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Author Topic: Introduce your OC and Is Your OC Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu?  (Read 129670 times)
Loopy
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« Reply #1150 on: Mar 02, 2016 07:29 pm »

I feel like it would be easier to evaluate Mary Sues if the Flaws point included some description of how the flaws play into the story. Like, Oedipus Rex's flaw is pride, but just saying "This guy is pretty proud" doesn't help me understand that the pride leads to his rejecting the concept of fate and in doing so becoming a slave to it.

I can have a Mary Sue with flaws if the flaws don't lead to anything in the story.
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Navyninja87
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« Reply #1151 on: Sep 13, 2016 11:23 am »

I wanted to introduce my character and see if she needs changes

Name: Shila
Nation: Water Tribe
Bender: yes, the four elements, primarily water
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
Clothing: Water Tribe Dress and shoes
Height/Weight: 5'2, 120 pounds
Weapon: Bending
Skill level: Master at Waterbending but novice at the three other bending arts
Flaws: Stubborn to the the degree where she will almost ignore a seasoned master's advice (ex: Katara and Tenzin) before settling on the fact that they may be right in the first place.
Family: Nanuq and Anana (parents) Suluk (little brother)
History: Born to Nanuq and Anana of the South Water Tribe, Shila wasn't told that she was the Avatar until 17 years old when the White Lotus appeared on her doorstep to announce that she was Aang's successor  as the Avatar. Katara taught her waterbending and after a few difficulties, mastered waterbending. Though Tenzin has reccommended against it, Shila starts her journey to the Earth Kingdom to find an earthbending teacher.
Connections to Canon: Is the Avatar and Katara is her teacher.
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silver_avatar
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« Reply #1152 on: Sep 16, 2016 07:15 am »

Personality wise, she sounds interesting. My only thing is that Korra is Aang's successor. Do you plan on setting your fanfiction in an alternate version where Korra doesn't exist or isn't the Avatar? I'd be interested in reading it though Smiley
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Navyninja87
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« Reply #1153 on: Sep 17, 2016 09:23 am »

Yes. Korra is not Aang's successor in Shila's series. She exists, but more as a substitute teacher if Katara is unavailable.
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« Reply #1154 on: Sep 17, 2016 01:06 pm »

Cool, that sounds interesting!
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Colonel_Brian
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« Reply #1155 on: Dec 31, 2016 08:36 pm »

Name: Lao Tzu

Age: Undefined. But probably somewhere between his late fifties and early seventies.

Nation: He hails from a Fire Nation territory.

Bender: Undefined, but probably a firebender.

Eyes: Teal.

Hair: Light grey. He wears the traditional Fire Nation sideburns.

Clothing: The armor of the Royal Procession, though with slight Roman influences (I imagine his helmet resembles those worn by the Praetorian Guard, though Fire Nation-ized). Gilan, the territory where he's from/current resides is culturally similar, but distinct from the Fire Nation -- so hopefully that justifies me indulging a bit.

Also, he has four fingers on each hand, or at least the gloves he wears makes it look that way. The reason why is because the Coachman from Pinocchio (one of his inspirations) also has four fingers, and similar to how the Coachman may or may not be just an ordinary coachman, Lao Tzu may or may not be an ordinary man. It's stupid, but if you read on, you'll see what I'm going for. Hopefully it's stupid in a good way.

Height/Weight: Average height, but muscular.

Weapons: A spear.

Skill Level: Undefined. I've never pictured him poking anyone with it.

Flaws: This is a tricky one. Being a world-class liar, secretly despising virtue in his heart, as well as having zero empathy for anyone is a flaw of sorts, but if we were to speak of flaws as personal traits that interfere with the character's goals than I suppose that as a person completely lost to vice (especially pride/self-love) he doesn't understand the concept of goodness very well, or at least he refuses to believe in it, which means that when someone acts on motives other than self-interest it can throw a wrench in his plans.

In addition, he also underestimates just how much uncovering the secrets of Yuandao's family has hurt the young noble. After the events of the second Act he thought that getting rid of Meiji and Ling would act as a catharsis for Yuandao and that afterwards, Yuandao would be satisfied and allow Lao Tzu to enjoy the good life in peace, but no, Yuandao had to take his revenge a step further and pick a fight with Azulon, thereby dooming Gilan (and everyone in it, including Lao Tzu) to a certain death.

