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Why the Majority of OC-Centered Stories are Bad

Discussion in 'RWBY Fandom' started by KineticKaiser, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. KineticKaiser

    KineticKaiser Baeven
    Staff Member Admin

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    Today, I posted a short one-shot on Fanfiction.net. In my author's note, I mentioned how sick I was of seeing OC-centered stories clogging up the RWBY section. I received a review from another author on the site who pretty much explained my beef with them in a comprehensive analysis. An analysis I would like to share with you guys.

    x​

    Dear KineticKaiser,

    This story is quite amusing. I do share some of your grievances, and thank you for producing a bit more about the actual characters.

    The situation here in this section is a bit exaggerate, but mostly due to circumstances. Barring the fact this is at all, a place where, as fond as I am of it, is still open to the lowest common denominator.

    The design of RWBY itself invites the creation of original characters, same as other sections in Anime. A world where highly individual characters get an opportunity to fight monsters with personally designed weapons? An open invitation. Combined with the slow moving plot due to Rooster Teeth's budgetary limitations, it's no wonder that this section has been glutted with self-indulgent fantasy designs parroting what little of the main plot people know, without any attempt to innovate. Some people just don't have the drive to do something different.

    That said, my issue isn't so much with the existence of an OC in itself. In my opinion, anything can be done well enough, so long as you try. But the fact of the matter is that, as with all OC fics, it's a combination of bad implementation and bad technical skill. Most writers simply just don't take the time to really think out and consider the nuances of a RWBY design. You can write a bad character and still have a readable story. It doesn't actually make it good, but at least you could fools someone, but forcing someone to read a badly written story about a badly designed character? Yeah.

    The main problem is the sheer uniform blandness of every design that makes the fics here so horrendous. They're literally all the same. Same back story (MY HUNTER PARENTS AND VILLAGE ARE DEAAAAAAAD), same outfitting (The hoods, the hoods... - Kurtz), same personality (They're serious, but they're also nice. They're arrogant but they're also kind. Uh huh.), and probably the worst is their hackneyed attempts at romance. As if they literally cannot conceive a purpose for their designs than to be in the presence of a female. They can't write good fight scenes and they can't write good character interaction, with their boring OCs.

    Also, their weapons are boring. Again, the lack of awareness of intricacy of RWBY, with no care taken to the use of recoil in their weapons...

    (And as an aside to any other person reading this, what is this fascination with Assassin's Creed and RWBY? I don't even see where the two intersect. Do they understand the basic definition of the profession of Assassination? It's not a heroic past time. It's a employed MURDER. You know, killing people? Not actual day to day fighting? Besides that, has anyone actually considered the effectiveness of using a thin, narrow blade only a few inches long used for covert murder against a rampaging several hundred pound package of snarling raving hard armor, teeth and claws?)

    In the end, it's not so much that they're OCs as that they're a symptom of a story that serves only to be an indulgent fantasy for the author's sake, not the reader's.

    Of course, it's the same with any number of sections in Anime. It's the same in Infinite Stratos or Negima, so it's nothing particularly new. It's just worse here. It's just a matter of caring enough to make sure you do better yourself, especially since the lowest common denominator is so quantifiable.

    The 10% worth dying for, after all.

    Thus concludes my report, Professor.

    Sincerely,

    Person With Many Aliases

    x
    My purpose in posting this is not to attack anyone here (because I haven't read any of your guys' OC stories), or to act as a jab at anyone who writes OC-centered stories. I just really liked this review and felt like sharing it here.
     
    #1 KineticKaiser, Oct 22, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  2. Ember

    Ember Well-Known Member

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    It's a good tool to use in creation and editing of one's fics.

    On the rare occassion I do fanfiction, I prefer to use OCs. I don't like messing with canon. If I have enough information, I'll even place the events in a totally different time or location from the show/book universe they are based in. I get to practice writing in a universe that I fangirl over. XD

    I would like people to remember this post as they write. As with any story, Why is your character important? Why do they stand out enough that there's a story about them? What traits can the reader identify with? (good or bad)
    How do grow? Or break? And for gods sake, make it believable.
     
