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Spaztique's Guide to Touhou OC Creation by Spaztique Spaztique's Guide to Touhou OC Creation by Spaztique
Note: There's a couple of misspellings, but I'm too tired to fix them tonight. I'll get to work on them tomorrow.

It's another illustrated guide I made in between all of my classes (if my laptop screen had a higher resolution, I would be making DitR at school, but I don't, so I can't).

Also check out ~Kigurou-Enkou's follow-up guide regarding proper use of backstory: [link]
And check out this awesome guide by ~Rumiflan regarding relatives of characters: [link]

OC concepts not addressed in the comic (more added based on your comments):
-Once you understand the logic behind these principles, you are clear to bend/break them. For example, once you understand the difficulty of writing a relative of a canon character and how storytelling applies to the concept, you are clear to write a relative for a canon character.
-Don't give your characters inappropriate names like Sara Hakurei or Smith Morichika. Look up Japanese naming conventions here: [link]
-Don't be afraid to make Western-style youkai. Rumia, Letty (despite being a traditional snow woman youkai), and much of the SDM crew are good examples.
-Develop different characters for different types of series. The traits that go into an episodic character are different than that which go into a gag series character.
-You can be a half-whatever if you can give a logical explanation. The examples in Trap 2 are just to show multiple incarnations of the same person.
-It's acceptable to make a character similar to you, and you can even make a version of yourself that could survive in Gensokyo (a slightly more badass version of yourself), but you eventually reach a line between minor tweaking and pure wish fulfillment. Finding this balance depends on your storytelling abilities.
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Cyber-Angel-Rowan Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Every fandom should have at least one of these. There should be a webpage that is literally nothing but links to OC guides like these. Links to this webpage should be widely disseminated and be required reading for every amateur fanfic writer out there.

illuminatitriforce Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2016
does it count as a gappy if they're sent in by someone else and by somewhat different teleportation means?
speedysketch Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2016   Digital Artist
very interesting...
i ll keep this in mind :0
TraumaChick777 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I'm writing a character background/new design for Sariel (final boss of the Makai route from the first Touhou game), and while Sariel is technically a canon character, there is literally no information on them other than the fact that they're a fallen angel of death who lives in Makai, so these guidelines give me a pretty good idea of what to avoid when kinda 'filling in the gaps' of Sariel's character.
nekobladen Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I noticed you have a real hate boner for blond people, almost every bad EX you use is blond, did you know that?

I like your advice, its just so hard to remember all of it while writing. You get an idea in your head and you forget the rules.

I'll try tho, one can only improve right?
Spaztique Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
About the blonde people: in a number of Touhou fics my friends and I read (and this is also a common thing in OC fiction), the main character OC is often blonde. We've joked about this throughout our various riffs and discussions of Touhou fanfic culture. Of course, there's nothing wrong with making a blonde OC main character; especially one that's likable and breaks the mold of typical fanfics.

As for the advice, thanks. You don't have to remember nor use it all: they're more diagnostic tools to see how you can improve. I mostly cover basic newbie mistakes and ideas many people miss: it's up to you to gain enough experience to learn the more intricate parts of writing. Anyone can read guides, but a writer writes. And even though I don't write as much as I used to, my goal is to help make writing easier for everyone else.

It's my hope that this guide (along with my others and every other guide you encounter) serves you well on your writing journey (as well as your life journey: once you get good with one thing, your gifts begin spilling over to other areas), and I wish you the best of luck.
Robotic-Mind Featured By Owner Edited Jan 19, 2016
This reminds me of a self-insert OC I did when I was 11 (Helena Technology), who is an oni who hates drinking and manipulates technology XD 
But I scrapped that, and replaced with new Touhou FCs (Akahoshi no Ameko, a very short-tempered tengu who manipulates speed, stage 5 boss rank, and Chihiro Mitsue, her friend and rival, stage 6 boss rank. I made a full profile for Akahoshi no Ameko but I didn't publish it yet.
You'll see more of them on a game my friend is making :3 And I might publish the other characters' profiles. Mini-profiles, actually. You can see the rest of them in the stories and games.
I'm only going to make full profiles for Ameko, Chihiro, and the extra stage boss I'm not gonna tell right now. <.<)
bouteilledeau1 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 9, 2015  Student Artist
Hey Spaz, after reading this amusing comic, I would like you to check my OC to see if it's a good one... when it'll be ready.
For now, let's just say that you can tell by the avatar pic. Well, it's just that I don't want my character to be trash.
IcestreamIsAPie Featured By Owner May 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks~ I think I'm going to remake my OC.
AzureAether Featured By Owner May 15, 2015
Thank you Mr. Spaztique for the guide!
Although I do have a question: What are the possible effects of your OC's gender on interaction? I'm kinda having a hard time picking out a gender (and I managed to write a chapter already...)
Thanks again!
Spaztique Featured By Owner May 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I personally don't think it matters, but there's this idea of "masculine" and "feminine" communication and thinking styles. However, there are men with feminine communication/thinking styles and women with masculine communication/thinking styles, not to mention the idea that we need both feminine and masculine traits to balance ourselves out.

