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AniDragon aka Riona-chan
So, being one of the few readers out there who actually LIKES OCs (yes, even the slightly Mary-Sue ones), I've never understood all the hate for them. I mean, yeah, okay, Mary-Sues CAN get irritating at times. But Original Characters in general can sometimes really move a story along. Not only that, but a well-written, well-developed OC is the first step into writing your own original stories, isn't it? So, why all the hate? Why is it that any time a female OC shows up in a fic, everyone screams "MARY-SUE!" without even giving her a second glance? Everyone assumes that she's an author-insert, especially if, God-forbid, she shows any interest towards any of the male main characters, or if any male character takes any interest to her. Because we all know that Marco NEVER shows ANY interest towards girls in canon.[/sarcasm] And I know what the replies to this are going to be. "Oh, well, I don't mind a well-written OC." And some of you will probably mean it. But I've seen some really good fics out there with great, well-developed, realistic OCs, that have been flamed because "It's a Mary-Sue fic!" And before anyone thinks I'm being defensive: No, I'm not talking about my own OCs. I'm fully aware that mine aren't as developed as I'd like them to be. I'm not a great author who'll go on to publish best sellers and make millions of dollars. I'm average, and I'll admit it. I don't care if people like my characters or not. Heck, in one of my original stories, I made a character specifically to be hated. (And she ended up being everyone's favorite. Go figure.) But I have seen this happen, and it bothers me. I unfortunatly don't have any examples, because all the ones I can think of are older and impossible to find. But it does bother me, because aspiring authors should be ENCOURAGED to invent OCs. Because how are they going to eventually put away fanfiction and write original stories if their only practice is pre-made characters? ...... So, yeah. That's my rant. Take it or leave it. Discuss (maturely, please), if you'd like. ^_^. I don't bite. Really. At least, not hard.
12/22/2007 #1
Hmm, well... I've always been pretty picky with the fanfic I rave about, and OCs are no exception. I have read some I like though, and I try to give them a chance. I wouldn't disagree that a well-developed OC is a great thing - I mean, have you read Cattivo's fic Timmron 348? It's a fabulous story. Timmron and his host are becoming more and more well-developed as the series goes on. If you've ever been to the Animorphs Vortex, there's a great OC story there about another controller and Yeerk. I don't mind Rovinierre's original Animorphs characters, and moving out of the Animorphs fandom I read an excellent IZ fic where an original character is basically the main character and I adore the fic, don't mind that at all. I suppose what bugs me is when the author is so obviously just... horning their character in on established territory, I guess. If a canon character can do a canon character probably should do it, is a very strict rule of thumb which I do not NECESSARILY follow but which it might be good to keep in mind. For instance, just recently I was going through the Animorphs archive here and I found an OC story where the OC was cheerfully inserted alongside canon with all the other Animorphs with nary an explanation: she'd been there from the beginning and they'd just never talked about her, for no reason I could discern. Marco hadn't named the Animorphs, she had. That's the only particular example I can remember but it went on and on like this. Character A hadn't been responsible for this; she had. Character B hadn't discovered this; she had. And that's the kind of thing that can grind my nerves on OCs. If a character is written as having soul, with problems that aren't contrived to make the audience pity them, and they go through a reasonable romance with another character... not all-of-a-sudden TWU LUV... then I think that they have a lot better chance of being judged fairly. I would like to disclaim myself and say that a lot depends on the author too. A character can have totally Sue-ish tendencies but still be a good OC because of how well they're written, and a character with none of those Sue tendencies at all can still be totally nauseating. All depends on how they're written. I do agree with you that often people don't give OCs a chance, but I think that over time if the OC is really good the quality will shine through, and overcome whatever those people think about him or her... :) So, I've found great stuff in the realms of OC fanfiction in the past, and frankly I expect to find more great OCs in the future. So, I think you should keep going! :) Like you say, you'll never improve without stumbling a few times first, and if you're careful with your characters then I think they'll be great. Just please no morphing Anibabies. ;)
12/24/2007 #2
Firstly, hello everybody (my first post here) secondly, "Oh, well, I don't mind a well-written OC." =P and I mean it, my love, or hate, towards OCs all depends on how they are written, I have no problems with a decent OC that blends well into the cannon, or even fics that are naught but OCs within a pre-existing universe... The OCs that I do however have a problem with are the "perfect in every way, nothing bad ever happens to them, absolutely everybody likes them, ALL the opposite-gender characters (or same-gender, or both, depending upon the writers preference) are instantaneously madly in love with said OC, and end any current cannon relationships to be with said OC, despite having just met her/him, and also when said OC is able to outperform everybody at everything, or has some form of special power that makes them better than everybody else in some way, I dislike most any OC that has any of those qualities, but of course there can be exceptions, if there is a VERY good reason for it. so thats my 2 cents on the matter... now to go report to the visser.....
1/25/2008 #3
Sinister Shadow
There's a reason people flame "Mary Sue fics". It's because of the Mary Sue. I personally have never seen a flame or negative comment on a well-rounded, three-dimensional OC. If you want people to like your character, it goes without saying you need to put effort into said character. An absolutely perfect character without flaws is not only vastly unrealistic, it also detracts from the canon elements of the story. Mary Sues are simply annoying. And not realistic, because there is no such thing as a person without psychological flaws. A well-rounded OC is usually a wonderful addition to a canon universe. The problem? It is hard, for most people, to create a well-rounded OC. Once you have done so, you should be getting as many reviews as the canon-only fics. I will not lie. I, personally, prefer reading fics with no OCs/minor OCs in non-starring roles. This is because, as an Animorphs fan, I come to the site to read people's perceptions and stories on the canon characters, not on characters I don't know and love. However, I have read a few very good OC stories! So, is there a problem with OCs in fandom? As long as they're believable, absolutely not!
3/8/2008 #4

