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File 133402531815.png - (21.71KB , 830x650 , Dusty2.png )
96205 No. 96205
#Author #OC naming/development #None yet.
Hey /fic/, I'm working on a fic using my OC, but I've realized that I can't kep using a placeholder name. I need your help coming up with one. Posted a near-identical thread on /oat/, (since I saw a thread like this there the other day and it didn't get deleted for at least a day) but it was promptly deleted.

Since this is my main OC, I'm putting off development of the plot until I feel I've developed him enough. I'd like some creative input.

I'm going to change the eyes a bit later, since they look tripped-out.

To try and help, I've posted info I believe would be relevant.

>Pic related, my OC

>Name: Dusty
(I don't have a good surname)

>Gender: Male

>Age: 22

>Race: Unicorn


>Cutie Mark: 11th Cavalry emblem
(Displayed in image)

>Talents: Encyclopedic knowledge, trending towards military and political topics, but not exclusive to them. Proficient in the use and maintenance of small arms.

>Occupation: Desk job as a civilian defense analyst for the Royal Equestrian Armed Forces.

>Fitness Level: B+ by the standards of unicorns.

>Personality traits: Friendly, calm, opinionated, fairly tolerant, comfortable around almost anypony, can talk to girls mostly without problems, brave.

He is a paid consultant, because while he is fit and a good shot, he broke a leg during Basic. He fully recovered, but he never tried to get in again despite no lasting effects.
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 96207
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96207
>>83432
>> No. 96210
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96210
Also, here's a place for your OC, although rarely do people give feedback there: >>66380
>> No. 96212
>>96210
Thanks.
>> No. 96221
Dusty Files!

Because, you know, he's in a desk job.
>> No. 96229
Warning: definite risk of Gary Stu status with what you have. If he's going to be a major character, he needs flaws: things that make the reader shake their head and want to give him a dope-slap.

Personally, I start characterization with the Keirsey type-sorter system, which theorizes sixteen personality types. That doesn't tell me everything about a character (Rarity and Harry Potter I both read as ISFP Composers, for example), but it gives me a sense of where their strengths and weaknesses are. For example, both would be quite unhappy to leave a perceived wrong uncorrected.

But, that might be a bit much.

What is your character's biggest fear? His worst foalhood experience? Greatest regret? Biggest vice? Does he plan first, or is he better at improvising? Can he think inside the chimney, does he look to books, ask for help, or rely on practiced skill? What would he do if he suddenly found a hundred bits in the mail?

Bookish could go many ways. An analyst might any type, an ISTP or even an ENFJ. Different types would be good in in different ways.
>> No. 96240
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96240
The cutie mark is too complex. What meaning does it have for the character? Why did he get THAT cutie mark rather then something more knowledge related?

>Talents: Encyclopedic knowledge, trending towards military and political topics, but not exclusive to them. Proficient in the use and maintenance of small arms.
So he's in the upper 85th percentile of unicorns physically, plus he broke a leg but it didn't actually affect him in any way. Did you feel the axis of the Earth shift there? That was me rolling my eyes. He's bland leaning towards perfect. At least give him a limp.

"How do Poni uses sidearm?"

>Name: Dusty
>(I don't have a good surname)
Most ponies don't have surnames. Rarity of Ponyville is simply Rarity. Sweetie Belle is her sister, but their surname is not 'Belle'. Applejack is Applejack of the Apple Family, out of Sweet Apple Acres, from Ponyville. Pinkie Pie's family are a bunch of religious extremists.
Forcing a surname is the fastest way for me to assume you don't actually think anything else out either.

>Personality traits: Friendly, calm, opinionated, fairly tolerant, comfortable around almost anypony, can talk to girls mostly without problems, brave.
These aren't traits. Not interesting ones anyways. What types of dessert doesn't he like? Why isn't he married? (with a 5:1 female to male ratio, his parents should have had him set up in an arranged marriage by this age)
What is he afraid of? ( Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon )
Why is he interesting? That said, why is he a unicorn in the first place?

I would rather read about a physically weak, well read Earth pony, then a stronger then average, super intelligent young unicorn. Again.
90% of the OCs in this fandom are unicorns and [rant redacted]
>> No. 96244
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96244
>>96240
> Why isn't he married? (with a 5:1 female to male ratio, his parents should have had him set up in an arranged marriage by this age)
I read this and chuckled. Because I imagined a nagging Manehattenite mother pony with whose ethnicity is the pony analogue of Judaism.

