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How to create an believable Original Character? :

How do you do? Need Help for possible fanfic and one more thing to add to this topic... How do you create an believable Original Character based upon an character of an existing franchise?

 2 Sand Josieph, Tue, 7th Sep '10 8:45:45 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
Make them a reoccuring background character. That way people can accept them for what they are.
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
Math guy
Hmm...well, how do you make an unbelievable OC?
Pronounced "shy guy."

I have spent 4 months of my life outside my home country. Paste this into your sig with your data!
A bad unbelievable would be to make the story all about them—in that the characters from the original fiction aren't important to your story, and your OC solves everything with little help. Your character needs flaws, weaknesses and depth. He or she has to have some needs, and if he or she is the opposite sex to a canon character, s/he should avoid becoming a love interest for a good long while, if at all. The character needs to be a person that fits the rules of the world you are writing for. no special powers, and no "missing twin/cousin/long-lost-love" of my favorite main character" who has all the same powers and failing and is loved by everybody just as soon as s/he opens hir mouth.

Amateur cook Professional procrastinator

 5 Furiko Maru, Wed, 8th Sep '10 1:10:02 AM from The Arrogant Wasteland Relationship Status: He makes me feel like I have a heart
Reverse the Curse
Well, now, steady on; special powers are all right as long as they're balanced out. I have a minor character in a Harry Potter fanfic I'm planning who's magic-proof, but also a Squib. Is that Sue-ish?

 6 A H R, Wed, 8th Sep '10 3:31:20 AM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
Start with good grammar. You can never go wrong with that! (a believable)

Grammar nazi aside, make sure they don't have your hindsight, for one.
 7 voiderofwarranties, Wed, 8th Sep '10 5:38:27 AM from the cliffs of insanity
kind of stupid actually
What franchise, what canon character, and this is for a fanfic you say?
Real life has become a mountain that must be conquered epically. Cutting back on intarwebz for a bit.
 8 sabrina diamond, Wed, 8th Sep '10 4:02:05 PM from in my belly... Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
Make her have a tragic backstory or at least be a Broken Bird instead of a perky Purity Sue.
You are a Innocent Uke! Cute and sweet of all ukes! my profile
 9 voiderofwarranties, Wed, 8th Sep '10 4:06:25 PM from the cliffs of insanity
kind of stupid actually
But not Deus Angst Machina tragic!
Real life has become a mountain that must be conquered epically. Cutting back on intarwebz for a bit.
 10 A H R, Wed, 8th Sep '10 4:34:23 PM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
@Sabrina: That can be just as bad, in my experiences. That's just a character trait. Either one could be done fine, or REALLY REALLY REALLY badly.
 11 Psycho Frea X, Wed, 8th Sep '10 8:46:10 PM from Transcended Humanity
@ AHR: to sum it up tropes are not bad or good, Tropes Are Tools grin
Well, now, steady on; special powers are all right as long as they're balanced out. I have a minor character in a Harry Potter fanfic I'm planning who's magic-proof, but also a Squib. Is that Sue-ish?

Depends on how it's handled.

Amateur cook Professional procrastinator

 13 ladycoffee, Thu, 9th Sep '10 2:42:30 AM from your pocket
Shotamouse reporting.
Make her have a tragic backstory or at least be a Broken Bird instead of a perky Purity Sue.
I plan to do that with my own OC, yet she's still bashed as a Sue.
WARNING: This troper is a severe monomaniac. Caution is advised.
 14 A H R, Thu, 9th Sep '10 5:43:41 AM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
@Lady: Because when done badly, broken birds tend to be black hole esque.
 15 Jewely J, Thu, 9th Sep '10 12:10:47 PM from where the food is
^ It came up as a blank page. You might want to check that link.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
 17 A H R, Thu, 9th Sep '10 12:49:40 PM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
@Ettina: No, Deviant art is just stupid that way. You need to manually find it, unfortunately.
 18 Jewely J, Thu, 9th Sep '10 1:01:08 PM from where the food is
 19 Ronka 87, Thu, 9th Sep '10 3:48:24 PM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
It depends on a lot of things.

