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I don't think an OC works that way... by Spaztique I don't think an OC works that way... by Spaztique
This one came about when people complimented my OCs, and then asking me to work on their characters' backstories. You could say it's a follow-up to The Life Of An Unushed OC ([link])

Seeing as this is the third time I've used Tutoree, want his DNA for whatever reason?
Here it is: 3.39:tutoree:70:0:200:311:169:3:95:80:0:0:0:2A344C

Addendum: I feel I should address my views on backstory a bit further. My philosophy is you only need as much backstory as it will help you write your character.

In the case of all of my OCs, I never wrote any backstory beyond this: two gappies (a stu and a normal guy), two natives (a sue and a normal girl), and two gag characters (an escapist character and a total weirdo). While some peeps can accidentally write stereotypes with too little information, I know enough about character stuff to where I can boil it down to the essentials and make it work.

Then there are peeps who write a decent amount of backstory, but also do their part writing the story proper, and this is perfectly acceptable. ~MiniWitch3 is an amazing example of how to do this properly: he has detailed bios of his characters, but at the same time, these bios help create a functioning cast that weave well-told stories.

Where I draw the line is when people focus all of their time and energy adding parts onto a character they will never use or expanding a cast into something totally unusable, creating OC after OC after OC in hopes of eventually writing a story, but they never do. These writers are addicted to creating characters and dreaming up backstories, but they never write stories themselves. Perhaps it's because the rules for backstory are less rigid and they feel writing a regular story would either be too difficult or they couldn't justify using such awesome characters in what could be an otherwise terrible story.

In a nutshell...
-Short Bios are okay if you know how to make a character work.
-Medium and Large Bios are okay if you use them.
-Giant Bios with no intent on using them for a story is not okay.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconlightninglord3:
LightningLord3 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
A very large background usually works only if the biography is the story.
Reply
:iconmetroid-life:
Metroid-Life Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
Ha, so true!
Reply
:icontalosangelda:
TalosAngelDA Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
If they're a main character, I like to include at least a short paragraph of a bio so I know where they're coming from, and can reference it later.

Usually I only put stuff in the bio that will actually show up in the story, though.
Reply
:iconduwee-davisii:
Duwee-DavisII Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
For me, I have this system:

Where is he/she from, sociableness scale, species, ability, personality quirks/tics, relationship to other characters, and that's about it. For example:

Yutaka- From Japan (outside world) though fluent in English, highly sociable but strange, magician, matter alteration, tendency to call Dawitsu 'Boss' instead of his name and constantly closed eyes/smile, and subordinate to Dawitsu.

Her backstory was only VERY later in my series, progressively revealed as such, covering why she's fluent in English (she's spent a good amount of time in Britain), her constant use of the term boss in regards to Dawitsu (once a regular employee of Dawitsu), and even why she sticks around the loser at all (she was given a home by him while she was homeless and jobless).

Backstory, in my opinion, should be progressively revealed because it ruins the anticipation of wondering why characters are the way they are, and spoils the surprise when it IS revealed mid-story, because it's already been infodumped. It's sorta like a violation of 'show don't tell' in my eyes.
Reply
:iconredwhiteandbored:
RedWhiteAndBored Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
Is there some difference between a backstory and a regular story about a character? It seems to me that if someone put this much work into developing a backstory, they could just publish that as their story, and then the character wouldn't be wasted after all.
Reply
:iconspaztique:
Spaztique Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Backstory: A blurb about the origin of a character, almost always to help the writer write the characters. Many peeps make a picture of a character and then paragraph after paragraph about where they came from, but most of these peeps never get around to writing the actual story.
Origin Story: A dramatized backstory. If done well, these are perfectly acceptable ways of introducing new characters.
Reply
:iconambassador-pineapple:
Ambassador-Pineapple Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
Uh, hi, not-me quote
And yeah, backstories are kinda like prologues
The first chapter, if any, is a prologue, not the whole damn story
Reply
:iconspaztique:
Spaztique Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The fake quotes are just minor cameos. I couldn't find anyone for fake quotes, so I just picked random people.