I like OC's. Well most of them. Take Sarah Mercury's stories. They are really well done. She portray's the original Animorphs so well. They are very much in character.

I am writing an OC but I was worried that I might get some flames, but fortunetly for me the review have been relatively good.

4/17/2008 #5

Yeah, I agree with everyone that the "perfect, always loved, extremely beautiful/funny/smart/strong/selfless" characters bug the crap out of me. I also can't stand the "twin" fics, where someone suddenly has a sibling that plays no original role.

However, being an OC-ODer, I guess, since my fic contains quite a few of them--Demeter, Talon, etc.--I have a fondness for them, since I don't think anyone can ever really get into the mind-set of the canon characters like the author--not saying there aren't people who come very close. I think that's why people like to add OC's and as long as they have their own separate roles, problems, and don't direct the flow of the plot away from the original story frame, that's cool.

4/28/2008 #6

I also seriously dislike 'perfect' OCs. On the topic of whether or not I enjoy OCs I'd have to say no. KA's characters already have been developed, making an OC is a very dangerous thing to do if you are making it their POV or making it Centric around them. I don't mind Yeerk OCs because you are free to do what you want with Yeerks but I don't like it when they A) Become good and get a close relationship to and Animorph/Visser/Developed character. B) Because it's just not natural. Mostly I create OCs not to develop them, but to kill 'em off. (sorry guys...) If they relate to the story to help guide the flow of it or they're just a bystander then its fantastic! They are the support cast, the background. So, yeah, OCs are a no go for me. Well, mostly anyway.

1/14/2009 #7
Green Armadillo-ette

OCs are okay if they aren't perfect, but nice OCs are fine.

