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What truly makes an OC likable... by Spaztique What truly makes an OC likable... by Spaztique
It's not enough to make an army of OCs: you must actually use them. No amount of backstory or lavish design will make your characters likable unless you employ them in a series.

Based on a conversation with ~MiniWitch3.
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:iconhobbitterraria15:
HobbitTerraria15 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your head is getting bigger.

you should see a chiropractor about that.
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:icongiodan:
giodan Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014
great!!!!!
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:icondragonjek:
Dragonjek Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I... I...
Have you written this story?  You should write this story.
Has someone else written this story?  If they have, you should link me to this story.
I... I... I need to read it.

(Also, thank you for putting into words something I've been trying to pin down to explain for a while.)
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:iconspaztique:
Spaztique Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That story does not exist (yet). The premise is up for grabs by anyone.
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:iconmobiusonedt:
mobiusonedt Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Also I have a question: Is Jade a character legitimately pitched to you by someone or is it your own creation? It actually sounds like a really interesting story.
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:iconspaztique:
Spaztique Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just made her up on the spot. I did watch Puella Magi Madoka Magicka before coming up with her and I did think of the soul gem idea, but that's as far as I went.
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:iconbablet:
bablet Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I dunno if this is good or horrible idea, but when a character of mine needs help developing, my friend and I do crossover rps. It gives the character a chance to develop via interaction and being in an actual situation. I've gotten quite a bit done thanks to that, and it's even given me more ideas for my actual story.

*Shrugs* But I'm me, and proooobably doing it wrong XD
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, RPs have variable results. How your character interacts with others and what he/she suffers from is usually spontaneous in those situations. I wouldn't say it is terrible, but I also won't say it's the best way to examine a character.

If there's anything you need to talk about this, just tell me.
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:iconbablet:
bablet Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Y-yeah? Thanks! XD It's definitely got a big flaw:

My main villain character. I need to develop him, but... I don't want to have to subject anyone to him! XD (he's kind of awful, just saying)
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your main villain huh? Well then, tell me the following:

1. What are his relationships with other characters like?
2. What is he trying to achieve, how is he going to do it, and why?
3. How does his actions oppose the protagonist's actions?
4. What is his personality like?
5. What are his powers and in relation, how does he use it to counteract the protagonist?
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:iconbablet:
bablet Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Ah-

I'll note what I can answer to you. Sorry, I might not be much of a writer (*cough total hack cough*) but I'm stupid paranoid.
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:iconphantomminion:
Phantomminion Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
Well, I,m thinking of starting a comic series with my characters, unfortunately I have no experience of making them or where to start. How do you make yours?
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:iconspaztique:
Spaztique Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My method is detailed in this blog post: [link]

In short...

1. Look at other series and look for what's considered good and bad so you'll know what to aim for. Experience helps as you go on, but for when you start, just know what "good" looks like.

2. Brainstorm ideas. Ask what you like about other series, find out what makes them work (perhaps swing by TVTropes.org for more info), and look for a way to put your own spin on things to make it original.

3. Write it. Know what kind of series it is (are the episodes self-contained, build a larger story, or a little of both?), what kind of characters you'll use, and the story. If you're new to story, outline like this: the lives of the characters will be different from the beginning of the outline to the end, and in each scene, things will end differently from how they begin. The guide I linked above has more links to my other story tutorials.

4. MAKE THE SERIES. It does you no good to write a bunch of character profiles and stories you'd like to make. You must actually make the series. You will mess up, yes, but when people start complaining, they're going to give you free tips on how to improve.

5. Keep using people's comments as a way to improve. As you continue, hone your experience until it all becomes instinct, and never stop improving: there's no limit to greatness. While you cannot achieve perfection, you can still make things greater and greater.

Think of it like this: you can't reach infinite, but a googol (10^100) is much larger than a billion (1,000,000,000), and a Graham's number (too large to even fit on the internet) is larger than a googol, and an Ackerman Function calling two Graham's Numbers to the power of a googol are astronomically larger than a lone Graham's number, and even that can by multiple by a Graham's number to the power of a Graham's Number. Perfection may be impossible, but greatness can be pretty dang large.

I hope this inspires you to tap into your creativity, have fun with exploring the art of storytelling, and perhaps entertain the rest of us.
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:icontynorg-six:
Tynorg-Six Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Insane necro-reply, but, if I remember rightly, they still don't know the digits of Graham's Number.

Only the last ten or so, I think.


And this guide seems quite helpful. Thanks a lot, Spaztique!


...Now, about those large numbers...

