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Original characters vs cringe

Discussion in 'Internet Fiction/Fanfiction' started by Cyan, Feb 18, 2022.

  1. Cyan

    Cyan #00FFFF Staff Member B& AF, Fam Moderator

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    Bear with me, I'm feeling as thunkful as a toroidalboat today, and maybe you guys want a shiny new discussion thread to kick off the weekend. Or not, I don't care.

    So like, we probably all on some level think "oh boy here we go" when somebody says that they have their own Original Character (my OC donut steal). But why do we do that?

    Are we assuming that it's just some novice that made up a character and is putting all of their creative drive into this one character, not developing a story or any kind of plot at all and expecting us to still be interested? Is it because it may be a fan character and not something for an original story?

    Are there different levels where some are cringy and some are not? Is the person with the OC a novellist? A D&D player? Openly RPing on Twitter? Writing fanfic about being sold to One Direction? Do any interest you or do you cringe at it all?

    Some fan characters end up being beloved and making history, like Sir Lancelot, Maid Marion, and Ebony Dark'ness Dimentia Raven Way. Others get lost to time, like Shadow the Hedgehog recolors on Deviantart in 2007. Probably because we laughed at them and moved on.


    TL;DR tell me what goes through your head when you find somebody's OC on the internet or even in the wild.
     
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  2. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    To me, "cringe" means the same thing as "non-conformist". Doing something "cringe" is not always wrong, although it can be embarrassing if others find out.

    Also, if no one made up "homebrew" original characters, there'd be no new characters except those by corporate mass media. So not all OCs are bad. I also think the modern world has this "cult of intellectual property" that overvalues originality. So to me, derivative isn't always bad either.

    That said, there are a lot of crappy OC designs out there, like "Sonichu", "Chase the Hedgehog" (red sanic recolor), and plenty of pony characters.

    lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2022
  3. ICanFeelTheCosmos0704

    ICanFeelTheCosmos0704 friend of little cat

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  4. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    Which I think can be rooted in conformity. If something is "normal", it can lack "secondhand embarrassment".
     
  5. Cyan

    Cyan #00FFFF Staff Member B& AF, Fam Moderator

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    So like, if I told you guys that I had just come up with my own original character, a sixteen year old girl with wings, a magical girl transformation, the ability to control water, and could time travel, what would your immediate thoughts be?
     
  6. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    eh not necessarily a bad idea

    There could be good stories from that, not always crappy "Mary Sue" deviantART-y stuff.

    (although in the modern world most would likely see that idea as "cringe")
     
  7. Cyan

    Cyan #00FFFF Staff Member B& AF, Fam Moderator

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    I shouldn't be surprised that you two are so pragmatic about the wacky idea of people trying to make up their own original story content. You guys sure you ever came from Kiwifarms? :p

    For real though the internet gets so harsh about this. So many people have hobbies of writing dumb little stories for themselves or friends and every now and again some unlucky soul gets a lot of people flocking to their stuff offering "constructive criticism" or ripping it apart for being cringe.

    I've just been thinking about why that is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2022
  8. Congratulations

    Congratulations You like? Staff Member Moderator

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    Whenever i think of "original character" i think of some loser who liked something so much they invented their own character representing them in whatever universe they like because they were so narcissistic they couldn't enjoy something without making it about themselves. But maybe that's just a me problem because i get that feeling whenever a videogame has a customizable player character.
     
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  9. ICanFeelTheCosmos0704

    ICanFeelTheCosmos0704 friend of little cat

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    if you put a creative work online, you have to be ready for potentially harsh criticism, because people are going to tell you exactly what they think with no filter and without taking your feelings into consideration

    the OC thing reminds me of something I heard before -
    if you copy someone, people will say you're the next whoever, but if you copy a dozen people, people will say you're original
    people often make a start by copying what they like, even if their attempts are crappy

    I recommend Austin Kleon's Steal like an Artist (and Show Your Work and Keep Going) about creativity
     
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  10. One Too Many

    One Too Many Sexual Orientation: Heavy Metal

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    Back in college, in third and even forth year workshops I had to peer review a lot of cringey pieces and I can definitely say there are levels of cringe and OCs. A lot of cringe came out a lack of experience, it seemed everyone in class wanted to write a romance story but had little to no experience with relationships. As someone who is married it was easy for me to see where they failed to understand the dynamics of married life or even something as simple as what constitutes as a reasonable date; what made me cringe was the way in which the story fundamentally revealed the author's naivety. I think that carries over into the world of fan fiction as well; we expect that children don't know a lot about the world, so when a kid draws or writes something we don't find it cringey, in fact, we often see it as charming, but when an adult writes about the world they should know and fails, it's pathetic and often times it reveals something embarrassing about the person in the process.
     
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  11. Cyan

    Cyan #00FFFF Staff Member B& AF, Fam Moderator

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    I definitely do this. I'm probably going to continue to be guilty of this, because I love riffing bad fanfics. Even better if it has an OC similar to one I would have come up with when I was twelve. I try to make a point to do so where the author isn't likely to find it though, I don't feel that my opinions need to be their problem.

    What if the OC is nothing like the author in any way?

    I kind of want examples of the badly written dates lmao.
     
  12. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    I may not see certain aspiring artists as adults, even if they have adult bodies.

    Like a certain designer of a certain sanic and pikachu hybrid.
     
  13. Cyan

    Cyan #00FFFF Staff Member B& AF, Fam Moderator

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    Yes and that's still pathetic and revealed something about the person in the process.
     
  14. Congratulations

    Congratulations You like? Staff Member Moderator

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    Then it's a genuine OC, it doesn't happen very often though
     
  15. One Too Many

    One Too Many Sexual Orientation: Heavy Metal

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  16. Cyan

    Cyan #00FFFF Staff Member B& AF, Fam Moderator

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    I had to click off of this video on the grounds that his voice sounds like every character from Rick and Morty all at once.
     
  17. Wordsworth

    Wordsworth BREAKING NEWS AT THIS HOUR

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    Those people tend to hate their younger selves and anything that reminds them of their adolescence. I think some do this as "I wish someone said this to me when I was young". This is a problem for two reasons.

    #1 - The people giving harsh critiques in an effort to "prevent" others from making the same mistakes absolutely would not have listened to any of these criticisms when they were young.

    #2 - The people giving harsh critiques aren't professionals, they're hobbyists with slightly more experience.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2022
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  18. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    People giving harsh critiques can still be wrong though.

    And they can also be jerks like that Dobson guy.
     
  19. Wordsworth

    Wordsworth BREAKING NEWS AT THIS HOUR

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    Doesn't help when they go the Zoidberg route. "Your work is bad and you should feel bad".
     
  20. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    Like I said, a lot of stuff on the internet - especially in Current Year - is overly puritanical and judgemental "why this is wrong" and "why that is wrong" and "here is how you suck".

    And like I said, reading that kind of stuff too much can be draining.