Deviant/Unique OCs

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Deviant/Unique OCs

Post by Fraction on Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Okay. This is basically what came into my thought when I saw this conversation happening in the RP room.

Conversation:

Person1: 'My parents neglected me at birth.'
Person2: 'But why?'
Person1: 'I dunno... ask the people who 'wrote the story'.'

This was IRP, yes. And then the chat went into discussing backstories in the OOC. 'I have the most tragic backstory' 'Mine is more tragic than yours.'

Anyway. I'll begin from the start. This is gonna be a long article so bear with me please.

'Deviant' OCs

'Deviant. Adjective/Noun. Something or someone different from accepted/used-to standards, usually in their behaviour or personality'. 

What this whole article is about, is how to inspire people from straying from overused concepts while making OCs, as well as coming up with interesting personalities. Most of you might know these, some overused/cliche concepts about OCs are listed below;

1. Sad/depressing backstories.
2. Parents usually dying/kicking their child (the OC)  out.
3. Going on a journey to 'find about themselves'.
4. Being overprotective of friends ('I'll die for my friends!'), and being stubborn in nature.
5. Trying to find and get revenge on someone (this person has usually killed the OCs friends/family).

Discussing cliches isn't the whole point of this lengthy piece of words either. You can find more about 'ideal characters' from Mono's article here, he did a wonderful job on it. The reason why I'm writing this is;

1. Encourage the use of more 'unique' characters.
2. Help people with making their character one-of-a-kind.
3. To help visualize the idea of having a wider array of OC personalities/behaviourism. 

Coming up with your own Deviant OC


The first and foremost step, 'how do I come up with a unique character?'. Well, worry not, little Timmy. It can be done in easy steps. Not necessarily the ones I mention below, but they're the ones which I prefer to use myself/are easier to use.

Choosing a 'base' for your OC:

A base is basically an idea or an inspiration for an OC. It can be anything, ranging from artwork, to music, to superpowers, or anything, really. If you don't want to go through the effort of making an entirely new character from scratch, you could simply take character stereotypes, stretch them, tweak a few bits around and viola! You've got something unique now.

OC 'needs'/Development targets:

After you're done choosing a base for your OC, the next step you might wanna look at is deciding flaws for your character. A perfect character is no good, since it leaves little to no reason for the OC to interact with other characters (especially someone who they don't know/haven't interacted with). 
Move on the selecting your OC's 'needs'. What do you think your character needs in their life (especially in their character)? Are they too gullible, and want to work on that? Maybe too stubborn for them to be easily loved by others? The choices here vary, since ultimately you're the one who decides all this stuff.
Most common 'need', from what I've see, is either trying to find love or sympathy of others (it's arguably the easiest way for your OC to know others/be known by others). Deciding what you want, however, can affect one thing. That thing is the selection of roleplaying partners. 
By focusing on your 'development targets', you can classify roleplayers into two categories. The ones who can help in character development, and the ones who can't. (By no means I'm saying that you shouldn't RP with people who can't contribute to your character. I'm just saying that you can save some time by roleplaying with people who you know can be helpful to your character's development. Again, just an opinion.)
This also covers another problem. Most people tend to 'abandon' their OCs when they're done roleplaying with them (or in some cases, when they're not having fun anymore). By taking in consideration targets for your character's development, you can finally decide when your OC has done 'improving' themselves. At that point, you're free to leave it alone. (Or, who knows, be clever and continue using it as a supporting character for one of your other OCs!)

Epilogues:

Another nice idea would be making epilogues for your character. Because if they can have backstories, why not epilogues? (Keep in mind that this might only be for completely developed OCs only). Giving your character an epilogue might sound a bit weird, but it's really not. A perfect ending to your character's story may or may not give you that specific 'pat-on-the-back'. "I did something right with this character, at least." 
Don't be worried if you want your OC to be a recurring figure in the stories of your other characters. You can decide on a 'beginning' of your character (aka the backstory) and the 'ending' (the epilogue), and then continue to fit in as much stuff in-between as you wish to.
 

The 'Interview':

This is the one 'character-making technique' I like the most, and is fun to use as well (though not really a technique, just an idea about how you can polish your character). It's simple, yet pays off. It's the 'interview' method. Now this isn't my own idea, nor do I claim it to be. It was introduced to me by the wonderful fellers from the Writing room. I'll show you what's it about.

When making the personality and/or backstory for your character, these two words might hold the key for separating common characters and your own, unique one. They are 'why' and 'how'.

Take these examples to understand better:

'I'll make my character socially awkward.'
'Now I need to know why the OC's not socially active. Was there an incident? How did it happen?'

OR

'My OCs parents are dead.'
'How did that happen? How does their death affect the OC? Did it bring any changes to the OC's personality? If so, what and why?'

You need to question every one of your OCs actions, and why they took those specific actions. This can help determine how your OC thinks, and what their personality really is about.

Using The Scribe/Personality Generators:

Here's another fun way to determine your OCs personality. It's by using a bot called The Scribe (shoutout to my boi Axebane). And you don't even have to leave PS to access it. Heck, you don't even have to leave the room. I'll list some interesting and useful commands below;

;randchar Randomly generates a character build, including flaws and 'buffs'.
;randscene Generates a random location description, using one adjective and one location type.
;randrp Generates a random interaction between a character 'X' and a character 'Y'.

PMing these to the bot with /msg thescribe, [command] will generate a response for you.

Or, you could use many of the wonderful sites around the internet if you want something a bit more inspirational.

Creating docs:

Another fun step while making an OC is creating a doc for it. Though it's time-consuming, it really pas off. Even when using simple docs (you can take examples from legend perm docs). Having a document can help you record changes with your OC, their behaviour, personality, and keep track of their encounters. Plus sometimes, a good doc can make someone want to roleplay with you.

Having 'helping characters':

Here's another bit of info people sometime overlook. It's about creating characters that can help your OC overcome various obstacles in their development. Sometimes, this role is fulfilled by a nice RP partner, but most of the time, it isn't. Which is why having 'helping characters' can make the progression of the development much smoother. 

Example: If you don't want to have your OC's parents die, you could just add them as minor supporting characters for your OC. They could provide your OC the financial help they need in their adventures. 

You could also roleplay as these supporting characters when you're feeling a bit out of the loop, or just looking for some random fun. Better yet, these characters mean that you can roleplay with yourself. Who knows, maybe you can inspire yourself?
That's most of the things I wanted to say here. I'll keep this section updated with new stuff.

Why is deviousness needed?


Well, personally, I'd say I'm a bit bored, seeing overused concepts, but this is just my opinion. What I think most people will agree on is that, as you might have noticed, the RP community's obviously getting bigger by each passing day. And it is the first roleplaying experience for a lot of people. This article was something I just wanted to write. If it gets even a single soul to work more on their characters and be creative, that's success. 

Thank you for reading, feel free to give feedback. 


Last edited by Fraction on Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:30 pm; edited 7 times in total (Reason for editing : Fixed spoiler tags.)
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Re: Deviant/Unique OCs

Post by Aroma Lady Sealy on Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:20 am

Bump.
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Re: Deviant/Unique OCs

Post by Fraction on Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:24 pm

Added some stuff. If you have anything more to say on this topic, feel free to throw your feedback. I don't bite.


Last edited by Fraction on Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Updated after spoiler tag fixes.)
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