Though, as a literary term stickler, be wary of calling first chapters prologues: prologues happen long before or long after the inciting incident, which occurs in the first chapter.
Reply
:iconambassador-pineapple:
Ambassador-Pineapple Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
"First" as in order of presentation
And all prologues come first but not all "first chapters" are prologues
Reply
:iconmobiusonedt:
mobiusonedt Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I am very guilty of this.

I'm working on it though.
Reply
:iconttbnc:
TTBNC Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
Hey Spaz, I got an idea with the Tutoree... and it involves the TSI :3 Reply, and i'll call you later about it :3
Reply
:iconspaztique:
Spaztique Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sounds awesome. Can't wait to hear it.
Reply
:iconttbnc:
TTBNC Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
Tried to call you a thousand times yesterday... wasn't answering -w-|||
Reply
:iconxexusthesilver:
XexustheSilver Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Lolz ... Very entertaining ^^
Reply
:icontanukaze:
Tanukaze Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
See, this is how you write stories. (italics aren't working for me) *Let your character live his/her life out in the story.* If you have a well fleshed out personality then no matter what situation your character gets into, you'll know how they would react. Thanks, Spaz! I've learned pretty much everything I know from you.
Reply
:iconsolaristhehedgehog:
SolarisTheHedgehog Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Student Artist
The only thing i hate about OC is OP and Godmoding...it's annoying. Just like in the old days...ugh, makes me wanna throw up.
Reply
:iconyeagerd:
YeagerD Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
While I can understand, that a well developed backstory, which shows the effort in it, is all fine and good, it's literally useless or wasted, if said backstory never has influence in the main story,
or worse, if the main story is never created.

Again, I think, it's really sad, if someone gets such a good idea, which has a lot of potential and then never uses it.
Reply
:iconishingoyabuki:
IShingoYabuki Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Personality, abilities, weaknesses and drive, I only need these four most of the time to make a nice OC.
Reply
:iconspaztique:
Spaztique Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a pretty spiffy system you have there: especially the drive concept, which often goes ignored.

Come to think of it, we ought to catalog all the different character systems people use.
Reply
:iconishingoyabuki:
IShingoYabuki Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
That would be wonderful to do, I'm sure that if we somehow gather around many systems together in one condensed thing, it could result helpful in terms of OC creation so everyone could choose a system out of the bunch and work from there.
Reply
:iconscarletimpulse:
ScarletImpulse Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I don't get why people like making backstories from the start. If you just gave barely any details about the character's past, the you can still fiddle with it throughout the story.
Reply
:iconkigurou-enkou:
Kigurou-Enkou Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Student Writer
So true, man, so true. This is why I like to tell most writers that they should establish their character first before making ANY form of backstory.
Reply
:iconpmiller1:
PMiller1 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So what you saying it, Back story and Main story are part Character. The Back story and Main story what make the Character.

I have to say, I kinda going both with "New Story of Paul" from Paul making to Gensokyo to The Magicless Month that is like 1 or 2 Year instory. It more of a reboot of all my story. Some story being removed (like Ni and Tech), shorted (Year of Order will not be a Yeah) and given have deeper impact to Paul and the Other.
Reply
:iconmr-wang:
Mr-Wang Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
I can say that I'm actually guilty of both kinds of OC-making. On many notes, I usually end up spending around two hours at most writing a mini-biography about a character, with backstory, details of their personality, appearance, and whatnot. But I'm extremely careful not to let those details go to waste. Or maybe I kinda make fun details like what you'd see on "Trivia" sections of wiki's. It's not something I mind, I genuinely like doing it, and it serves me very well on RP's. On the other hand, there are OC's that I leave relatively blank and I simply write them as I write the story, going by some very basic traits that constitute to their character.

Both in the end work out for me without much discernible difference, to me anyway. I often especially have the somewhat blank slate characters when writing first-person stories since characterization's more important than ever and you need to get in the character's head instead of reading something about them that describes who they are.
Reply
:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's the thing about OCs. You can't add too much on them otherwise they can't exactly be added into normal situations. Just make OCs simple enough so people can remember them without having to pull out an entire file about them. They as are "human" as everyone else.
Reply
:iconwarfalcon:
WarFalcon Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That form template there, it should be like a character sheet and rather than working the details of characters one must realize it is more like "rolling up" a tabletop character.
Reply
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