Respect Original Characters
If you disrespect OCs, you disrespect all authors.
OC stands for Original Character. Whether or not they exist in a fandom that is not their own does not matter. That’s why it’s not Original Story it’s Original Character. An OC is created solely off of the imagination of the author to carry out their purpose whether it be to love another character, to solve a conflict, or something else.
It is understandable if someone does not like a character that is a mary-sue or gary-stu. These are characters who are either a writer’s self-insert (which the reader wouldn’t know if they don’t the author) or characters that seem too “perfect”. However, making mary-sues or gary-stus is a step in the OC creation process. These are typically made by beginning authors. They need time and people to help them develop their characters. No one is going to make a first draft of a character and call it a final, it takes time for characters to develop fears, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, etc. It’s like revising an essay. You’ll move things around and change things until they’re nearly perfect, but nothing is ever “perfect”. You’ll ask your peers for their advice and to revise any potential errors. In the roleplaying world, a roleplay partner should point out any flaws or something that may improve a character. This is what makes characters less of a mary-stu or gary-stu. But the thing is, no one gives them a chance.
As an author in the roleplay community with several OC roleplay blogs, I myself and a few other OC authors have been having a hard time being accepted by those who play canon characters. This is why I’m writing this. Someone was bashing OCs in general, saying that they were an annoyance. Maybe it’s hard for some people to grasp, but canon characters are original characters. Someone created Tamaki Suoh, someone created Harry Potter, someone created Captain Jack Sparrow, but only when they got a popular movie, anime, book, etc. did they become what we know as “canon”. They’re still original to someone regardless of what people say. There are also canon characters that are more than perfect, but no one bashes them as much as people criticize original characters.
I’m not saying that there aren’t people who aren’t accepting of the creativity and imagination of Original Characters. It’s just that there isn’t enough people who are willing to look deeper into a character. Many criticize OCs before they really get to know them or their story. It’s disrespectful of people to do this without getting a good look. Maybe if people give more constructive criticism, OCs will receive a new makeover and the stereotype will be changed.
Let’s please get rid of the stereotype that all OCs are mary-sues or gary-stus. Because let’s admit it. There are people who will go onto an OCs page and say, “This character is an OC, they must suck," and not look into the backstory, the canons, or the intricate details that the author spend days, weeks, yearsputting into a character. And because of what? A lousy stereotype.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Don’t judge a character by their author. Don’t judge an author by their character. Help us develop our characters. Give us constructive criticism to make us better. Respect that we have flaws and that nothing is perfect.