> Pinkie Pie's family are a bunch of religious extremists.
Canon. To me, at least. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SiF3Aq7ez9yHrNKESPkYZoO2K8APyGxjjLW8FehHzkg/edit

Minty, thanks for doing what I was too lazy to do. I just skipped straight to pointing out preexisting threads and thus totally overlooked all that stuff.
>> No. 96248
I'm wary of "my OC" and "my main OC". I'm a guy who's written a few stories about OCs, so here's some advice: the story is more important than the character.

If you think up an idea for a cool story and invent a character to star in it, you're doing it right.

If you think up an idea for a character on the basis of how they could star in a cool story, you're doing it right.

If you come up with a character, make him (and it's always a him in this fandom*) a biography and give him an appearance and draw lots of pictures of him and use him as your avatar/username, and THEN decide to write a story about him, you are not doing it right. Fanfics are kinda the Barbie cars of "your OCs".

*I sometimes think it would actually be refreshing to see a Mary Sue instead of a Marty Stu.

I'd be happy for you to prove me wrong, but it looks like Dusty has no flaws.
>> No. 96255
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96255
>>96248
> If you think up an idea for a cool story and invent a character to star in it, you're doing it right.
Hm...

There should be a middle ground, I'm inclined to think. No characters, no story. If you try to squeeze characterization in after the fact or force-fit them to a set of quest actions, you may end up not getting enough characterization and the result is a bit dry. I daresay I saw this sort of effect in Long Distance, to some degree. Characters need to be challenged in ways that accentuate their personalities and help them overcome their personal flaws.
>> No. 96259
>>96244
> Because I imagined a nagging Manehattenite mother pony with whose ethnicity is the pony analogue of Judaism.
I don't know why, but I can't see Silver Spoon as anything but Pony Jewish. And that would be an adorable addition to the character.

I can't believe I missed this obvious pit trap though:
> opinionated, fairly tolerant
Contradictory traits. If he's opinionated to the point where it's a trait, he can't be that tolerant. His opinions would override his tolerance, and should get him in trouble.
With superiors, family members, co-workers, what have you. You can't give him the Trait: Big Mouth and Trait: Doormat at the same time and pull it off successfully. If he's opinionated, people are going to end up disagreeing with him.
>> No. 96265
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96265
>>96259
>Big mouth doormat
Fluttershy. It's about context and understanding what's really going on inside your characters' heads.


>>96240
>sex ratio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher%27s_principle

The stallions are all still in the kitchen. Measuring sex ratio by counting Ponyville's BG ponies is like doing the same in an ancient Greek agora.

>>96248
<pic
>> No. 96266
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96266
>>96259
Not the orthodox kind, of course. Her parents allowed her to celebrate her friend's cuteciñera, but she never had one herself. She had a cutemitzvah instead.
>> No. 96284
>>96255
Guilty as charged. Character development is something I need to learn more about and apply a lot more of to my own work. It's a fundamental part of storytelling and I'm not good at it.

I am working on it, though, and will do what I can to make the last third of Long Distance better. Of course, proper character development probably isn't something you can pull out of the hat in the last little bit of a story, so I really don't know. I guess I'll try to think about my characters and what they do more carefully in future stories.

Thanks for your input.
>> No. 96294
>>96265
> Fluttershy. It's about context and understanding what's really going on inside your characters' heads.
Gun toting, physically superior, super intelligent, fearless Fluttershy with no social or psychological inhibitions. You've got to look at the whole, and the whole is basically pony Atlus at the moment.

> Measuring sex ratio by counting Ponyville's BG ponies is like doing the same in an ancient Greek agora.
It's a society that nine out of ten leader figures are female. Spitfire is captain, there are two Princesses at the top of the royal structure, the mayor is female, Applejack (the younger sibling) runs the family farm.
Even if the males are back in the kitchen for the most part, an unmarried 22 year old is an aberration. An aberration that meddling parents would be socially obligated to resolve. The last thing you'd want is your son to end up an old maid.
>> No. 96297
>All this raving about flaws

So this is the impression that I'm getting so far:

>Breeze through all challenges without breaking a sweat. Pull happy ending out of ass. Totally not a Stu because he's supposedly afraid of clowns.

>Struggle and bust ass to meet challenges. Earn the ending through blood sweat and tears. No implied, hypothetical flaw. OMFG GARY STU!!!

