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Original Character

"Twelve-Times-A-Day Man? You can't just start making up terrible new characters!"

An Original Character (OC, don't steal) is, in the simplest terms, a new character created in a Fan Fic or other work that does not come from an existing copyright. Any and all Characterization Tropes can apply, along with employing any and all tropes in general. The only real distinction between original and regular characters is that the former are synthesized specifically to unofficially integrate with the canon for the purposes of the story. The vast majority of fanfiction makes use of these, ranging in importance from being background extras to stealing the spotlight of the canonical characters.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, all characters were new once. Series that are structured around new characters every week such as Monster of the Week, Victim of the Week, or Girl of the Week actually require that the author create original characters in order to maintain the Original Flavor of the series.

Attempting to list every instance (or even every "notable" instance) is rather pointless—they are almost as numerous as fan fics themselves.

In some places (such as deviantART) the term "Fan Character" is used instead, and the distinction "Original Character" refers to a character that exists in a canon of the author's own creation, or the canon of an "Original Character Tournament" (where artists compete by pitting their original character against other peoples' in fights, or pizza eating contests, or whatever the creator of the tournament has decided is the proper form of conflict); in other words, an "Original Character" is a truly original character without ties to another creative work's canon.

Compare Original Generation. Subtrope: OC Stand In. Sailor Earth is a stock scenario for OCs created by openings in the setting. A Canon Foreigner or Canon Immigrant is what happens when an Original Character is created for an official adaptation of an existing work. Mary Sue is what happens when a Fan Character goes wrong...

Do Not Confuse With OOC, although a certain type of OC may cause OOCness in canon characters.
Harry PotterFanficRecs/Dragonriders of PernDespair Event Horizon
Old ShameFanfic TropesOut of Character
Oh CrapFanfic/I Will Remember YouPlot Irrelevant Villain
Boxer HockeyImageSource/Web ComicsBrawl in the Family

alternative title(s): Fan Character; Author Created Character; OC; Original Characters; O Cs
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