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November 12, 2012
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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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:iconpomera-cp:
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.
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:iconmichel-santangelo:
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.
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:iconspaztique:
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.
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:iconmichel-santangelo:
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.

michel-santangelo.deviantart.c…

Of course, I can't do much for Principle #11 right now, so bear with me.
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:iconsoranightsky:
SoraNightsky Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
argh! I'm having headache! Help me!
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:iconspaztique:
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.
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:iconindiepopek339:
IndiePopek339 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014
Genius!
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:iconyomi-hime:
Yomi-Hime Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
This's a nice OC guide! I can apply this for other series, right? :)
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