Today’s sassy guide is all about teaching you how to make an OC. For those avid role players and fanfiction writers reading, I have probably caught your attention. For those who have never, keep reading and see what you think.
My OC is perfect. *walks away*: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, noob. If you think your OC is perfect and it needs no touch ups, congrats, you are everything people hate in an OC and their owner. Now go wank to your OC and leave the rest of us be.
Wow, this looks too long...: Feel free to skim whatever looks interesting or walk away with the Mary-Sue desu. If you don’t like to read, you don’t need an OC or to write fanfiction.
Now for those who are staying: OCs are awesome! OCs are great! Now let’s get started in making one! After a bit of reading, we’ll have fun in creating one step-by-step.
Part A: Understanding OCs.
Sassy blog, Amber! But what is an OC?: OC stands for Orange County, where I live. *flips hair* Just kidding, it stands for Original Character. It’s just what it sounds like. A character that has been originally created by you.
What are they used for?: OC are used for two things: role-playing and fanfiction. This guideline can assist you in both. Role-playing is just like fanfiction but orgy style, so really there isn’t much difference to worry about.
That makes sense but what’s the point???: A good question even most OC creators never quite ask themselves. An OC is used when you can not use a canon character. When Kishi has failed you, you take his series by the balls and create your own person!
Example I: Say you want Naruto to head out on a journey to Iwa. There he will meet a shy kunoichi who assists him on the way. Kishi has not created such a kunoichi in Iwa, so you must jump into your brain and think of one for the sake of plot!
Example II: Sometimes you just get bored of canon characters and you think you have come up with a character that Kishi was too high to think of! (or not high enough...) Maybe you have a head-canon of the Hyuuga clan and you want to create a Hyuuga that helps you express how you feel about them.
I don’t like OCs, I hear they’re all Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu: Saying all OCs are bad is like any other kind of generalization on a group of things/people. Not all OCs are self-insert, one-dimensional Mary-Sues. Not all OCs are created equal because not every creator has the same mentality when making their OC. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of OCs. They come in all different shapes and sizes.
What IS a Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu?: To keep it sweet and simple, it’s a one-dimensional OC that has positive traits that far outweigh and overshadow the negative ones, if they have any negatives at all. They are often accused of being a self-insert to fulfill the fantasy of the creator. For a long definition and the history, read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary-sue
In terms of Naruto fandom, Mary-Sues follow very typical cliches. They usually follow one or several of the following:
The OTHER last survivor of the Uchiha clan
The last survivor of their own made up clan
all five nature elements
have a mixture of two or more dojutsu
comes from two super powerful clans and has both their techniques mastered perfectly.
have wood style/some other super rare kekkei genkai from the series without cause
excellent in all fighting styles (genjutsu, taijutsu, ninjutsu, fuinjutsu, kinjutsu....) usually these things are mastered at a young age because they were born a genius.
For our dear kunoichi it’s usually all that plus:
being extremely beautiful (typical described as having the perfect bod. Tits not too big or too small. JUST PERFECT!)
having every guy (the creator likes) in Naruto fight over her
the sister of Naruto or Sasuke
Awesome fighter that somehow stays oh-so-hot looking during battle.
So you get the point? They’re 1-D characters that really aren’t enjoyable to read about or role-play with. Tell me what’s the fun in RPing with someone who is a perfect in every single way? Characters having some flaws is what makes us love them. Naruto, Sasuke, Kakashi, Itachi, they all have some fatal flaw that just makes you want to reach out and hug them.
Wow, okay. So how do I prevent myself from making that mistake?: Hop on my unicorn! I will show you the secrets to creating an OC!
Part B: Creating OCs.
Now that you understand what an OC does and is used for, let’s get started on creating one! This is the fun part but also the part that takes lots of thought and effort from you. I suggest breaking out Word Pad and jotting things down as they come to you.
What is your OCs purpose?: And no I don’t mean what’s their nindo, that’s later. lol I mean, why are you creating them? This is the first step that people should ask themselves when making an OC and it’s the step most often skipped. If you answer “Because I want what I want to be like in the Naruto series,” Just stop. Stop. Stop reading. Walk away from the computer and think about your place in the universe.
I gave examples above for the purpose of someone wanting to create an OC (head canon, in need of specific character). Now after you have established their purpose...
Start brainstorming your OC: There are SO many things that go into making even a crappy OC. That’s why there’s no way you can come up with an OC in one step. This will take minutes, hours maybe even days to get to a point that you’re satisfied with.