Family: Not important.

History: Lao Tzu appears in the second Act of the story. He's a member of the Royal Procession (or something like it) for his territory, who was passed over for a promotion by Lord Meiji, Yuandao's uncle. As a result, he despises the elderly monarch and longs to kill him. When Yuandao is finally welcomed back to his homeland he senses an opportunity to rise up the social ladder by befriending the young noble and turning him against his uncle and grandmother. However, there is more to this ambitious officer than meets the eye.

What I want for this character is something more. I imagine Lao Tzu to be this story's Iago. Some of you can spot the slight similarities in the description I gave above. When I was conceiving this character in my imagination, I struggled to come up with a concept that made him more than just a more vulgar/debauched version of Zhao or the typical evil grand-vizier (I also however, wanted to avoid making his goal something outlandish. I flirted with the idea of making him someone that threatened the world, until I realized that having Azulon or any character in this story deal with the apocalypse was completely stupid/hilarious).

Iago, or what I know of him, helped me capture the feeling I'm trying to get at. Namely that this is a character with hard to define motives. Does he simply want a raise in his salary? Is he actually the devil in disguise and wants to damn Yuandao by subtlety luring him into performing acts of evil under the guise of virtue/honor? Who can really say. What we know is that he's a man who has chosen, for unknown reasons, to empty himself of charity. As a result he's a bit of a case study in a completely narcissistic man, given over to self-love. I wanted him to be scary as well. In that I want people who read this story to be frightened by the actions of a soul so completely lost as well as the possibility of such a soul existing. Why does he enjoy corrupting people, lying, and tearing relationships apart?

In addition, he is also a mysterious man with an almost other-wordy amount of knowledge. He knows quite a bit of Gilan's (and Caldera's) dirty secrets. How he came across this knowledge is unknown, but seeing how some of his chief inspirations (Iago and the Coachman) are thought by some to be the devil in disguise, Lao Tzu might be as well (or at least, some other evil creature. The story never reveals if that is the case, I just thought it be cool that if generations from now some student writing a report on this story, if it is ever completed and published, might argue that Lao Tzu is Satan and that some other character is Christ. Actually forget that last part, I don't want any English teacher ever to force that kind of analysis on a student).  

Connections to the Canon: None.

So that's one of the story's principle characters. I've chosen to write a great deal about the feel of the character because I'm still trying to capture it as best I can. All this may be pointless since I'm probably never going to write this story. It's coming together in my head, but it's likely going to stay there for a long time. But I want your guy's help in fleshing out this concept of mine. Any critiques are welcome (actually encouraged.) Does this sound like an interesting character? Or am I just a hack trying to create something artistic when in fact it's total nonsense? Probably the latter.

And then there is...

Name: Ling

Age: Elderly.

Nation: Fire Nation loyalist. Though from Gilan, a territory with cultural ties to the Fire Nation, but semi-independent from it.

Bender: Undefined.

Eyes: Grey.

Hair: White.

Clothing:
She's dressed like a Roman matriarch, though imagine that outfit with Fire Nation influences.

Height/Weight: Average height and lean.

Family: Yuandao's paternal grandmother. Meiji's mother. Jaira's second wife. Step-mother to a bunch of dead people.

Weapon: None.

Flaws/History:
Ling is a person who can see the big picture. Long before the war started, she read the signs of the time correctly and saw that the Fire Nation would expand into an empire. So she thought it would be best to put her proud country's stubborn pride aside and submit to Caldera's rule. Unfortunately, her husband Jaira the Hammer surrounded himself with people with foolish notions of resisting this inevitable march of history. So for the sake of her country, she married him and one by one killed off his children and allies so that her son Meiji could rule Gilan. Meiji however turned out to be grossly-negligent ruler who allowed his country to sink into a filthy sink of corruption. So I suppose her primary flaw is that she doesn't notice the smaller details. She wanted to save her country at any cost and ended up running it to the ground by putting it under the rule of a man who could not care less about running it, simply because he'd do what she told him to do, or at least not get try to do something stupid like start an unwinnable war with the Fire Nation.  