The theory runs like this: the biochemistry of a masculine brain runs on linear logic, breaks things into small steps, and says exactly what it means. The biochemistry of the feminine brain runs on holistic, intuitive, big-picture thinking, and communicates with subtext and emotion rather than raw words. Relationship counselor Dr. John Gray wrote a classic book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, covering this idea extensively.
AzureAether Featured By Owner May 15, 2015
Thank you very much! Although I do have another question...
I read in another guide about OC's not stealing the spotlight. Would a story told from OC's perspective (in first person) violate that guideline?
Spaztique Featured By Owner May 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The idea is that if you're going to do a fic in any series, the emphasis is on the series. It is possible to tell a story in first person without it stealing the spotlight from other characters: first person stories are filled with memorable characters. Look at any visual novel, such as Fate/Stay Night or the like, and although it's told from the perspective of one character, we get to see all of them equally.

First person is usually difficult for beginners because they tend to focus more of the perspective character than the others. The mark of somebody who's mastered first person is their ability to write for all characters equally.
Forbidden-DiCE Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015
This helped me out a lot. Thank you!
Cappuciruno Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
funny and beautiful
Numagakure Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This rings true ((most at least)) for any fandom. Great job Spaztique.
clubpinguin Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014
spaz you can help me? I have a friend named: iconpewdiepiethewolf: he does not accept defeat it is overpower !!
Spaztique Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. Contrate um tradutor humano. Google Translate é terrível.
Pare de lutar pessoas.
Eu não apoio rancores. Eu não participar de rancores. Não me incluir nisso.


1. Please get a human translator. Google translate is terrible.
2. Stop fighting people.
3. I do not support or join grudges, so leave me out of this.
clubpinguin Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014
clubpinguin Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014
But spaz you use the hair of rengeteki! (pc-98)
PnFForever11 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014
About the 10th principle, is there a way to make self-multiple WITHOUT falling to the 2nd Trap or the 3rd Trap?
TherealPercy Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014  Student General Artist
Hey Spaz.
Anything will be answere'd here ^^
(some OC stuff, should be obvious)
GinTheWerewolf Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Student General Artist
Idk if someone is still checking characters around here, but i still want to try…
candidato someone Telles if my char is alright, it's still Wip, which is the reason it still colorless
Pomera-CP Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My second time reading this, I feel like changing around my OC, Totome. Maybe just design and maybe name.
Michel-SantAngelo Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
Ugh. I have a general idea for a 'Youkai of Voids/Zero', but aside from the appearance, personality and basic abilities, I have no idea what to do with them. They're not a blood relative or 'archnemesis' of any sorts, at least. In fact, I have no intention of having them preemptively acquainted with any canon characters.

A little worried about them being overpowered since there's a lot of cheap tricks they could pull off with that kind of power, too... Perhaps I'll have to think of some kind of nerf that limits their power.

If you'd be willing to help me work on them, send me a message. Thanks.
Spaztique Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Principle 11 should answer this: story trumps how powerful your character is. Your character may have tons of cheap tricks, but so can your characters' opponents. There's also Principle 4: give your character not just a strength (that affects other people), but a weakness (that affects other people). If your character has some cheap powers, but something to blunt their effectiveness like hubris, paranoia, or whatever, use it to balance the character. This way, you won't need to nerf anyone.