Just a tip, there’s no way you will have your OC perfect in one sitting. That is why there are so many Mary-Sues out there. They’re the product of a lazy creator. You may create your OC now and in two months think of the perfect thing to add to their history. That’s just the way genius works!
This list can be done in any order, whatever comes to you first!
Choosing a gender: Now that you have established their purpose, this is probably a no-brainer. Pick: are they boy, girl, haku?
Naming your OC: Now that the gender is settled, pick a name. Kishi often likes to name characters and even base their looks on their personality. Take a while to think of a suiting name for your character.
You can name them something that suits their looks/personality. Naruto loves ramen, Naruto IS in ramen, Anko is also a food, Kakashi is named scarecrow, real ninja posed as farmers, Saru means monkey and Hiruzen had a monkey summon, etc.
You can go for the irony and name them something that is the exact opposite of their personality. Kishi does not do this but the Japanese aren’t known for irony.
Stick to Japanese names! This is where a name can make or break your OC. Unless you are Rock Lee or Might Guy then your character should have a Japanese name. This is a Japanese series that is originally told in Japanese. If you name your character Brittany Uzumkai, you will be labeled an automatic OC fail before they even think of checking out your OC. Fairly or unfairly. See? Names are important.
Picking their age: The age of your OC is very important when sticking them into the Narutoverse. Just a few years difference can determine whether they were old enough to see the Third Shinobi War or not. If you wish to hang out with Team Asuma, then your OC probably shouldn’t be 40 or Ino’s dad will come after you for being a pedophile.
Age also plays a part in personality. If they’re 25 and doing sexy jutsu that is just creepy. The exception being if your character not acting their age is a character flaw. If you want your 25 year old jounin to scare away girls by throwing spitballs, thus resulting in him never getting a date, that has potential to create interesting plots and make for a good OC.
Representing a village: Now if you haven’t chosen by now, you should start thinking of where your ninja’s loyalties lie. This is pretty crucial because when you open the door to one village, it closes the door to others. You can’t be from Konoha and waltz in Iwa whenever you feel like. This goes for Akatsuki quadruple. If you want to be a villain, you can’t go out for tea with Naruto.
Personalities of Villages/Organizations: If you want to be from a certain place then it’d be best if you respect Kishi’s interpretation of it and add on from what info you have. Bending a village to act according to your will is called God-moding which is Mary-Sue’s inbred brother.
Kumo: Militaristic, willing to compromise morals to obtain power, unfriendly towards every other village, tattooing, alphabet names, dark skinned.
Iwa: Rock-hard attitude, stubborn, respects power over status, simple.
Kiri: Recovering from the effects of Blood Mist Village, mysterious, eager to establish more stability, swordsmanship, mixed feelings on many issues of where to move the village, blue hair.
Konoha: Compassionate, emotional, friendly (even to other villages), highly established, diverse, settled.
Suna: Forgiving, friendly with Konoha, puppet masters, bitter towards akatsuki, small population, hot-headed (from all dat damn sun ).
Akatsuki: S-rank, uncaring, no morale, selfish, vengeful, goal-oriented, killers. (I don't care how funny you think Hidan is when he swears. Outside the humor they are heartless bastards, got it?)
Minor villages: There is not much personality on them but it’s safe to assume they’re very bitter towards the Five Shinobi Nations and probably desperately try to establish status for themselves.
Iron (Samurai): Unique culture, ninja-resenting, samurai, non-interventionism.
Your clan: Whether your ninja hales from a clan or not is important for your abilities as a ninja.
Canon clan: You can not have a Hyuuga using a bow and arrow if they want to be masters at gentle fist, they are short-range fighters. If you are to choose a canon clan, you must build your OC’s abilities around it.
No clan: That would be people like Guy, Anko, Kakashi, Minato, that we know of. Having no clan does not mean your OC is weak. It just gives you more freedom to customize their abilities. But also means they can’t be born with something special like a sharingan.
OC clan: If you wish to take it a step further and build your own clan, it’s much like making your OC character. It will take lots of thought, planning and mindfulness to make sure you don’t make a clan of Mary-Sues. ((In example, I saw someone who claimed their clan’s abilities were all about spying and blending in, yet everyone on the clan had tattoos and weird colored hair. That makes absolutely no sense. Sounds pretty ironic to me.)) This can also include building a clan for a character that has no confirmed clan. There’s really a Hatake clan? Cool! Tell us about them.
Kekkei genkai: This falls under clan as well. Be careful, the floor is lava here! KGs are so easy to OP (over power) that it’s not even funny. I would suggest with your first ever OC to not give them a created KG until you are more experienced. Read Justu for more tips on this.