I guess she doesn't really have flaws that affect the narrative. She's grossly amoral and thinks the ends justifies the means. But being amoral is mostly a flaw of sorts and not one that informs the narrative. It certainly affects it though. In fact, her scheming is what leads to Yuandao wanting to uncover the dark truth about his family.

Oh and the fact that she was so intent on getting Meiji on the throne led to her screwing him up by forcing him to leave his first wife and marry his step-sister.

Connections to Canon: None.

So there's Ling for you. She's pretty much Livia Drusilla. I'm trying to dial back those influences a bit, but she's minor enough for me to hopefully get away with having her be so similar.
« Last Edit: Dec 31, 2016 10:43 pm by Colonel_Brian » Logged
Loopy
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« Reply #1156 on: Jan 01, 2017 04:12 pm »

So that's one of the story's principle characters. I've chosen to write a great deal about the feel of the character because I'm still trying to capture it as best I can. All this may be pointless since I'm probably never going to write this story. It's coming together in my head, but it's likely going to stay there for a long time. But I want your guy's help in fleshing out this concept of mine. Any critiques are welcome (actually encouraged.) Does this sound like an interesting character? Or am I just a hack trying to create something artistic when in fact it's total nonsense? Probably the latter.

I like the concept. It sounds a bit tricky to pull off (I myself would struggle with how to note the four fingers in description without calling too much attention to it), but the mystique and depth of evil should certainly make for an interesting addition to any intrigue-driven story.


Flaws/History:[/b] Ling is a person who can see the big picture. Long before the war started, she read the signs of the time correctly and saw that the Fire Nation would expand into an empire. So she thought it would be best to put her proud country's stubborn pride aside and submit to Caldera's rule. Unfortunately, her husband Jaira the Hammer surrounded himself with people with foolish notions of resisting this inevitable march of history. So for the sake of her country, she married him and one by one killed off his children and allies so that her son Meiji could rule Gilan. Meiji however turned out to be grossly-negligent ruler who allowed his country to sink into a filthy sink of corruption. So I suppose her primary flaw is that she doesn't notice the smaller details. She wanted to save her country at any cost and ended up running it to the ground by putting it under the rule of a man who could not care less about running it, simply because he'd do what she told him to do, or at least not get try to do something stupid like start an unwinnable war with the Fire Nation. 

I guess she doesn't really have flaws that affect the narrative. She's grossly amoral and thinks the ends justifies the means. But being amoral is mostly a flaw of sorts and not one that informs the narrative. It certainly affects it though. In fact, her scheming is what leads to Yuandao wanting to uncover the dark truth about his family.

Oh and the fact that she was so intent on getting Meiji on the throne led to her screwing him up by forcing him to leave his first wife and marry his step-sister.

Connections to Canon: None.

So there's Ling for you. She's pretty much Livia Drusilla. I'm trying to dial back those influences a bit, but she's minor enough for me to hopefully get away with having her be so similar.

I have a different sense of her flaws, based on what you describe, in that her ambition doesn't seem to be matched by her ability to think things through, or maybe to have an accurate read on the people she needs for her plots. Perhaps it's that she assumes her own level of ambition in other people.
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Nikkel
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« Reply #1157 on: Mar 09, 2017 02:44 pm »

All right, here's a question I've got for a fanfic I'm brewing: How do you disguise a canon character as an OC?

The purpose of the disguise is to trick the main character (who is also canon) into doing something they wouldn't do otherwise in order to help them grow. I'd like to drop hints along the way to who the character in disguise is without actually revealing them to the main character; something that only the reader knows. How can I do this without being too cheesy, too obvious, or too subtle?
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plushu
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« Reply #1158 on: Mar 10, 2017 03:16 am »

All right, here's a question I've got for a fanfic I'm brewing: How do you disguise a canon character as an OC?

The purpose of the disguise is to trick the main character (who is also canon) into doing something they wouldn't do otherwise in order to help them grow. I'd like to drop hints along the way to who the character in disguise is without actually revealing them to the main character; something that only the reader knows. How can I do this without being too cheesy, too obvious, or too subtle?

I'm not sure this is the right thread to discuss this since you don't have an OC to offer.  There's a Plot Bunnies / Fic Ideas Thread you can submit to, but you're probably going to have to be a little more specific with your idea if you want serious feedback on it.
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Nikkel
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« Reply #1159 on: Mar 10, 2017 03:36 am »

All right, here's a question I've got for a fanfic I'm brewing: How do you disguise a canon character as an OC?