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:iconphantomminion:
Phantomminion Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
Wow I waited a long time. I haven't gotten really good at making comics but I came up with an idea for a fan game story and it's characters. Before I can make a story I have to get the comic thing down.
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:iconredangel2345:
ReDAnGeL2345 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Thank you for this my good man. Now I feel motivated to write this one trilogy I've been planning to write! Yaaaaay~
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:icondeitydiz93:
DeityDiz93 Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
You two are awesome when it comes to story.
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a bunch.
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:icondeitydiz93:
DeityDiz93 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
Not a problem Mini. After all I do enjoy the videos you make on Youtube and *they* do the justice when it comes to praise.
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:iconyavinus:
Yavinus Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
Writing a believable character, with diverses emotions, concrete personality with strengths and weakness is not so hard. The only hard part is begin with the character itself, the rest will flow like a river in the mountain.
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wouldn't say that. Although it may seem simple to give a character a realistic base along with his/her own exclusive emotions, personality, and beliefs, the hard part is how it will necessarily fit into a plot without disrupting anything too drastically.

A river has its obstacles and will get trapped along the way. It all depends on how well the character can get inserted into a story and manage to fulfill his/her purpose.
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:iconmaxhd2490:
MaxHD2490 Featured By Owner May 28, 2013
hate to be on Spaztique's badside of his O_o as the last panels show
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:icontouhoushake:
TouhouShake Featured By Owner May 28, 2013   Artist
I'd LIKE to make a whole bunch of stories for ALL of my OCs(which I HAVE done, but still haven't posted), but I keep getting more ideas for them and new ones as well.

Welp.
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is good to be creative. However, I'd advise that you write these ideas down if you don't already do so. And a very strict thing about get so many choices means that you will have to be decisive and see if the story will be able to follow through.
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:iconhikarubaskerville-0:
HikaruBaskerville-0 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I cant believe I didnt think to do somethin so obvious like that! Helped two ppl at once there mini, thnks a ton! I think I thought of another way to keep track of my own ideas with that too! X3
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:icontouhoushake:
TouhouShake Featured By Owner May 29, 2013   Artist
I have a somewhat good mind camera, just gotta put my info down on paper.

If I can actually fill in my many OCs' stories that is.
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:iconflashtrang:
Flashtrang Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
so...basically,make an OC first,get them to the story,make a conflict,and that's the basic formula for a good story right ?

...what about the backstory ?
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Umm...
Well, making a conflict would probably fit before the story because there are various kinds of conflicts as explained in the comic such as Man vs. Man/Self/Society/Nature/etc. And even these conflicts like External, Internal, and Interpersonal. Internal and Interpersonal conflicts often supported character traits and become part of the character's personality and social skills. I guess when you mean a conflict, you mean the conflict of the story. Overall, some kinds of conflicts are better known as results of character traits while others are mostly external conflicts that go against the main character's point of view and what he/she finds as unjust.

For backstories, make them brief, concise, and have something to do with the character's overall goal. The audience doesn't need an elaborate explanation about their whole life story. The audience WILL only remember the major points of it which often have to do with the goal the character wants to achieve whether it begins that state of mind or supports it.
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:iconrandomnumbers5902672:
There is this guide on backstory [link]
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:iconduwee-davisii:
Duwee-DavisII Featured By Owner May 28, 2013
Believe it or not, backstoy often comes with writing the actual story. See my extensive backstory of Dawitsu ([link] ), involving how he coexisted with humans in the outside world, making agreements with governments through a 'Youkai Relocation Program'? That came far later in my series than when he was first conceived.

He was first conceived as a parody self-insert, one which DID have a personality, a set of obvious flaws (easily distracted, inconsiderate, outright strange) and was an incident causer rather than solver. I also deliberately gave him a game-breaking power (mimicry) and caused him to still lose to Reimu to have a little fun with the idea that no matter what, Incident Solvers always win.

It was only later on I fleshed him out fully, and a story tends to be a good catalyst for fleshing out characters.
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:iconaiyfproductions:
AIYFProductions Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This will help me a lot with my OC making.
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:iconepicmarioplayer:
EpicMarioPlayer Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Spaztique's head getting giant made me laugh!
...
I know this has kinda like nothing to do with the message but,I just thought it was funny.
I got the message anyway.
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:iconishingoyabuki:
IShingoYabuki Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Completely a true thing to be followed. As always, more to the ever known term:

"Show, don't tell."
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:iconmobiusonedt:
mobiusonedt Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That last bit, I'm the Spaztique Critic. I riff it so you don't have to.
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:iconkentamaeba:
KentaMaeba Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I agree with this completely. I only plan on introducing my OCs once I get started on a story for them... with the exception of Tracey, whom I introduced already.
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:iconttbnc:
TTBNC Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Perfection is impossible, you will never be able to make a perfect OC. You just gotta make it good enough and have the story planned out in advanced.
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:iconschwarzerritter:
SchwarzerRitter Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Of course you can make a perfect OC. You just have to keep telling the reader constantly how perfect they are.
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:icontobiobito4ever:
TobiObito4ever Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
There's a name for characters like these: Mary Sues/Gary Stus.