Family: This can very well determine if your OC is as naive as Sakura or as jaded as Sasuke. Giving your OC a happy, loving family yet making them as bitchy as Sasuke makes no sense. Your OC will look like a spoiled little shit and my OC will kick their ass. Try not to follow “My OC’s clan all died” cliche. It can be pulled off but it is highly over-played these days. One brooding sole-survivor is enough for one series.
Having a family: What do Sakura, Ino, Chouji, Shikamaru, Shino and others have in common? They had parents and they seem to be content with their home lives.
No family: What do Naruto, Sasuke, Gaara and Kakashi have in common? They all lost people very dear to them and now will always have a hole in their heart. It is a burden they must always cope with.
Your ninja’s rank: Your ninja has to have a rank! And that does not always represent their age, but it is common. Not every ninja became a chunin at six, like Kakashi. He was a once in a decade genius. Kurenai did not become a jounin until 27, which is more average in the shinobi world.
Academy student: A beginner that is usually always a child, ranging from 7-14. Depending if they failed academy or excelled.
Genin: Below average. Should know all academy basics and start learning some more advanced jutsu from their jounin mentor.
Chunin: An average shinobi. Should have basics along with intermediate jutsu down to their abilities. Plus some A-rank things. They should start setting themselves apart from the crowd with their customized abilities.
Special Jounin: Above average in a few things but average in the rest. An example would be Ibiki who is excellent in torture but a chunin in all other abilities.
Jounin: Above average. Should have less missions that are much more difficult. They can lead squads or genin teams. Must be appointed by kage personally.
Anbu/Other special snowflakes: Report only to the kage/Danoz type and are extremely elite in what they do. They are over assassinations and do missions so top-secret, they must wear masks.
Medic: Can be chunin+. Must have excellent chakra control and be evasive in battle. The only exception would be Tsunade. If you are a medic, you can’t go charging in like Naruto, it’s their job to chill the fuck out and wait for someone to get stabbed.
Missing-nin: You can be any rank to be missing. Akatsuki and Sanin are all S-rank, some like Sasuke are only genin.
Chakra nature: Now that you know their rank, it’s time to get to the nitty gritty. What is their nature element if they have one? As Shikamaru stated, it’s an advanced thing to find out. That’s why only jounin know 2-3. Sometimes like Hashirama or Mei you can be born with two, which can create special things like wood style or lava release. But to have that you need to be from a bloodline.
Jutsu: The most time-consuming part of this, in my opinion. Personally, the most boring for me but my boring is probably your exciting. You must create each individual jutsu your OC has. Nobody likes an ass pull, that’s why you’re gonna sit your butt down and write down every jutsu they have, its rank, its weakness, the chakra it takes and what it does to remind yourself. This goes for jutsu they will learn in the future. You promised this OC til death do you part, now you’re gonna treat it right and write this down!!!!!!!!!!!
Keep it balanced. A chunin should not be knowing five S-rank jutsu and only two B-rank.
Creating jutsu: Not the easiest thing to do. Personally I just take jutsu from the long list of already existing ones, as long as it is not KG or unique to only that canon. But if you want to create them, they’re not totally difficult.
Just keep in mind:
What it does
What’s its weakness (it better have a weakness, cunt)
How much chakra does it consume
What’s its rank
How it's done
Bonus nerd: Hand signs
Other abilities: There’s more?! Yeap. Outside of nature elements, KGs and jutsu, ninja do have other noteworthy abilities. Like Guy has great stamina, Anko can summon snakes and Shizune can use poison senbon. Does your OC have anything else to add? Perhaps they’re skilled with weapons or specialize in sealing scrolls.
Personality: There’s a lot to say about personality, because besides ninja abilities, this is where the OC is put to the test. I put this after the jutsu because your fighting ability determines your personality and vice-versa. This also determines your looks (read on).
Fighting style and personality: If your OC is a person that specializes in fire-style then it’s probably safe to play them off as a hothead, like Uchiha for example. If they excell in genjutsu then they should be intelligent by nature. Taijutsu would make them confident, active and confrontational like Team Guy members. Specializing in strategy would cause them to be coy and smart like Team Asuma members.
Balancing your personality: Like I said, this is where your OC is put to the test right away. It takes six seconds to make a first impression and if your OC is deemed Mary-Sue in those first six seconds, it’s gonna be hard to change someone’s mind. Think back to Naruto Part I. What happened when each character was introduced in the academy? Their flaws were pointed out in one second.
Hinata: Socially awkward.
Introducing your OC by walking in a room, floating on air and having everybody just feel so at ease and KNOW how perfect (s)he is without even meeting her/him? Nope.
