Help with an OC (18)

1 Name: TearThePetals : 2010-01-09 11:07 ID:vGAL+Sjb

Even though I really hate OC fics, I've got an idea for one stuck in my head. Basically it's a HP fic concerning the (adoptive) daughter of Remus Lupin and Sirius Black (she's really Remus' niece but her parents, his sister and her husband) died in the first war). It takes place in POA, and stays close to canon (She thinks Sirius betrayed James and Lily etc.). She's in her fifth year, a Gryffindoor and close to the Weasley twins (they pretty much grew up together, with the Weasleys looking after her on full moons). What else? Um, she's a tolerably good student, but not so interested in her classes... she's rather artistic. Obviously she knows the trio, but bar Ron she's not exactly close to them, due to the age gap. As Remus is a known werewolf, the ministry keep close tabs on them, and hold inspections- Dumbledore had to work for Remus to be allowed to keep her.
I'm trying v. hard to not write a Sue, so any help would be great :)
Also, how do I tag it? It's not a romance fic so I don't want to do Remus L./OC

2 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-09 13:00 ID:PMNX0ImG

Interesting. The important thing with non-Sues is that they should have meaningful flaws (that is to say, ones that have a real impact on the story), that they should not be insta-beloved by all who meet them, and that, in general, the world should not seem to revolve around them and them alone.

How were you intending to incorporate her?

3 Name: Nadine : 2010-01-09 18:31 ID:XRdu6OMc

Yeah ive read some dark fics..... Ive read a certain Harry Potter one it had; Torture, abuse, rape, mental instability, betrayel and heart break and in the end Harry dies after acomplishing his goal. Voldemort dies then Harry Collapses..... was shocking and well written..

4 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-09 19:01 ID:PMNX0ImG

Ah, but one thing you should probably avoid is going too far over the top. Fics where it seems that the entire universe is out to get your character just so they have a reason to mope tend to jump straight from 'dark and interesting' to 'snigger-inducing', or worse, 'tedious'.

Try to keep their misfortunes somehow connected to their own actions, and remember to do your homework on how people react to traumatic situations (which varies a whole lot from person to person, by the way). Otherwise, you run the risk of trivialising deeply unpleasant situations - a fate particularly apparent where rape is concerned.

Oh, and speaking of rape, one specific and depressingly common pitfall among fanfic writers. if you are also including consensual pairings in any story including it, then you should NEVER, EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES do the following:

- Protagonist gets raped.
- Protagonist's One True Love (TM) chases off the rapist.
- Protagonist: "Oh, God, [insert name here], I feel so dirty. Will you... will you help make me feel clean again?"
- One True Love (TM): "Umm... sure thing!"
- Protagonist and One True Love (TM) have happy, loving, consequence-free sex that usually marks their relationship upgrade, hours or even minutes after one of them was subjected to brutal and badly-written rape.

(Iaculus returns from vomiting in the corner). Point one - the One True Love (TM) is an exploitative asshole... or, at the very least, has about as much spinal fortitude as a freshly-squashed woodlouse. Point two - HUMAN BEINGS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.

... Whew. Mein Gott, I wish that wasn't common enough that I explicitly have to warn against it.

5 Name: Marth : 2010-01-09 20:50 ID:k63ZO7on

>>4 THIS. Magical Healing Cock is approximately the worst thing ever.

6 Name: RayRay : 2010-01-09 21:33 ID:wf6OjgbD

>>4 >>5

I agree; but however the whole...thing said can work well as long as its done with time and patience, and respecting the fact that we as humans need time after something so harsh happens...

But if it's instantaneous then blargh to it.

Avoiding Sues is pretty hard...but as long as she's realistic then I shouldnt think it would be a problem...

7 Name: Kburn : 2010-01-09 22:40 ID:oWhyvG6O

Okay with my own OC i'm not sure if people would call them Sues but I try to avoid it, and I've found this is the best way.

1 - Choose two or three thing the person is good at, never amazing but alright. My uses these - Computers (Work), Fencing (Sport Hobby)

2 - Give them weakness, a couple/three thing they have going against them. I have these - Becomes tired quickly (When using magic.) and Not brave (Fleeing from possible death)

3 - Give them a few things they like/love to do/ talk about. These can be almost the same as strenghts as people normally like what there good at. again - Computers (When not working), Fencing (Main hobby) Listening to music (Taste, close to but a copy of a main character.)

4 - Evil OC (Not forced to do evil) should not really become good unless there is a really good reason. Good OC should only become evil if forced, or is driven to it. If a Good OC is driven (but not forced) to evil don't have them turn good again. People don't turn from gentalmen to asshole easily or vice vesa.

5 - Don't introduce a New OC in the first chapter, a returning OC from another fic is okay, but the first chapter of a new series should never center around the OC.

6 - Be vague about the OC looks, don't say there amazing good looking but don't go out of your way to say the aint either. Give a basic idea, with key features and let the reader decided if they think so either way.

7 - If the OC is to be friend with the canon characters, choose up to around 4 (Less is there are less main characters, maybe more if there is more.) that they get on with, and maybe one or two they don't.

8 - Don't use weird names/ amazing cool sounding or stupid ones, unless they are common. (I will admit I have used the name Steven way too much. That is because I like it and can't think of many other plain sounding names.)

I know I have a few more I use and these guide line might not apply to certain Fandoms but they work for me and I have yet to recieve a, your characters a sue review.

I hope that helps, I will try and find a is your character a sue test I saw and line and post the link here at a future time If I fine it.

Good luck writing

8 Name: Marth : 2010-01-09 23:28 ID:k63ZO7on

For me, the single most important thing when determining whether an OC is any good or not is how she interacts with the canon characters. Other people have talked about this, but I wanted to elaborate on it a little more.

