How to Make an OC in Fan Fiction

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An OC is an original character (often a self-insert) a writer puts into his or her fan fiction. It has become a more popular practice with the advent of Homestuck, RWBY, Kingdom Hearts Chi, and especially My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. To avoid accidentally creating a Mary Sue, here are some tips and guidelines to follow.


The first deciding factor is how much involvement your character has in the story. For instance, most OC ponies (or ponysonas) enjoy their own adventures, sometimes in the background of the show's storyline. They may interact with the main [mane] characters, or they may exist completely on their own with other OCs or background ponies. The choice here is to either be the hero of your own story or a supporting character to the principal story. With something as open as the MLP:FIM universe, original stories are easier to come by. Also, now that the KH universe has decided to hand out Keyblades like hard candy, anyone can save the Disney/Square worlds (honorary Organization members are another matter).

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Ideally, any character you create in your own image will emphasize your best qualities and at least one of your flaws. It can be an overall flaw or one that is situational (i.e. only triggered by certain situations or a general shortcoming). However, strictly adhering to this rule wouldn't be any fun. While you shouldn't create a perfect version of yourself (a Mary Sue), there's no harm in giving your character a quality you wish you had. For example, if you can't sing in real life, you can make yourself a character who can. You can also choose to tweak your appearance a bit (especially if your character is a pony or a troll). I wear glasses, and half of my OCs don't. Your character's aesthetic and abilities depend upon what a particular story calls for; in a story that's also a musical, your character must sing even if you can't.


Creating your own hero persona requires certain rules as well. According to an article I once read in a Fox Kids magazine, the guidelines for creating a super hero (or villain) of your own include three abilities and one weakness. The weakness doesn't necessarily have to be a sort of Kryptonite but a limitation of one of those powers (for instance, I created a character who could heal but couldn't use that ability on herself). Whatever you decide, you have to be consistent; declare these upfront or as the situation demands. Working off of these stats requires strategy, especially when the powers of two or more people clash. If for some reason these powers change, the conditions have to be believable.

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To sum up, an OC can be anything you want it to be. Whether it's a reflection of yourself or not, it's designed to suit your needs at a given time. You put your personality into it, and it can stand in for you in stories that you can't ordinarily be part of for one reason or another. There are some rules you have to follow just for the sake of social acceptance or believability, but other than that, it's up to you to decide what works and what doesn't. The possibilities are endless: unicorn, troll, hero, Nobody, huntsman, princess, singer, dancer, mermaid, what have you.

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