Some good character flaws, to make your character interesting and to add relevance to the plot: (Disclaimer: This is the only copied part of this essay, though I personally added in the examples. Kudos to: http://www.elfwood.com/farp/thewriting/mfocharacter/mfocharacter.html )
These are just a few of my favourites to give you an idea of what you can add to a character. There are loads more out there, and everyone has their favourites. Use more than one. A character can't just be a kleptomaniac... let them be clumsy and sarcastic, too.
- Sarcastic or cynical. Maybe it's just me, but I'm a sucker for guys who are constantly insulting everyone in a very funny way. Try to decide why the character is sarcastic, though... What makes him moody or bitter in his humour? What happened in his past to make him insult everyone now? Is he afraid of relationships or wary of trust?
- Egocentric. Let the character think she's better than everyone. If other people can do something, she can do it better. She's also much more intelligent than everyone, and, of course, the most beautiful. She's fun to write and fun to read, because you love to hate her.
- Easily fascinated. I just love a character who will stare at balloons forever and delights at a passing butterfly. They're flaky, they're shallow, they're generally useless, but they're so funny to watch. They spout off the randomest pieces of knowledge and don't know when to shut up.
- Fierce or hot-tempered. This one is becoming a bit overdone, but I still enjoy a girl who's more likely to knock you out than allow you to rescue her. If you go for the gender-role-reversal thing, a fierce girl is a lot more fun to write than the usual damsel-in-distress. Hot-tempered guys can be great, too - he may be easily provoked or loses his temper at the mention of his father. But don't overdo it. How many people got really annoyed by Harry's constant angst in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?
- Mysterious. You have to be careful with this one, but sometimes it's interesting to have a character who you can't predict and whose thoughts and actions you don't understand. It can get annoying, though, if the character knows more than the reader. So be careful.
- Hyperactive or flamboyant. A character that never seems to run out of energy or questions can be amusing. Maybe he has an obsession with trying to get the other characters to dance with him. This is a fun one if you like gender-role-reversals. Guys who are easily excitable and like to give big sloppy kisses don't come along too often, and we love to laugh at their antics.
- Melodramatic. The drama queen (or king). This is a character who exaggerates everything and makes tiny events seem like huge catastrophes. She's fun to write and even more fun to read. This is the character who jumps to conclusions and thinks everything is way funnier than it is.
- The bully. Personally, I like the guy that pushes everyone around. He thinks he's cool, but maybe he's secretly really insecure. A good example would be Sirius Black and James Potter from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
- The nerd. Okay, so it's fun to have a girl who rattles off physics equations in the middle of battle and tries to predict events based on scientific calculations... especially if she's wrong or no-one ever listens to her. Another variation of the nerd is the kid who's rather the swot and always likes to be right.
- Accident prone. She screws things up because she trips over her own feet. She's clumsy. She gets in the way, and she can't be stealthy no matter how hard she tries. She drops things.
- Forgetful or absent-minded. He's sort of dim, gets teased a lot, puts his shoes on the wrong feet. Perhaps he's brilliant but can't remember more than two things at once. He can't remember why he's in the kitchen or where he put his glasses.
- Compulsively lies. She rarely tells the truth. Lies are so much more interesting - and it's not really lying, it's just a form of acting. She may give her companions wrong directions and after awhile they may not trust her very much. Useful if you like the boy-who-cried-wolf type of story, where she doesn't tell the truth until it really matters, and then no-one believes her.
- Awkward. He's nervous and a little paranoid and doesn't know what to do with himself when a girl is in the vicinity. He may trip over his own tongue or be fearful of revealing anything about himself.
- A hypochondriac. She's convinced she's dying. A splinter becomes life-threatening, and she cannot travel if she has bruised her knee. Occasionally she crashes into hard surfaces 'on accident' and sustains grievous injuries. She always thinks she's ill or coming down with something contagious.
- A kleptomaniac. He compulsively steals things. His companions don't understand why their shoestrings and coins seem to disappear. Most of the time, he doesn't, either.
- A pyromaniac. It doesn't get much better than a fire-obsessed girl who likes to experiment. Whoever knew that the hero's boots burn such a strange shade of blue? Or that unicorn hair won't burn unless you douse it in beer?
- Anything that ends in -iac. Noticing a theme, aren't we?
Appearance: I know you’ve been itching to get to this. One of the most creative and difficult parts! Your OC has to look like something. Whether they sport a man belly shirt like Sai or prefer to cover most of their face like Aburame. This coordinates with your jutsu and personality.