  3. Swiftclaw23

    Swiftclaw23 Well-Known Member

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    That's a loooong effing message. But, accurate. XD I've never dabbled in writing fanfics, personally-I have written a story or two before though, and I can say from experience that nobody wants a bland character. I've read a couple fanfics, and have decided to pretty much keep my distance nine times outta ten. Some people just have no idea what they're doing, and when it comes to RWBY, its like a damned plague of idiocy. Just like your multiple Alias carrying friend who sent you this, its always the same-backstory of tragic parental demise, some kind of cookie-cut personality that somehow seems like a good idea at the time, and a weapon with no real thought behind it. Some are impractical, some completely overpowered, and some just plain stupid. I mean, I'm doing weapon revisions because I realized my OC's weapon was way to complicated to be used properly in battle, and his Semblance doesn't even compliment the weapon in any way. And as for his backstory, its a little dark, but no death involved. No tragic revenge story. No psycho obsession. Sure its his main goal to find his missing sister, but hell, he doesn't wanna be consumed. Besides, who even makes their character have a missing sibling anymore?! -sighs and ends rant-
     
  4. Ember

    Ember Well-Known Member

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    My first RWBY OC has a missing sister... But they're based loosely off of Hansel and Gretel, so the sibling is kinda important to have. XD
     
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  5. Swiftclaw23

    Swiftclaw23 Well-Known Member

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    Atleast it makes sense. XD
     
  6. DevilMayCrye

    DevilMayCrye Well-Known Member

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    Its because people don't bring the concept of 'Relative Universe Believability' to their designs.

    They are too concerned with making the exact same brooding, tragic character 'interesting' characters, then actually making characters who are different and unique.
    We get it, you like brooding characters, who have completely paradoxical personalities personalities that just aren't believable for writers of their caliber.

    And don't even get me started on the weapons. Seriously, there is a difference between 'Possible in RWBY', and 'Theres no way in hell this could actually work'.
     
  7. Sund Riddare

    Sund Riddare Well-Known Member

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    ^ This. I've looked at other forum and roleplay sites where that is essentially.

    I get so paranoid now that my characters are lackluster and unimaginative. My first RWBY OC was bad, I looked at it and thought "What the hell did I just write?" I try to give OCs life and color by drawing inspiration from music and attempting to capture the emotion in them.

    I've read OCs that abandoned every idea of 'Relative Universe and Believability' until they were space cowboys crossbred with predators and Sonic.
     
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  8. DevilMayCrye

    DevilMayCrye Well-Known Member

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    And RWBY's 'Relative Universe Believability' falls into two, really easy categories. (well, ones a personal one that I use for weapon design)

    'Does your character and weapon/fighting style match perfectly?' since most of the RWBY characters personality can easily be seen in their weapons and how they fight (e.g. Yang is very blunt and straight to the point, exactly like how she fights), if your character is brooding/tragic past, they wouldn't have a weapon/fighting style that is high energy and quick.

    'Could your weapon work in a Devil May Cry game?' - the DMC universe has insanely powerful weapons, that work in the exact same vein as RWBY ones, and are actually believable within universe. While a Claymore/Rocket Launcher is a cool idea, that is a really impractical weapon, within the RWBYverse.
     
    Ember likes this.
  9. BforByzantine

    BforByzantine Well-Known Member

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    i want to write a fanfiction, but never want to show it to anyone because i know it sucks, the characters are probably generic and the plot will be boring
    so i just keep it in my head

    I'm sure i speak for a lot of people when i say that we just want to live in the world of RWBY and writing fanfics is our way of satisfying that want
     
  10. Matthias

    Matthias Active Member

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    Personally I enjoy a good RP. Emphasis on "good." I also dislike the stereotypical OC character, which is what I kept in mind when I created one. I honestly said exactly the same thing about backstory. They can be summed up in "My parents died in a Faunus ambush or war and everyone hated me and I was alone and racism and my dog died and my friend friend betrayed me and I was dropped in a mud puddle a a child so I'm kind of sad." I also dislike a lack of imagination in weaponry but more importantly I dislike a lack of a EFFORT in concept art. Which is ironic because my current concept art is nothing but 2D sketches and writing scattered around a page.

    Anyway. I have unfortunately for you taken the "grumpy isolated stereotype" for my character but for less cliche reasons. The backstory is a bit more unique and the weapon...mwahaha. The weapon is 100% unique to the series! It is also a direct reference, as is my character. RWBY characters are all based on, so far, fairy tales, nonfiction and movies (Wizard of Oz). I did the same, but chose a different category.

    Feel free to check out my character in the OC thread. I hope it restores a little bit of your faith.
     

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