The biggest thing to consider is importance to the story. If your OC is the protagonist, there should be a reason for it beyond "I wanted to make my OC the main character." What traits does your OC have that make it so the canon main characters couldn't tell this story? For example, I wrote  * a Harry Potter fic with a Slytherin boy as the main character. It had to be an OC, because it was an exploration of the inner turmoil his family's prejudice created in him; I couldn't have told this story with Draco or the Trio. Ask yourself if you really need that OC, and if you decide you do, move on.

Second, since you're playing in an established universe, consider where this character comes from in that world. If the OC is going to be a main character associating with established mains, you need to include some explanation for why they're there. For example, if it was a Harry Potter fic and your character interacts with the Trio, you should give a logical explanation for why we never saw here before (e.g., she could have been Beyond The Black or in another House). This is why American Transfer Students fics get such bad press— the reason the student shows up is cheap and stretches credibility.

Third, as with any character, make your OC real.

1) Give him a personality. Try the "two good traits one bad trait" method of creation. Like, say, Smart (good), Methodical (good), Arrogant (bad). The two good qualities prop up the bad one— because he's smart and does everything painstakingly well, he lords it over everyone else, making him insufferable. The good traits can be pressed into bad one— he's so methodical, he takes too much time correcting his essay and doesn't hand it in in time.

2) Attach traits that make sense for his personality. Is he a picky eater? Does he hate being tickled? The more traits you add, the more lifelike he becomes.

Ideally, you should try to fit traits together that make sense. Our arrogant smart guy could be fussy about his eating habits— he only puts one thing on a plate because he hates to see food touching. He eats slowly because he's methodical— by the time he's done the salad, everyone else is done the meal. It wouldn't quite make sense for him to scarf down his meal; it would go against the personality we set down (unless you want him to be methodical when working, but slovenly elsewhere. You can experiment).

3) Give him a history. He had to exist before the story started— what was that like? Who were his parents? How did they affect his life? Did he do well in school? Did he have friends? Why or why not? What was his best memory before the story started? What about the worst? Something that made him ashamed? What was he doing a year before the story?

Making a character "real" goes a long way toward making them believable and likable.

Finally, I would suggest cutting down on tragedy. Tragedies are often foisted on characters as a cheap way of making them interesting, but it's usually not and tragic backstories quickly get out of hand. "My parents died and my foster parents beat me and they suppressed my magic that only manifests itself when I cut myself and the only boy I ever loved is a vampire who loves someone else waaaaaaah."

One or two of those, sufficiently explored, will suffice. Back to our Smart Guy. His parents died and he was sent to a foster home. They didn't beat him, but they didn't really pay attention to him. Building on what we know of his personality, Smart Guy thinks that if he works hard, they'll notice him, so he takes great pains to do all his work perfectly. He does things slowly and carefully so he doesn't annoy his foster parents. He acts arrogant and always announces when he does things well because he wants people to notice him.

His tragedy influences his actions, building on and exploring his character. The tragedy isn't overwhelming— it just makes him sympathetic. He's still arrogant, smart, and methodical, but he has an added dimension now.

And that's my fourteen cents. Here's a good source for this stuff. I like that site; it has lots of practical information.

edited 9th Sep '10 3:54:15 PM by Ronka87

Thanks for the all fish!
Trolling Swordsman
Well, tragedy can be misused, but the key is to make sure that the tragedy actively affects him, not just there to make him look pitiful. Tragedy also affects people negatively as well as positively. Example from one of my stories: Guy and Close Friend. Close Friend was supposed to marry /had married Guy's Sister, but Sister died Taking the Bullet for Guy. Guy feels responsible for Sister's death, vows never again to let others get hurt for him and becomes a defender of the weak, etc. Close Friend, meanwhile, watches over Guy, as was Sister's last wish. Close Friend would sacrifice himself for Guy and vice-versa. Guy goes on mission around the world because Guy's Girlfriend gets stolen away. Hilarity Ensues.