Looks/Personality/Jutsu Coordination: You have to make sure that the three fit. They can’t be shy but dress down right saucy like Ino. Is your OC a feisty person that’s good at taijutsu? You probably should second guess putting them in a kimono then. That would restraint their movements in battle and make no sense.
Respect the canon. Don’t make a Hyuuga with blond hair or an Uzumaki with green. All Uchiha have black eyes, all Yamanaka have no pupils.
Sexy level: Having an attractive OC is not a bad thing, despite what most critics try to say. Most ninja in Naruto are considered uber hot by the fans, are they not? (But keep in mind their actions/personality plays a part in that attraction too.) The line is crossed when you make everyone instantly attracted to your OC. Men have different taste in women and vice versa, not every person is gonna be into a thin blonde with a care-free attitude. They can be sexy but not Rikudo Senin’s gift to mankind.
Character relationships: This is also part of the Family section but there is more to your character’s interaction than with just with their family (if they have one.) Unless you are going for the loner type then they will have friends. All are placed on genin squads so there is a relationship to consider.
Trying to be canon: A mistake that is often far too common with OCs is when they build their very existence around a certain canon character. Sasuke seems to be the one most victimized by these OCs. Ask yourself when you build a relationship whether it be friendship/romance/rivalry with a canon: Can my OC continue to have a purpose if this canon did not exist? If the answer is no then you need to work on your OC’s purpose and story more. Vice versa for a canon with your OC. If my OC were not here, would this canon still have this sort of meaning in my plot?
Respecting the canon: Like I have said before, you should always respect the canon. Remember, an OC is there to fill in a gap Kishi left open, not for you to take his story and change the very fabric of its being. Replacing Maru-Sui-Desu with Sakura as a member of Team 7 is Mary-Sue. Making her the one person Sasuke has always been attracted to is Mary-Sue. Saying Naruto went rogue as a kid and you’re now his evil mentor is Gary-Stu. Stop pissing on Kishi or he’ll piss on you with fillers!
History: Another thing that is heavily tied to family, clan and character relationships, your OC’s history! This is where things get as detailed or as mysterious as you want. For your own sake, you should write out everything about their past that is secret and not secret. That way you remember exactly why they’re missing that eye that you have concealed to everyone else.
Birth to childhood: They say the first five years of someone’s life determines 90% of how they will be for the rest of their days. So giving your OC their background as a kid is important. If they had a childhood that was filled with lies and distrust, they’ll probably still have issues trusting people well into adulthood.
Pre-teens to teens: This is where your OC will be training the most in becoming a ninja that stands out. This is where ninja make and break legends. If your OC is this age they should be developing into their adult self while training a lot. If they are normal, they should be like a real teenager. Like an outdated pop star said “I’m not a girl, but not yet a woman.” Exactly.
Adult-life: If your OC is this old then this is where they are all grown up. They live on their own, can eat, do, drink, smoke, bang, fight whatever and whoever they want. Their upbringing comes to the test and by now they should have established their own nindo. The fun days of childhood are over and are probably focusing on their career and the opposite sex in a more serious light.
Death: If you want to go this far then you can plan their whole life and even how they die. Most ninja in the series did not die heroic, dramatic deaths despite what Hiruzen and Jiraiya would have you believe. It can be dramatic to THEM. But having them die save the world is a little overplayed and Naruto’s job.
Other random tips: This was A LOT to take in and is super lengthy, I know. But really all this and more goes into making your OC. Just imagine Kishi doing this for several characters. I bet now you know why so many are under developed.
I’ll leave this section pretty empty because I want to hear what YOUR OC tips are. I’ll update this as I come across any other tips I did not cover before.
Follow the "skirt rule" when developing your character: Basically, your character sheet should be "Long enough to cover the essentials, short enough to be interesting." Don't spend too much time on every single little detail of your character, but at the same time, don't make them a skeleton.
The anti Mary-Sue...: Which is just as bad, I'm sorry to say. What is the opposite of someone who is too perfect? Someone who is useless. In the attempt to try and avoid being a Mary-Sue, I see many people create an OC that is so ugly, so flawed, so useless, the only plot I can see them do well is the plot where they jump in front of a train and end their sad life. Your OC can be good at things. Everybody has something good about them.
I don’t care what you say, I like my OC and you can’t convince me otherwise: I’ll be the first to say “good for you.” If you enjoy your OC and you have found a group of people who can tolerate them, that’s fine by me. I. Don’t. Care. Live and let live I always say. Madara helps those who help themselves. And if you don’t want Madara’s help MADARA WILL THROW A FUCKING METEOR AT YOU!
Written By: Amber