#1 Posted by joshmightbe (24701 posts) - - Show Bio

This is about writing characters you created either as part of an established universe like DC or Marvel or in your own universe.

In an established universe

1. No Mary Sues

While it is good to put some of yourself into an original character no one aside from you is interested in a fantasized version of yourself. Its more annoying than creative.

2. They need to fit in with the universe their in

I'm not saying you need to copy and paste some generic character to fit but they need to be easy to see as a character that would be interacting with these established characters. This is one of those tricky parts of writing because you have to balance what you're trying to do with what's previously been done.

3. Don't overpower your heroes

I know when you create your own character your first impulse is to make him the biggest badass in whatever particular universe your in but that doesn't fly if you want people to read and enjoy your stuff. If you throw out a character that debuts by knocking out Galactus its going to be hard to establish his problems dealing with lesser obstacles. Its Okay to make a ridiculously powerful villain because that makes it that much more interesting to see the heroes work out how to take them down. Just keep it within reason.

4. Make your character stand out

I know I said make your character fit in but you don't want them to just blend into the scenery either, again its all about balance here. There has to be something that makes them unique.

5. Don't be insulting unless your going for parody

Its fine to make a little fun of characters if that's your intention but if you're going for a serious story you should avoid being openly insulting to the established characters. I'm not referring to dialog here, it can be good to have an adversarial relationship between your character and an established one. What I'm talking about is taking the established characters and intentionally making them look bad in order to make your character look better. If you're trying to get people to pay attention to what you're writing you don't want them just getting pissed at you for making their favorite character look like an idiot (Unless they are intended to be in the first place.)

In your own universe

1. Again no Mary Sues

I can't stress this enough, its even more important not to do it in your own universe.

2. Don't make an infallible character

Nobody wants to read about a character that never makes mistakes, even Batman and Superman screw up sometimes. If you want your character to relate to people they need to be able to fail sometimes. I'm not saying they need to be an idiot just not perfect.

3. Your character needs to make sense in the world you've established

You need to set a tone in your world and if your character is the focal point they need to reflect that tone in some way. If you're trying to have a dark real world vibe you can't be having Rainbow Bright show up on a unicorn. Its very important that your character doesn't seem silly(Unless that's what you're going for.)

4. Make them relatable

Relatable doesn't have to mean realistic, it just means your character needs to have something in common with your readers. It could be physical limitations or a view point or even emotional hang ups. What's important is that someone can see a bit of themselves in them.

5. The most important rule

Don't take it personally if someone doesn't like your character, you can't please everyone.

This is just part 1 part 2 will be up tomorrow

#2 Posted by Irishlad (591 posts) - - Show Bio

Good Job! looking forward to part 2! :)

#3 Posted by primepower53 (5591 posts) - - Show Bio

cool

#4 Posted by TheCannon (19398 posts) - - Show Bio

@Irishlad said:

Good Job! looking forward to part 2! :)

This.

Online
#5 Posted by joshmightbe (24701 posts) - - Show Bio

had some scheduling problems part 2 will be up asap

#6 Posted by 4donkeyjohnson (1720 posts) - - Show Bio

"Nobody wants to read about a character that never makes mistakes, even Batman and Superman screw up sometimes" When was the last time Batman made a mistake???? :) :) Batman NEVER makes mistakes, he's the goddam BATMAN! :) Good job

#7 Posted by Time_Phantom (536 posts) - - Show Bio

NO MARY SUES!!! The most important rule. Ok if someone doesn't like your character don't take it personally you'll just look silly. If anything be glad you've got some reaction out of a reader.

All of this I couldn't agree more with this. I'd add that you OC has to have some sort of motivation in what he/she does but you've got a whole nother part to writ. Great job

#8 Posted by joshmightbe (24701 posts) - - Show Bio

@Time_Phantom: I was going to cover that in part 2 just haven't had time to post it yet

#9 Posted by clemj (817 posts) - - Show Bio

will you post the link here

#10 Posted by joshmightbe (24701 posts) - - Show Bio

@clemj: I haven't got around to part 2 yet, I'd like to give an excuse but honestly I just got caught up in other projects and forgot about it

#11 Posted by Jackson_Hartley (161 posts) - - Show Bio

Very good advice.

#12 Posted by dngn4774 (3504 posts) - - Show Bio

Usually when I create an OC, it helps me to go to universe's wikia site (depending on whether your making a marvel or dc char.), and pretend that my character is already a member of that universe.  Then I paste this on a word document and fill out the blanks:

Codename

Real Name:

Aliases:

Relatives:

Affiliation:

Base of Operations:

Status

Alignment:

Identity:

Citizenship:

Marital Status:

Occupation:

Education:

Characteristics

Gender:

Height:

Weight:

Eyes:

Hair:

Unusual Features:

Origin

Origin:

Place of Birth:

Powers & Abilities

Powers-

Abilities-

Strength Level-

Weaknesses-

Paraphernalia

Equipment-

Weapons-

Transportation-
once you have what you want on paper you have to move on to crafting the character's personality.
#13 Posted by joshmightbe (24701 posts) - - Show Bio

@dngn4774: I initially planned to cover some more details in a second part but I got side tracked and honestly forgot about it. Should add a rule against procrastination. I'll see if I can come up with a part 2 asap.

#14 Posted by Surkit (11603 posts) - - Show Bio

@dngn4774: I initially planned to cover some more details in a second part but I got side tracked and honestly forgot about it. Should add a rule against procrastination. I'll see if I can come up with a part 2 asap.

Def would like to see a part 2. I write in RPG and this gave me some good points