Besides, I've never seen nerfing work. Ever. All stories have a balance: the stronger the goodest good guy, the stronger the baddest bad guy must become. If the balance is off-kilter, like a character has too much ease in the story and the villains are too weak, it doesn't matter how much you nerf them if the storytelling is off: the weaker the overpowered hero, the weaker the underpowered villains become. I've seen situations where characters who had godlike powers were stripped of said godlike powers, yet was able to get away with anything they wanted without their powers because the writers didn't want them to lose/face conflict. I've also seen many great situations where characters were given cheat-like abilities, so the situations got worse to adapt to them, equaling the balance.

I'm thinking of maybe adding another principle: the principles are also useless if you do not practice. Test your character out in a few one-shots and get a feel for it. Naturally, you will receive criticism: use it. Nothing will give you experience more than using your bad reviews.
Michel-SantAngelo Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
Well after a few hours I managed to get some work done on some OCs... Could use some feedback.


Of course, I can't do much for Principle #11 right now, so bear with me.
SoraNightsky Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
argh! I'm having headache! Help me!
Spaztique Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's well-designed visually and the backbone is there, but I don't know whether or not it violates Principle #11 until I actually see her in action.
john190 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015
OH i get it theres no 11.
IndiePopek339 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Student General Artist
Yomi-Hime Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
This's a nice OC guide! I can apply this for other series, right? :)
Spaztique Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep. I already did a non-series specific comment a while back.
Pokirby Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
I have a question regarding OC strength. If I created an OC with full intent of them being stronger than most/all other characters, would it still be a "good" OC if I made another OC(s) of equal/more strength to counter-act the first OC (Like a teacher, rival, etc.)? I'm not exactly making a Touhou story, but the OC rules remain the same... I think, so I'd just like to know.
Spaztique Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It follows the same concept of "never make your character so powerful that they cannot easily attain their goal instantly". In this case, even if they beat the first character, they still have a long way to go to get to their main goal. There are plenty of stories where the hero beats a character early on; these are often the mentor characters trying to train the main character for their upcoming journey, to which they will be facing much bigger opponents.

This is a matter of principle 11: storytelling is more important in this context. Pace out the level of conflict they must face, and their early victories will seem like a calm before the storm/preparation for upcoming conflicts.
EeveeMasamune Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I'm glad you made this guide, I am new to walfas and made some Touhou OC's but I was nervous that some could see them as Mary Sues. This guide will be a big help for me in case my characters do turn out to be Mary Sues so thank you very much.
UltimateChimeraBlood Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
With the sudden rise of Walfas comics that's been taking place in the last few year, people seem to constantly forget the importance of story over character design.

I've seen many stories, written or drawn, where I constantly question myself: "Why am I even watching it?"

This may be old, but the advice it gives is invaluable.

As always, you've proven your knowledge in writing. I wonder, have you ever considered making a living out of your skills?

Once again, thank you for sharing this with us, the amateur writers.
Spaztique Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I plan to update this guide eventually, and I'm thinking of doing an in-depth illustrated story guide eventually as well.

As for making a living off this, currently editing Voidspawn for widescale publication. Showing previews of each chapter until it's done.
mushimaru202 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
just what I need!! >.<

hey, is there already a spirit fox in the original tohou?
snowflake247 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
Well, Ran Yakumo (Yukari's servant) is a nine-tailed youkai fox (a kitsune), but if you make your character different enough from Ran it should be all right. There's no law against there being more than one of a certain type of youkai (unless the OC is just a knockoff of an existing character).
Rougealienpirate Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
This is some good information for OC's in general. Thanks for the guide Spaztique
HikaruBaskerville-0 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
My oc's Stories(mainly my oc sora's) are still mainly works in progress cause I have occasional writers block when I get the best of ideas. Any advice? (Sora's the touhou oc and hika's more a crossoverish oc)
blackjewelwolf Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Student General Artist
Would using extremely recognizable bodies or hair for an OC be something to avoid? Like using Mokou's hair or Alice's body.
Spaztique Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not if you can't find the right accessories for the rest of the costume to make them unique. A number of PC-98 characters wore red robes, and a number of Windows characters have red dresses. You can pull it off.
thenightlesscastle Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
Dear Spaztique or anyone who gives a review on OCs,

I have a touhou character named Hoshiuta, and she's a youkai Swallow. Her hair it a brownish purple, and wears a blue or purple kimono. If I post a bio, can you give me some pointers?

From, TheNightlessCastle.
Spaztique Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I know what they look like, but personality is the most important factor. Tell me more about how they act.
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