The purpose of the disguise is to trick the main character (who is also canon) into doing something they wouldn't do otherwise in order to help them grow. I'd like to drop hints along the way to who the character in disguise is without actually revealing them to the main character; something that only the reader knows. How can I do this without being too cheesy, too obvious, or too subtle?

I'm not sure this is the right thread to discuss this since you don't have an OC to offer.  There's a Plot Bunnies / Fic Ideas Thread you can submit to, but you're probably going to have to be a little more specific with your idea if you want serious feedback on it.

I wasn't sure either, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Thanks! Smiley
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MasterGandalf
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« Reply #1160 on: Sep 06, 2017 07:39 pm »

Here's a character I've been planning for a while for my fic Destinies Rewritten that I've been sporadically updating over the last several years; she'd be a major antagonist in the fic's Book Two if/when I ever get to it, but is unusual enough that I wouldn't mind some feedback. The fic is based in an AU where Lu Ten survived the Siege of Ba Sing Se, the Fire Nation conquered the city, and Iroh became Fire Lord before Aang's awakening. The character has been mentioned in what's written of the fic so far, but not seen.

Name: Zhizhai is her real name; she also goes by the codename Gui Shen, "The Ghost"

Nation: Fire Nation

Bender: Nonbender

Eyes: Red (Zhizhai has albinism; human albinos don't normally have red eyes, despite what pop culture would have you believe, but for a Fire Nation character it seemed appropriate)

Hair: White

Clothing: Her regular clothing is a fairly typically Fire noblewoman's wear, not too dissimilar from Ursa's outfit in flashbacks, though Zhizhai wears spectacles and usually carries a parasol to keep off the sun. As The Ghost she wears robes that resemble the Fire Sages' except black and with a hood instead of a hat, and a white porcelain mask.

Height/Weigh: Average height, somewhat skinny (she doesn't always remember to eat when caught up in her work)

Weapon: Zhizhai prefers to avoid physical violence, but when she has to fight, she uses a short sword plus various poisons and powders.

Skill Level: Zhizhai is a fair swordswoman at best; she could probably hold her own against any of the show's major characters for a short time, but she'd be unlikely to actually beat them unless circumstances were extremely favorable. She usually travels with guards to do any fighting that needs to be done. However, she is highly intelligent, possessing significant knowledge of history, mysticism (including the rituals of the Fire Sages, the spirituality of the Air Nomads, and fortunetelling) and the Spirit World, as well as a more mundane skill at sleight-of-hand. She uses her knowledge and skill to create the illusion of having vast supernatural powers in her "Ghost" persona, but it's (almost) all trickery - but that still comes in handy as a psychological weapon against the Fire Nation's enemies (Iroh and Lu Ten are both in on the trick).

Flaws: Zhizhai loves Lu Ten, admires Fire Lord Iroh, and is strongly dedicated to the Fire Nation, but she's also extremely ambitious and obsessive. She's got a chip on her shoulder from being bullied as a child and is determined to prove herself as an asset to the Fire Nation - hence her theatrical "Ghost" persona. She knows enough about the prehistory of the Avatar world and the Spirit World to have a pretty good idea that spirits and mortals once interacted freely, and is convinced she can find a way to gain real spiritual powers for herself by investigating that ancient connection. Lu Ten is sometimes the only person who can snap her out of her obsession.

Family: Zhizhai's family are relatively influential Fire Nation nobles; she comes from a similar background to Mai and Ty Lee. She's not currently on speaking terms with them.

Connections to Canon: As Zhizhai, she's engaged to Lu Ten. As The Ghost, she's an enigmatic advisor at Fire Lord Iroh's court.