7/11/2009 #8

I know I might get killed for this, but I have to admit it's kinda interesting how people view OCs, whether Mary-Sue or not. However, it is understandable why most of us just don't like what's put on a character (like say he/she does the same thing as any canon character, or is super powerful than Crayak) But these criticism can actuslly help improve OCs into better ones, as long as they still don't strike as too much of a Mary-Sue. Plus we end up writing something unexpected rather than oh he/she found out about the Animorphs because they sax Ax in Andalite, etc, etc. So in all, it's just how people view characters and from there, we make the best of the best (ok, poor choice of words)

In truth, I don't like Mary-Sues. I used to make OCs without realizing they were Mary-sues (back then I didn''t know the meaning till later) but now I'm getting better at making OCs. I still do try giving something powerful but put a limit so not to make them Mary-Sue and at the same time still make things interesting. After all, if I do make a Mary-Sue again, I'll scream and BURN IT!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Sorry, evil side. Anyway, in creating OCs or any characters, the one thing I enjoy the most is to torment them. In any situation, whether grim or bloody. -grins evilly and plots her next attack on one of her OCs-

Although, reading over this forum has got me to think over my OCs, Kimberly and Elias. I mean, they are alright and I just love to torture them in my fic but I am questioning myself if Kimberly may turn Mary-Sue further into my fanfic. Cuz of a new and unexpected plot I'm gonna add to make things more interesting. Well, we'll just have to see but I am going go over them. After all, I still want to keep on reading on those two...and torture them. XD

Wonder if I can ask around for feedback on me OCs. x;

7/16/2009 #9
Ayla Pascal

I have to admit that most of the time, I dislike OCs. Then again, some of my favourite stories are OC-centric, so it really depends on how well written an OC is. Even an OC that won't pass the Mary Sue litmus test may be an interesting, likeable character. I'm not talking about an OC named Violet Rainbow who's magically the daughter of Elfangor and Elias and has natural morphing powers, or something like that. I'm talking about OCs that are reasonably intelligent and overall who are like people you'd meet in everyday life.

I don't see the point of torturing OCs for the sake of torturing OCs or creating OCs that are horrendously stupid and ugly. OCs need to be realistic and unfortunately, I think the fact lots of OCs are crap stems more from a lack of ability to characterise rather than the OCs physical attractiveness (or lack thereof) or any other sole attribute.

I haven't created any OCs for this fandom (er, mostly because everything I've written for this fandom happens to be Visser Three/Elfangor) and I generally tend to create throwaway OCs who are minor characters. I have written a few OCs as main characters who have been well received and I think this is because I've based them on people I know, flaws and all. I've taken people I know and thought about how they would react to a strange situation in fic.

I think one trap people fall into is creating too many OCs. Readers tend to enjoy stories with only a few main characters. The more main characters you have, the more difficult it can be for the reader to care about any of them.

7/22/2009 #10

Yes I understand. An OC is only good depending on how good it is written. Of course, giving them something that's ridculously impossible with sparkling puppy eyes will indeed throw it off to the point readers will just throw up.

I think there's a misunderstanding. I like to torture characters for the fun of making situations and not for those sakes you mention. I like to write down situations that can be put upon a character and decide how they would react to the given situation as well make the story interesting and maybe unique if I can. And this is for those I create for my game ideas and such. I think aiming at their (supposed) deformed features or just the heck of torturing them doesn't make writing or creating as fun which I would actually say would be dull to me. Making the story and how it unfolds for any character is what I like in anything, whether it's a fanfic or an original idea. Also, along the way, I get to torment them in so many approaches so it's how my demented mind works on my own characters.

Oh dear god. You were pointing that at my Elias, weren't you? What you said has corrupted my mind. I need to go and wash my brain to get rid of that image. x Erase! ERASE BRAIN! DX

7/30/2009 . Edited 7/30/2009 #11
Ayla Pascal

I actually didn't mean it to be directed at anybody in particular. :) I've only read, maybe, two Animorphs fics ever.

The image of Visser Three and Elfangor? ;)

7/30/2009 #12

That and the one you mentioned about of 'Violet something something'. They have burned into my brain too deep! Ugh! DX That Violet one could be pictured as some torture for any OC but heck, that's just too much for my taste. -goes to throw up and tear out her brain to dissovle the images-

7/31/2009 #13

Oi, I know I'm coming into this way later, but -

I judge OCs on a case-by-case basis. I think they're important for learning how to write up characters well. I think learning that Mary Sue characters are not appreciated probably have to come from reviews - professional or non-professional - that say, "Hey, we don't need a superboy/girl."

