't count the number of times I've seen someone prioritize likes/dislikes over true motivation. This mostly happens in fanfiction, I think, and for that I'm grateful--but those likes and dislikes still have their place when in the initial stages of character crafting.
NecroRaevyn Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student Writer
The tone you use to say (type) this isn't very nice to those who use 'OC's, but you point is awesome and makes perfect sense. Everybody's getting really tired of a few people going on about their 'OC's that are barely any unique, just the 'good-nice-kind-bubbly-idiotic when dealing with boys-smart (even though the actual character is not, the authors always prefer a description of their characters that make them sound awesome. Barely any character whose author wrote in their character descirptions that they are smart actually turned out smart)'.
I love this.
ex-cirkuu Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
While I do agree with the point of this, the tone almost makes me want to groan.

Most people wouldn't care about the character until you give them something to care about. While an artist/writer needs to know almost everything about the character (I'm under the impression that, if done well, a character can surprise the author sometimes), the audience sure doesn't, and some fan favs are made in broad strokes.

On the other hand, a character doesn't need an elaborate plot to reach that goal (though it helps a lot). Some series don't have much of a plot at all, but have very likable characters.

But what do I know? I've only written (unrefined) one-shots about my characters.
Lifh Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
Nobody cares about what you have to say, you fucking degenerate.
wreckling Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   Writer
There are actually quite a lot of people who care about what she has to say, given she's a successful traditionally published author who still takes time out of her schedule to give advice and feedback on dA for less experienced writers. You might swear less and listen more, next time. ;)
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional Writer
You're sweet. :)
Scurron Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Whoa, thanks for the clarification! I always thought that the term OC stands for every character created, be it fan fiction or not. :B
Also, I agree with your thread! A character looks naked to me without a story. I see people often starting by planning out characters whole, which is, in my opinion, the same as drawing the eyes first and making them all sparkly instead of setting the whole face up before. Everything should come at a somewhat same pace.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's more than possible to build up a story on an already existing character that has no story at all, but I think it's very difficult to do so.
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   Writer

I HATE it when people us the term OC for anything other than fanfiction--it IS useless, and no one seems to get it. You say "my character," not "my original character." If you have unoriginal characters in what you're trying to call your original work, you're plagiarizing.

That being said, I DO find myself caring about people's characters... but yes, there does need to be a story, otherwise the character is useless. I have a character in the back of my head I created when I was a young teenager who I still like to think about from time to time, but she never ends up in any of my stories, because if I tried to write about her she'd come off as SUCH a Mary Sue. That's the trouble with pet characters. You get close to them, but you can't do anything practical with them. Just writing about the existence of a character isn't a story, it's what belongs in your notes. What everyone else wants to read is what happens when that character gets into an interesting situation. Yay, plot!
ShadowOfDarkAndLite Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Student General Artist
-shrugs- I think it depends more than anything.

1. How much the user talks about their OC
2. Do they use the character in comics, stories, poetry, RPing?
3. How long ago the character was made
4. If there is an emotional reason for the character.

-.- My characters have emotional reasons so this thread actually pisses me off. Though I usually dont talk about my characters. HOWEVER, my characters are dark due to me having what I call "Bad" childhood... and it's not my parents fault... tho my childhood is over, my teen years arent. n_n I was bullied, bugged, basically destroyed by others who didn't give a piece of shit. So I made my character Shadow Scare to understand how I felt... Back then my dad thought I was a problem child so I thought he was mean.. He isnt that way now but still... My characters father was said to be a demon who killed her mother.. Meh... x.x Enough of me talking...

It really does depend on certain things so dont be an ass about it all the time. You must understand the other user first before you judge. Judging first before observing will get you know where in life. :yawn:
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