But in all seriousness, no "perfect" character exists. Like people in reality, they have flaws.
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Exactly, "perfect" characters are boring. I don't want to see the character succeed all the time. I want to see him/her cry, feel pain and sadness, and experience negative moods. It makes me and the audience feel and sympathize for the character.

And most importantly, DO NOT say that your character is always perfect and constantly say that. It's as bad as saying "Wait and see. This character will get better and you will like him/her." A cruel thing about the audience is that if they don't like the character at first sight, then they won't like the character at all.
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:icondeadturtle1:
deadturtle1 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
Exactly.

I can't be bothered plowing through some long series which OCs I find unlikeable right from the start. At best, I'll just skim it to see whether they'll get better or not.
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can agree with you there. That is what the audience does look for in characters. They mostly skip all the detail and look for the main traits of the characters which is about two of three traits that make up the character. If those traits do not satisfy the character/audience, the audience won't like it.

Another thing that the audience looks for is the design which includes colors attire, and appearance.
Colors: Seeing too many clashing colors on a character will be an eye sore to the audience unless it is a joke character.
Attire: Make it look realistic and fit the character's needs/abilities/personality. Would you see a ballerina tutu on a chain gang?
Personality: Again, this fits directly with how they act around other characters and varies between others of the cast. If it is the same with every character, he/she is considered very one-dimensional. This is a trait that villain OCs tend to fail.
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:icondeadturtle1:
deadturtle1 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
If you want to make a one-dimensional villain OC, you might as well make it a "monster" instead of a character. By that, I mean a non-talking opponent that the protagonists must face. Like a hydra suddenly popping out and attacking the Human Village for example.

Make a (serious) villain OC mysterious and threatening. Don't shove them off into the spotlight right from the very beginning. Make them stay in the shadows while the protagonist slowly uncovers their hideous plot.

And that's why making a likeable protagonist OC is even harder. By definition, you'll be seeing them right away and pretty much in the entire story. You have to make sure that the audience is interested in them right from the start, whereas for villain OCs, they can be replaced with plot hooks (since they're not making an appearance right away).
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:iconchibiochen:
ChibioChen Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
......What?

Did I read that right?

You're joking right?
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:iconttbnc:
TTBNC Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Complete shit =w=
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:iconsturmgescuts:
Sturmgescuts Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Do you have extra hats for when your head inflates like that? Does it ever get stuck like that? Is it just an allergic reaction?

All joking aside, I've fallen into the trap before, but I managed to get out of it before it got too bad. Instead, I have come to believe that the opposite is the best course of action, instead of creating a story for a character, create a character for the story. The setting does just as much to shape a character as their personality.
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:iconversedunverse:
VersedUnverse Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Right, make an perfect OC that no one has ever heard about and expect them to like it ... do I smell "Mary Sue" in that sentence ?
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:iconminiwitch3:
MiniWitch3 Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, it's impossible to make a perfect character. The audience is always going to have mixed feelings about them whether it's good or bad.

But there is one thing. If the audience doesn't like the character at all, they won't care about him/her. It may sound harsh, but it's the sheer truth. And more importantly, people don't like the "wait and see" character. The audience wants to see the best traits of the character. I know this is just from speculation, but a character that suffers this a lot is Final Fantasy 10's Tidus. When he first appeared, the audience saw someone who acts like a crybaby and so, that how the audience portrays him. Despite him developing further along the story, people still wouldn't get rid of the first impression. First impressions are extremely important.

Anyway, making a perfect OC is rather impossible because of the audience having various ideals and views about the character. The audience may not see the character, so it is your job to market your own character. The audience will have no idea who your character is until you show them. Show. Don't Tell.
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:iconversedunverse:
VersedUnverse Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
You didn't need to explain that, I was just being sarcasic XD ( Like that Anti-Advice mallard meme ) Yeah, but I already know it's impossible to make something perfect. No matter the number of people who likes your work and content, there will ALWAYS be one who dislikes it. Well, we are all different anyway, right ?
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:icondj-kmax:
DJ-Kmax Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Hurrah! More useful satire comics to boost up my confidence!!

On a side note: Panel 5 reminds me of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure....regarding Stand types.
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:iconheadmaster--monokuma:
Headmaster--Monokuma Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not sure if this is good, but I have OCs, but I haven't used them yet since I have no story ideas yet for them. :iconsweatdropplz:
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