It's hard to learn to like new characters, but especially for fanfics about series where some main characters have died I just think it has to be given a chance.

5/11/2010 #14

Actually, I love OCs. No, I really do. I'm probably one of the few who started off in FFnet searching for fics with "OC' labelled as a main character. But having said that, the main problem I find with OCs, not only in the Animorph genre, but across fanfiction in general, is tht they tend to be THE SAME. Most OCs, if you look at a few of them throughout the fanficverse, will have a troubling family history(sometimes no family at all), a talent which would prove them to be a prodigy in an area(martial arts being a firm favorite) and will, inevitably, have a romantic relationship with a canon character in such a way that it becomes painfully obvious that the main reason the OC exist in the first place was so as to provide said canon character with a partner.

However, there are fics which I have read that fulfill all three of the above scenarios and were STILL VERY GOOD because of sheer writing skill, talent and imagination. Imagination plays a big part in OC creation. One must be able to weave a seamless character. No need for excitingly mad skillz or horrifically depressing childhood. Just a solid character, with a few defining traits which are of help in achieving whatever his/her aim is in the story. And when I say seamless, I mean seamless, with no gaping holes in personality. For example, one can't be quiet and shy in person, yet suddenly becoming totally reckless and bloodthirsty in battle. And while one might have madd skills with a computer, I draw the line at being able to infiltrate CIA secured networks. Okay, I admit, I'll believe it if the character is older or maybe got lucky, but no 14 year old is going to crack open government websites. And if the OC is a black belt in karate, he/she has no business using ninja throwing stars in battle. The point is to make an OC believable, I think, if not likable.

But I should also admit that I'll probably fail at my first few tries in writing an OC, because I don't really have that much experience writing them myself. I have plans but for now I myself prefer to build upon existing characters.

Overall, OCs are loads of fun to read and write. Just that holes in characters can be just as much of a pet peeve as holes in the plot.

7/7/2010 #15

It honestly depends. Some fandoms have room for OC's whereas others are more tightly knit. While it might look annoying to have a human OC who can morph, there's nothing that makes creating an Andalite, Yeerk or other alien OC.

But Mary Sue is a fine line to walk, and there are always going to be people who reject OC's without even trying to read the story.

11/7/2010 #16

I like OC's even have some of my own for the story, I love Oc/C romance it's so cute.

2/13/2011 #17

OC's are usually good, actually. People have a tendency of judging the whole bushel for one apple... metaphorically speaking.

5/26/2012 #18

has anyone ever read the riley jenson guardian novels?i am currently reading them and they positively awesom:)

10/5/2012 #19

I actually have a method for creating good OCs.

9/8/2013 #20
Wow, erm... I'm from the future. (_;) Anyway, I just had to express my feelings towards OCs in general. I am currently swaying towards hating them. I mean, I hate to be a downer but I just get so tired of all the OC-centric stories that pop-up in a fandom that I commonly go on. It just gets so tiring to see 'OC this, OC that!' every single time I go on to the fandoms that I like. I find that most of the OCs I find are paired up with a canon character that I firmly believe should be with another canon character and therefore just try to unsuccessfully avoid it. It also doesn't help that the grammar of some of those stories are so appalling that I begin to wonder if it was made by a 5 year-old. Not to say that all of the canon stories in are tiptop and unflawed, it's just another thing that further fuels my irritation. Although, I can tolerate an OC that is just a side character and isn't focused on 24/7. I came here to read about my favourite pairings, that's all. There's also the possible reason that the story is finished, which is always a sad thing. No offense to anybody who loves OCs. Furthermore, I hate to be cruel but I wish there was a filter in which you can pick the literacy skills: good or bad... I'm sorry for my cruelty. 囧rz
2/15/2014 #21
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