So you want to make an OC?: A Masterpost of Ways to Create, Develop, and Make Good OCs!
i made this masterpost in hopes that it helps you in making your own OCs ah;; it can also apply to developing RP characters i suppose! if you’d like to add more resources then go for it sugar pea (´ヮ`)!
How to Write Better OCs:
- basic tips on how to make your oc even better
- tragic backstory? learn how to write one/make yours great
- writing specific characters
- a wordier, great guide on how to develop your character
- kick out those vague descriptions and make them AWESOME
- how to actually make an OC
- Q&A (to develop characters)
- more Q&As
- giving your character a backstory
- how to write an attractive character
- adding more racial diversity
- avoiding tokenism, AKA, how to add diversity to your cast not just because you “need” it
- writing sexuality and gender expression (doesnt include non binary, if you have a good ref to that, please add on!)
- masterpost on writing more diversity into your story
- cultures of the world
- guides to drawing different ethnicities (not just a great art reference, but also really helpful in appearance descriptions!)
Mary Sue/Gary Stu
- Test to see if your character is a Sue
- Explains subdivisions of Sues/Stus
- Powerful Characters Don’t Have to Be Sues
- villain generator
- need an evil sounding name for your evil character? bam
- villain archetypes
- what’s your villain’s motive for being a villain?
- character perceptions (What your character thinks of themselves and what others think of them)
- how to write strong relationships between two characters
- 8 ways to write better characters and develop their relationships with others
- OCxLove Interest Handbook
- develop your couple with good ol’ Q&A!
- how to write realistic relationships
- how to write relatives for your characters (this is more OC related to a canon character, but will help in writing family members in general)
- 12 common archetypes
- 8 archetypes for male/female characters
- female archetypes (goes pretty indepth from two main categories)
- a list of archetypes
- tips for better design
- basic appearance generator
- pinterest board for character design (includes NSFW and images of skeletons/exposed muscle (?) so tread carefully!)
- clothing ref masterpost
- give your character better powers
- a list of professions
- proactive vs reactive characters
- positive and negative traits
- interest generator
- skills generator
- motivation generator
- 123 ideas for character flaws
- list of phobias
again, this is to help inspire you or help establish your OCs! i hope you get a lot of info and help from this ahh ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ
HEY WRITER FRIENDS
there’s this amazing site called realtimeboardwhich is like a whiteboard where you can plan and draw webs and family trees and timelines and all that sort of stuff. you can also insert videos, documents, photos, and lots of other things. you can put notes and post-its and, best of all, you can invite other people to be on the board with you and edit together!!
this is really really awesome and a great tool for novel planning, so if you’re doing nanowrimo…. this could be good for you!!
In six seconds, you’ll hate me.
But in six months, you’ll be a better writer.
From this point forward—at least for the next half year—you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates.
And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those later.
Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night…”
Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The
mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because she never slept that quiet, those mornings, she’d only put her own cup of coffee in the microwave. Never his.”
Instead of characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them. Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.
Instead of saying: “Adam knew Gwen liked him.” You’ll have to say: “Between classes, Gwen had always leaned on his locker when he’d go to open it. She’s roll her eyes and shove off with one foot, leaving a black-heel mark on the painted metal, but she also left the smell of her perfume. The combination lock would still be warm from her butt. And the next break, Gwen would be leaned there, again.”
In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.
Typically, writers use these “thought” verbs at the beginning of a paragraph (In this form, you can call them “Thesis Statements” and I’ll rail against those, later). In a way, they state the intention of the paragraph. And what follows, illustrates them.
“Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline. was backed up from the bridge, past the first eight or nine exits. Her cell phone battery was dead. At home, the dogs would need to go out, or there would be a mess to clean up. Plus, she’d promised to water the plants for her neighbor…”
Do you see how the opening “thesis statement” steals the thunder of what follows? Don’t do it.
If nothing else, cut the opening sentence and place it after all the others. Better yet, transplant it and change it to: Brenda would never make the deadline.
Thinking is abstract. Knowing and believing are intangible. Your story will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and knowing. And loving and hating.
