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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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Cappuciruno Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
funny and beautiful
Numagakure Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Hobbyist 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.
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 Digital 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.
thenightlesscastle Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
Well, they usually try and be a little social, but sometimes come off as rather odd, so they are a bit of a social outcast, so she usually only communicates with her friend, Harugasumi (A bat youkai).  Despite the fact that they're a swallow youkai, they're not very good at singing. Their spell cards are somewhat simple and based around stars and astrology, much like Marisa, but not enough to be copying her. 
MEULlN Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013
5 :iconclapplz:
Silverstream-pi Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013

...This just saved my English project...


Altair-chan Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
Salve, Signor Spaztique!

From what I have read based on your guide, it seems that I have broke a lot of the principles, especially principles 2, and a lot more. I currently have two fics, which I am having second thoughts if I should re-write or just make another one.

...Your guide is great! It actually does point out each flaw often encountered concerning OC's not only found in Touhou fanfics, but also on other series. Apparently, my OC's have these flaws...

I just hope that I won't end up with the same mistake again, now that I have some pointers to watch out for when making Touhou OC's as well as OC's from other series'.

Your guide really helped a lot! :D
Skod12 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
Hope i won't break any of these...
Spaztique Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's not a matter of "breaking" them. The classic proverb goes: "A rule says, 'You must do it this way.' A principle says, 'This works and has through all recorded time.'" This guide is about principles: it is possible write a good OC with bad design, who is closely tied to another character, has a ton of canon characters as friends, uses a sword, has a military tile, can beat the most powerful character blindfolded in a scene, has a ton of powers, an elaborate costume, and is based entirely on the author...

... just as long as it follows Principle 11. Now that is a rule: storytelling abilities trump how well you design the characters that go into it.
Skod12 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013
Ah, I see. I'll be sure to focus on Storytelling as much as everything else. :D
GrayscaleCanvas Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013
Is it weird if my method of OC creation goes like this:
Personality: Check
Strengths/Weaknesses: Check
How he/she interacts with society: Check
Story: Check
Appearance: Check
Name: ...Umm
ScarletDevilVocaloid Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Pretty much the same, except I have the most trouble with personality and story rather than name.
Spaztique Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's actually quite normal and similar to how I design characters (with the addition of the above principles).
AItF4 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
Im getting addicted to these walfas :D

LordUltimate Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artist… Interested in a quick look?
AlgaeNymph Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013
"I just found the identity of the Origami Killer and an innocent tengu is about to be killed!"

What fic is this?  I wanna read it!
flandre495 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Professional General Artist… I tried my best NOT to follow the rules XD
oldewine Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Student Writer
A Japanese Name Generator: [link]. Just put in whatever words you want and it'll convert it into a Japanese Name and give the meanings too. Just fool around with it and you should eventually come up with a nice name for your character. The names are in Japanese Naming convention so it's family name first.
JessAdams Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
This isn't just useful for Touhou OCs- I found it useful for a lot of other universes. It's also got me thinking about creating a Touhou Character. Nice work.
Morachu Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
This is awesome~
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