Okay, think about the main characters of your story--not necessarily the main characters of the real deal, but whatever canon characters you plan on focusing on. What do they of your OC? If there aren't any positively-portrayed characters who at least somewhat dislike her, I'd say she needs a character overhaul. Think of what some of the characters find annoying/unpleasant, and give her a few of those traits. These don't necessarily have to be flaws; I personally prefer them to be, but positive traits that just rub some characters the wrong way are fine too.

Then, think about the things your character dislikes in other people. Obviously, these are generally going to be flaws, but don't restrict yourself to cartoonishly evil traits. I mean, most people would dislike someone who eats puppies for breakfast, so making your character hate puppy-eaters isn't very interesting. But if, say, she gets annoyed when people disrespect teachers, that's something you can get a little conflict out of without totally demonizing the other person.

And finally, once you've got these two things figured out, just make sure you apply them realistically. Remember that everyone dislikes somebody, and that doesn't automatically make either person evil. If the little conflicts between your character and other characters are based more on personality issues than alignment, that's a darn good start toward making your character likable and realistic.

9 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-10 07:22 ID:wc1fsXVn

That said, the deeply unpleasant stuff can work too, if she's likely to encounter it during the plot, and reacts to it more severely than normal. What matters is that it presents an exploitable weakness that may very well end up resulting in her screwing up badly.

10 Name: LASER : 2010-01-10 14:50 ID:wOOGCUqG

the one thing I always hear when it comes mary sue/gary stu is to give them a flaw to make them realistic. that is one way to do it I suppose. If you think your character is to good to be true and you just add a big flaw to their personality that just makes them unrealistically balanced, you'd be better off not giving them so huge fault and just toning down their good points and making their personality more neutral instead, it gives the character a better sense of realism and makes them much easier to develop over time. think of it like this, if you ask most people what their biggest asset is and what their biggest flaw is they probably won't give you a definite answer because their flaws and assets aren't black and white, it's a huuuuge grey area for most people. If you are set on giving your character a big flaw (because it fits in with the plot or whatever) don't make it brutally obvious to the readers, bring it out slowly over time.

tl;dr make their personality more subtle than just good points and bad points unless it's relevant to the story

btw I have zero knowledge on HP (I've never seen the films or anything) but these are my general rules for OCs. hope that helps =)

11 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-10 17:01 ID:wc1fsXVn

Of course, that depends on the kind of story you're doing. A grand, fatal flaw, a harmatia, works perfectly well in an exaggerated, larger-than-life character, though good melodrama is damned tricky to pull off without your audience rolling around on the floor in helpless laughter... unless, of course, that was your intention in the first place.

Handle with care.

12 Name: TearThePetals : 2010-01-12 04:30 ID:iymJ5Tb1

Thanks for the advice, I'm definitely going to have to compile a dossier of her strengths/weaknesses before I start.

13 Name: TearThePetals : 2010-01-12 04:30 ID:iymJ5Tb1

Thanks for the advice, I'm definitely going to have to compile a dossier of her strengths/weaknesses before I start.

14 Name: TearThePetals : 2010-01-12 04:30 ID:iymJ5Tb1

Thanks for the advice, I'm definitely going to have to compile a dossier of her strengths/weaknesses before I start.

15 Name: Ran Fan◆K/xLZxhoz6 : 2010-01-14 15:34 ID:ZfesdQy+

type in Mary Sue Litmus test into google, and use it on your character. that'll give you your answer.

16 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-14 15:48 ID:M6+fM+de

Not necessarily - the Litmus Tests are general indicators, with numerous acknowledged flaws (such as questions providing different levels of Sueishness but giving the same number of flaws). It'll be a good starting point, but not an absolute guarantee of Sueishness or lack thereof - note how canon characters (especially in speculative fiction) tend to score remarkably highly on them, for one thing.

17 Name: ... : 2010-01-14 18:01 ID:0wrYDJ7q

Yes, and if you're writing a tragedy (in the true sense of the word; the fatal flaw concept) then your character will almost certainly get a Sue score. That test also makes no allowances for charas that are physically flawless but psychologically warped.

18 Name: Marth : 2010-01-15 02:09 ID:k63ZO7on

>>17 Actually, I ran baseline tragic hero traits (+nobility, +well-known, +prophecy, -flaw as plot device, -honestly flawed) through the universal litmus, and I came out with a score of 7--2 if there's no prophecy/chosen one thing. That's not even close to being worryingly Sueish. Obviously, a lot of tragic heroes would get more points for other things, but they have room to. Being a tragic hero in and of itself won't catapult a character to a Sueish score.

I've found that Sue tests are much more helpful when writing fanfiction than when writing original fiction. People tend to be more accepting of canon characters with Sueish traits than OCs, so if the canon is of your own creation, you're (universal "you" here and everywhere else in this post) less likely to trip people's Sue alarms. It's just that people who read fanfiction want, first and foremost, to read about the canon characters. So while an OF protagonist singlehandedly saving the day wouldn't necessarily be a problem, the same character as an fanfic OC singlehandedly saving the day while the canon characters look on uselessly is going to annoy a lot of fans.

On that note, I think that if you want to write a tragedy--again, using the proper definition--you should do it with a canon character, whether it's a character in a canon you created or one that you're borrowing. Because a fanfic OC who's a true tragic hero is almost certainly going to be a Sue, not because of her personal traits, but because of the attention that has to be paid to her in order to make her tragedy affecting. That necessarily limits the amount of focus that can be placed on the canon characters and thus annoys people who wanted to read about them.
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