Don’t tell your reader: “Lisa hated Tom.”
Instead, make your case like a lawyer in court, detail by detail.
Present each piece of evidence. For example: “During roll call, in the breath after the teacher said Tom’s name, in that moment before he could answer, right then, Lisa would whisper-shout ‘Butt Wipe,’ just as Tom was saying, ‘Here’.”
One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone. Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering.
For example: Waiting for the bus, Mark started to worry about how long the trip would take…”
A better break-down might be: “The schedule said the bus would come by at noon, but Mark’s watch said it was already 11:57. You could see all the way down the road, as far as the Mall, and not see a bus. No doubt, the driver was parked at the turn-around, the far end of the line, taking a nap. The driver was kicked back, asleep, and Mark was going to be late. Or worse, the driver was drinking, and he’d pull up drunk and charge Mark seventy-five cents for death in a fiery traffic accident…”
A character alone must lapse into fantasy or memory, but even then you can’t use “thought” verbs or any of their abstract relatives.
Oh, and you can just forget about using the verbs forget and remember.
No more transitions such as: “Wanda remembered how Nelson used to brush her hair.”
Instead: “Back in their sophomore year, Nelson used to brush her hair with smooth, long strokes of his hand.”
Again, Un-pack. Don’t take short-cuts.
Better yet, get your character with another character, fast.
Get them together and get the action started. Let their actions and words show their thoughts. You—stay out of their heads.
And while you’re avoiding “thought” verbs, be very wary about using the bland verbs “is” and “have.”
“Ann’s eyes are blue.”
“Ann has blue eyes.”
“Ann coughed and waved one hand past her face, clearing the cigarette smoke from her eyes, blue eyes, before she smiled…”
Instead of bland “is” and “has” statements, try burying your details of what a character has or is, in actions or gestures. At its most basic, this is showing your story instead of telling it.
And forever after, once you’ve learned to Un-pack your characters, you’ll hate the lazy writer who settles for: “Jim sat beside the telephone, wondering why Amanda didn’t call.”
Please. For now, hate me all you want, but don’t use thought verbs. After Christmas, go crazy, but I’d bet money you won’t.
For this month’s homework, pick through your writing and circle every “thought” verb. Then, find some way to eliminate it. Kill it by Un-packing it.
Then, pick through some published fiction and do the same thing. Be ruthless.
“Marty imagined fish, jumping in the moonlight…”
“Nancy recalled the way the wine tasted…”
“Larry knew he was a dead man…”
Find them. After that, find a way to re-write them. Make them stronger."
I need to go back to school.
My learning is ofwficially insignificant. My writing minor and all those classes do not make me as qualified as reading this has.
I rarely reblog these things, but just yes. Thank you, because I needed this to be said to me. I needed the example. Gosh, this is the reason he’s one of my favourite writers.
So hey look I have this sheet and it’s really handy if you want to develop the basics of a character
it looks really simple at first but this is actually amazingly useful for getting to know your own characters
Serendipity (names, places, mapbuilding, etc.)
Quick Story Idea
Full Story Idea
really just all of Seventh Sanctum
Fantasy Story Situaton
Chaotic Shiny is just really good in general
reblog for my own reference
/high pitched screeching
Meredith- American living in Northeast rural America with clinical depression & knowledge of local NE plants, namely edible/medicinal ones; on Tumblr every day but more likely to reply on weekends or the evenings
Well for my high school, anything below a 69 is failing, an 85 or above is a C, and 93 and above is an A. Um… 9th grade is Freshman, 10th is Sophomore, 11th is Junior and 12th is Senior. If you have any more questions, please ask me personally, rather than the Ink-Spirational.
(Also, what you did was fine, but for future reference for anyone and everyone, you should probably ask one of the References. To find one, go to the link “Categories” and scroll through until you find one that could potentially help you. Using the askbox on Ink-Spirational may not find you the answers you need)
Where has this been all my life!?
But remember that sometimes that the only word that can work well is said. Sometimes that’s the only world that can convey what you want to get across, and one can tell when a thesaurus was used for every word