edited 9th Sep '10 7:07:04 PM by SalFishFin

Well to answer a question from earlier um... I usually come with the Mega Crossover type of fics and I call it... Cool Tales! nuff said

I want a character that isn't the main character but a character that will develop powers and will go thru a lot of character development but nothing on the Mary Sue level as I'm currently planning all of the story arcs to be featured within the fic. Later on today when I get home from Cross Country Practice I will go deeper into Cool Tales but before I go I want to thank everyone for the advice and I will do my best to use to form the character "Lelani" Oh one more thing I have a main villian in mind who happens to Lelani's father should I use him or just use someone like a Aizen of some sort? Peace...

 22 ladycoffee, Thu, 9th Sep '10 10:11:58 PM from your pocket
Shotamouse reporting.
@Lady: Because when done badly, broken birds tend to be black hole esque.
A black hole sue....despite the events of the story not centering around her?
WARNING: This troper is a severe monomaniac. Caution is advised.
Make her have a tragic backstory or at least be a Broken Bird instead of a perky Purity Sue.

No...Just no. >_<

Dark And Tragic Past is, like, the no. 1 Sue maker.

And oh god don't you dare to make your character an orphan.

(It's one of the oldest ones in the book to create Informed Depth by adding an alleged tragic past and have the hero wangst about it every couple of episodes. If you're called a Sue because of it I'm not surprised. Most of us can smell this coming from miles. My advice? Just don't do it. Making a healthy hero is a lot more effective way of giving depth. Tragedies don't -build- character, it -breaks- you. It's fine with -some- villains and badasses who are pretty psychotic anyway /but not as a Freudian Excuse, but as something that has logically lead to some sort of irrational fear or mania/. Healthy relationships and learning experiences are a much better way of adding real depth or mental strenght. Also: good heroes cope with their past within a few years after it happens and don't whine about it some 10-15 years later.)

How do you create an believable Original Character based upon an character of an existing franchise?

That pretty much defeats the purpose of "original", doesn't it?

It's not that you cannot use them as an inspiration, of course...

But there is a point after which you are stealing concepts without adding anything, importing stuff that really has no good reason to be a part of it other than "that is how X show does it". That'll make him stand out as an Expy like a lighthouse.

Anyway, is this for an original story, inspired by a pop franchise, or a Self-Insert Fic -in- that franchise?

If the latter then of course the ages old problem is "how do I make my character the hero when the story already -has- one?"

Timeskips, parallel that focus on a whole different cast in the same universe, side-stories about how certain events went from someone else's point of view are your friends there.

 24 Jewely J, Fri, 10th Sep '10 7:02:02 AM from where the food is
^Hey Orphans can be alright if done well and not used as a ticket to get free sympathy.

The important thing if you want to do a Broken Bird is to not be afraid to make your character be a jerk to people. (and if she is don't excuse it). A Broken Bird would be likely to push others away from her or be bitter. Realize that it's not mutually exclusive for your character to be a jerk sometimes and still be sympathetic.
 25 Furiko Maru, Fri, 10th Sep '10 10:03:09 AM from The Arrogant Wasteland Relationship Status: He makes me feel like I have a heart
Reverse the Curse
And don't make people forgive her right away unless that's one of their core character traits.

Believe it or not, there are certain characters who can get away with the Purity Sue mould, just by virtue of having a few actual flaws - Kaguya-hime, for example, is gullible (at least twice she comes within inches of marrying a fraud until his creditors show up), a little cruel sometimes (abandoning the Emperor without saying goodbye), and seems almost unwilling to grow up, what with her turning down every offer of marriage (you've gotta think at least one of those guys would be a handsome, interesting, noble dude willing to take in her parents - this is supposed to be the hottest chick ever to walk the planet, after all).

edited 10th Sep '10 9:05:13 PM by FurikoMaru

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