History: A social outcast as a child due to her condition, Zhizhai threw herself into her studies and became known as a bright, but withdrawn girl. Taunted by her classmates as "The Ghost", she decided to embrace the name and developed an increasing interest in the spirits, esoterica and hidden knowledge. Once she was of marrying age, this had the side-effect of scaring off most potential suitors, to her family's displeasure, and she ended up stuck working as a mid-level bureaucrat under one of the War Ministers. At least, until a chance encounter with Prince Lu Ten, fresh from the victory at Ba Sing Se, changed her fortunes. Lu Ten was captivated by Zhizhai's intelligence and striking appearance and felt she was wasted in the bureaucracy. He introduced her to Iroh, who was intrigued by her interest in the spirits. Iroh had been forced to cut ties with the White Lotus as the other members didn't approve of his actions during the conquest of Ba Sing Se, and he was interested in starting a new organization based on wisdom, knowledge, and culture based in the Fire Nation. Zhizhai was one of his first recruits, and eventually came to lead the so-called "Black Lotus"*. Disguising her identity behind the persona of "The Ghost", which she returned to and refined, she became an advisor at the Fire Lord's court - part scholar, part mystic, part spymaster - and quickly earned the enmity of many of the more established members, including Prince Ozai. During this time, she continued to see a lot of Lu Ten, and they ended up falling in love and getting engaged. However, she also became increasingly fixated on the Spirit World and the possibilities of power it offered, and when summoned to Omashu to aid in the war effort, her pursuit of this power would lead her into conflict with the Avatar**.

* I'd have preferred "Red Lotus", as that's less obviously evil sounding, but it was taken.

** As will be related in Destinies Rewritten Book II: Earth, if I ever get around to writing it.

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"Many who live deserve death, and many who have died deserved life. Can you give it to them?"- Gandalf, Fellowship of the Ring.
Loopy
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« Reply #1161 on: Sep 07, 2017 06:26 pm »

So she was a typical teenage goth girl (social outcast who turned to the macabre as an outlet and act of rebellion), except she eventually found a use for it as a viable career. Cheesy I like the concept.

I am a bit unclear, though, on how her Ghost persona operates. Does she appear in Iroh's court before an audience, and put on a little show to make it seem like Iroh really has a supernaturally-powered adviser, or does she stay out of the limelight and simply use the mask and tricks whenever she needs to make a rare job-related appearance to outsiders?

The reason I ask is because of the line that she's resented by Ozai and others, and that sounds to me like the prominent members of the court have her number, so the theatricality seems wasted.

Other than that confusion, I think the character works. The backstory makes sense, and she sounds interesting as a character.
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MasterGandalf
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« Reply #1162 on: Sep 07, 2017 09:50 pm »

Basically, Zhizhai attends most war meetings (as The Ghost), and her main function at them is to serve as a fortuneteller, using various techniques to predict good or bad omens for upcoming military actions (she uses some of the same techniques as Aunt Wu, and like her she's usually right, but not so unambiguously as to put her above skepticism). This is part of the reason a lot of the generals and such don't like her, as they're the types to put more of their faith in their bending, machines, and strategies over soothsaying. Sometimes she'll show off something a bit more spectacular, like appearing or disappearing in a flash of light and smoke, mostly for shock value. Her other main function is as a spymaster, where she makes most of her reports to Iroh in person, but it does add to her reputation for knowing things she shouldn't. However, there's quite a few rumors going around (Zhizhai and her people started most of them) that say that The Ghost is an actual ghost, or a spirit Iroh brought back from the Spirit World to advise him, and that attribute all sorts of fantastical powers to her, including teleportation, mind-reading, mind control, illusion crafting, killing with a touch, etc. This is all false, of course, though some of it is rooted in truth (she can use explosive powders to cover her entrance or exit, slip people drugs to make them hallucinate or become susceptible to suggestion, or kill with fast-acting poisons). Most of the court aren't sure what's true and what's not, which is the point. Ozai, for his part, is about 90% sure she's just a regular person in a mask who knows a few flashy tricks. Iroh, Lu Ten, and a few of the other top-ranking Fire Nation Lotus members are the only ones who know Zhizhai and the Ghost are the same person; Azula's spied on her cousin and seen him chatting rather casually with The Ghost a few times, but hasn't had the time or the inclination to put two-and-two together yet - she's kind of busy Avatar-hunting Wink
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"Many who live deserve death, and many who have died deserved life. Can you give it to them?"- Gandalf, Fellowship of the Ring.
Loopy
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« Reply #1163 on: Sep 08, 2017 08:09 pm »

Okay, that makes sense. I like Ozai's 10% doubt. Cheesy
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