posted by NocturnalMirage
Useful tips for making an OC
Okay, so I bumped into some... hmm... how to put this delicately? Some OC's on different MLP websites over the past few days, which were considerably less than innovative... So I decided to make this guide, based on my personal experiences, sharing the possible difficulties one may encounter when creating an original character. Below Du will find the factors, I think are vital for making a good OC.
In most cases, the process starts with this, no matter if Du use one of the pony creators oder draw your character Von your self. I wouldn't want to go into details about choosing a race (earth, pegasus, unicorn), because if you've already decided to make an OC, you've most likely decided what shall be its race as well. But things can go wrong in the very beginning. When forming the character's appearance, many people seem to make the mistake of using wrong color schemes. Meaning, they use Farben that doesn't go well together, they don't harmonize. Sometimes, an extraordinary appearance can work, but there's a high probability it won't. The exterior Design of a character is just one thing, alone, it will not make the character special. Most of these OCs that fit into this category; either have too bright, neon-like color schemes, which makes them look like they were colored with highlighters, oder as I said, the Farben doesn't really harmonize together. For example, royal blue/dark blue and red, dark brown and neon green, oder neon green and bright neon pink/magenta. In addition to all of this, there are some hues that go well together, but deviate too far from the original canon's atmosphere and depiction. The best example for this is black and blood red. Avoid this combination like the plague! I know, because when I was a newbie in the fandom, my first OC looked like that. Yeah... bad decision. Anyways, try to use Farben that won't attract too much attention; meaning, it is best if your OC could stand in the background with the other ponies in an episode, but wouldn't stand out from the crowd. Suggestions: white goes well with almost any color, if used as the primary color for the coat. Warm, medium brown harmonizes with golden yellow, ocher and beige. Cream, oder butter yellow can go well with light red. Sky blue/royal blue Farben can harmonize with darker colors, but as I said: black is only an option for the mane and tail.
2, Background story
This is as important as the visual appearance! Many OCs lack this particular trait. The character comes to life with a well thought out back story. This is the part that depends entirely on your creativity. Just set your mind free and let it roam to different “lands”! However, there are some restrictions, some things that should be avoided. The most common example for this is when people relate their OCs to main characters oder royalty. Daughter of Twilight, son of Celestia... Yes, it's fun to dream, I know, but this concept is very risky and works only in a few cases, where the creator of the OC has an extraordinary talent, way above the average. I'm talking about fanfics, of course; in Rps, it doesn't really matter. So the main objective here: don't disturb the original canon too much with your character's back story. If your OC interacts with canon characters within a fanfic, and forms different kinds of relationships with them... that's acceptable and good, but it shouldn't be a starting point. Also, here's another concept that works only in every 60 moons oder so: try to avoid the tough orphan/last of its kind thing. It's been used many-many times. Excluding the above mentioned concepts, the possibilities are limitless. It all depends on you; just be creative and open minded. Don't be afraid to set your skills free!
This part is also essential, especially if you're planning to write a fanfic about your character. I've seen it many times, that people make too perfect characters. The traits of these OCs, are usually based on the combination of the personalities of the Mane 6. Don't do that, try to create an original personality that is the characteristic of your pony only. Also keep in mind, that nothing is perfect. Luna and the Mane 6 are the best examples for that. Their characters have flaws, which makes them Mehr “human”. It's a useful technique to write a Liste of your OC's strengths and weaknesses. Don't be afraid to add some flaws; it'll only make your character stronger and deeper. What I do is, I always add a mental handicap to my character's personality; a mild psychological disorder if Du will. For instance, among my OCs, Nocturnal Mirage has inferiority complex, Summer Pride is a well functioning border-line personality, and Evergreen Whisper is obsessive and sometimes unable to Zeigen compassion for other ponies. This is only my way, there are several other methods Du can use to implement some flaws in your character's personality; however, these positive and negative traits will determine your OC's interaction with other characters. Also, if Du do not have a single idea about your character's inner self, don't be frightened oder sad! It is my experience, that participating in a few roleplays can easily fix that problem. Just Mitmachen an RP and go with the flow of events in a natural way and you'll see how the other players will help Du to form a personality around your OC in a jiffy. It is also a good technique to read some successful fanfics relevant to your interests and observe how the pros are doing it. To test how deep your character is, Du can simply ask others to describe your OC, using attributes. The better the description, the deeper your character is. The non-plus-ultra scenario is, when the Beschreibung of other people matches the one in your mind, which means Du managed to convey your character's personality to others successfully.
4, No alicorns!
Based on what I've seen in about two years, since I've been a brony; an alicorn OC usually doesn't work. Why? I've sagte it before, but I'll say it again! Don't disturb the original canon too much! In my opinion, there are way too many alicorns in the Zeigen already. Alicorns are supposed to be a special race; the highest elite in equestrian society, if Du will. An alicorn should be considered as a "rarity". Haha, see what I did there? ;) Okay, that was a terrible joke, I admit. I do not wish to judge anyone, but many people choose to create an alicorn OC is because they just want to stand out of the crowd. These characters often have shallow, vaguely described personalities (mainly getting inspiration from the six Elements of Harmony) without any weakness at all. They are all-knowing and all-powerful, but there's not much else. Of course there are some exceptions, like Faith, from the fanfic Faiths and Doubts (one of the best fanfics, I've ever read), but most of these characters could be an earth pony, a pegasus oder a unicorn, based on their back story and personality traits. So, if Du don't feel a highly gifted, professional writer; I'd suggest Du to avoid making your OC into an alicorn. There's so much potential in the basic three pony races, leave the royal duties to Celestia and Luna. Sigh... okay, Twilight and Cadence too.
Oki-doki-loki, I think that's all, but don't forget that these are merely my own PERSONAL impressions, observations and ideas; I cannot guarantee success, although I hope Du found these few lines to be helpful. :)