So in other words, so long as you have a dump stat, the execution doesn't matter?
>> No. 96298
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96298
>>96297
That's not true and you know it. Don't muddy the issue with stupid, snide comments like that.
>> No. 96299
>>96294
>Spitfire is captain, there are two Princesses at the top of the royal structure, the mayor is female, Applejack (the younger sibling) runs the family farm.
Most of our world's leaders are male, and before the nineteenth century almost all of them were. Equestria is a female-dominated society (matriarchy? hahaha), but that doesn't imply that the number of men to women isn't relatively equal.
>> No. 96302
>>96298

I'm not muddling anything. I'm simply bringing up the point that there seems to be too much blame on the concept rather than on the execution.
>> No. 96306
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96306
>>96297
>> All this raving about flaws
> So in other words, so long as you have a dump stat, the execution doesn't matter?
To over simplify the issue: In fiction, it's hard to take characters that have no internal challenges seriously.

Let me steal from one of the Mary Sue tests online regarding Bono from U2 scoring as an Irredeemable-Sue:
That doesn't mean he's a Mary-Sue; it just means he has astonishing number of romanticized traits -- and although he's a real person, he might not make a very believable character. It's up to you as the author to decide, as objectively as you can, how your results really apply to your story. This test isn't meant to tell you how to write your characters; it's just a reference list of points to think about when developing them.

>>96299
> Equestria is a female-dominated society (matriarchy? hahaha), but that doesn't imply that the number of men to women isn't relatively equal.
My point is either through power imbalance, gender imbalance, or gender social inequality, a twenty two year old male should be married off. Or at least have some reason they're not married off. Is he gay?

Make like Carrot Cake and get back in the kitchen! Mama needs her dinner on the table when she gets home!

>>96302
Here back in the concept phase, there is no execution to point at. All there is, is concept.
And the character here in the concept phase is still combat Fluttershy with unicorn magic and no self esteem issues.
When your OC is better then 95% of the canon characters, you're starting at a disadvantage.
>> No. 96334
>>96297

You're right. The gold standard for identifying a Sue is whether the readers see his or her struggle as satisfyingly difficult. It's an illusion, of course. The end happens because the author decides to make it happen, not because the character does anything.

"Flaws" in this discussion are things that trigger a gut negative reaction. Like Fluttershy's snide passive-aggressive bullshit, Rainbow Dash's bluff and bluster, Rarity's melodrama and steamrolling, etc. They help.

Withholding nice things from your characters until the end helps. Ideally, you give them nice things, but don't reveal them as such until later (see: Chekhov's Gun).
>> No. 96357
>>96306
>>96334

What I was getting at is that a flaw is useless unless it is exploited during the plot. If it's not going to cause conflict or hinder plot advancement, then it's not a flaw at all, it's just an implied attribute, and a desperate and somewhat lazy attempt to salvage a character from the Stu pile.

This is what I'm referring to as a Dump Stat. In DnD, a player will dump his low rolls into an attribute that his character class never uses. If a Fighter uses charisma and wisdom as dump stats, you can't really call that a flaw because Fighters rarely, if ever, use any wisdom or charisma based abilities.

I've seen many try to give a similarly inane 'flaws' to a character to attempt to fool the audience into believing that it's not a Stu. The 'flaw' may get mentioned once or twice, usually with all the tact of jumping up and down, jabbing a finger at the paragraph and screaming "LOOK LOOK, A FLAW! LOOK HOW WELL ROUNDED HE IS!" Meanwhile, the alleged flaw does absolutely nothing to hinder the character from progressing the plot.

The point is that someone can rave about how flawed their character is until their blue in the face, it's not going to be worth a damn unless it causes plot relevant conflict.
>> No. 96364
>>96248
>I sometimes think it would actually be refreshing to see a Mary Sue instead of a Marty Stu.

Since most of the characters in the show are female, being male makes the OC more "special and unique" than he otherwise would be. Going further, the gender ratios among canon characters have skewed most shipping into girl-on-girl waters, making a character capable of heterosexual romance even more unusual, and therefor 'desirable'.

The drive to be as cool and different as possible just makes it more likely that the jet-black alicorn with the red tiger stripes who's looking to crawl up Rainbow Dash's flank is a dude.
>> No. 96689
Thanks guys. Keep the info coming. And for the record, I already have the story mostly laid out. I just need to start fleshing out the plot from my notes.

I'm not building the story around him, I just thought up a plot, figured out what kind of job I wanted for my OC, and gave him some traits and backstory.

Yeah I'm gonna change him. A lot probably. He stays a unicorn because it fits the archetype of unicorns being more brains than brawn. That, and it gives him the ability to actually use guns. This'll be a warfic, but not a gorefic.

Thank you for pointing out that he needs flaws though. Taking care of all this.
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