Well, I figured that since Spongebob- Proof Of Spandy was so popular that I would do something that's different but also the same. I've written a little mini rant/opinions on an issue that isn't nearly as annoying as it used to be but it's still suck around for a quite a while everywhere I've been (Ex. DevArt, Fanfiction Net, LiveJournal). So, hope you can all enjoy and leave whatever comments you feel necessary. I would love to hear your opinions.
First I shall address Mary-Sues. Here's the five bad points of a Mary-Sue:
The name is only a slight problem. As in, it's not really one to be too concerned about but it is something that could give a good character a bad image. A name such as 'Melony Butterfly Lily DeeDee Silver Jay Hannah Rose, Melony Rose for short' is not going to give anyone a pretty image of your character and people will get tired just by trying to say it. Any sane parents would not give their child such a long and complicated name, just for the sake of the child, really.
Names and their origins
Another point to make is that you never have to have a reason for a name but one that is not of your own origin needs an explanation. Having an American girl with an Indian name would not go un-noticed and people are bound to be curious about it. Always have reasons otherwise it's just going to be another syndrome for the Mary-Sue plague. I have a character of my own that has a Greek name even though she is American. I have a simple, yet reasonable, explanation for this. Her aunt is infertile therefore she looks to the support of her sister who granted her the wish to name her children. It's nothing exciting or glamorous but it is an explanation for my character's name. If you have trouble searching a name that is unique but is still your character's origins, Google names and you'll find a ton online.
Searching for a name
Nothing ever has to be hard work so neither does finding a good name. But before just searching for names, why don't you go more in depth by figuring out what your character's personality may be like and then take that to find a unique name that suits their personality. It's easy to search for what names mean so take a name from a website's list that you have found, place that name in a name generator and find out the name's meaning. This doesn't have to be all the time as you could just as easily search for names in Google and just pick out the one you like best, but it shows you put a lot more effort into your character when you have everything about them planned, including something as small as the name.
A common occurrence for most Mary-sues is their background is always bad. Nothing can be good for their childhood and their parents always have to be killed, they can't survive at all. So, Mary-sues are made orphans. But if your parents are killed, you can't live a life all on your own. Not even Naruto lived a full life on his own. Despite living in an apartment on his own, Naruto had the help of the hokage some of his life. He was always there looking out for Naruto. So, if your parents have died and you really want her/him to be alone in an apartment, make sure to have an adult to supervise them until they're allowed to own their own house.
You don't always have to have deceased parents. To avoid making your character a Mary-sue, have them have parents. You could even have it where your parents are divorced so you don't have two parents around all the time if that's what you want. Having parents will ultimately make them better characters.
It's important to keep track on their past friendships and whoever it was and how close your character was with them. Nothing says a good backstory like past people and detailed relationships. It doesn't have to be that detailed, just enough to know who they were friends with and how close. Everyone has a childhood friend, if they grew up with them long enough. And if your character has grown up with anyone, even if your character and their childhood friend wasn't that close, they still grew up together.
This isn't a point that needs to be stressed strongly but it is vital to their past if you are to have that character come up in future or if you want to get an all-around picture of what your character is like and how their life has been.
A common occurrence for Mary-sues is tragic traumas that happen in their past lives. It's normally a girl who has been brutally raped and was shunned by society so she grows up to live a life as an orphan because her parents abandoned her/were killed/never really took notice of her. I'm not saying there can't be a tragedy in their past but having it where her parents are then killed and then she grows up to live mostly happy is not a good thing. Sure, there's always the plus side that your OC doesn't whine all the time about it but if her parents are killed then she's going to be lacking social skills and won't be the most popular in the group.
If you're trying to give her/him a tragic past, try and come up with a decent plot. Not anything like raped or experimented on. The latter can only be used if it were to be based upon something that's sci-fi related. Maybe you could have a tragic past where your character ends up in a car crash with her/his parents and they all survive but your character is suffering from emotional stress over it and can't seem to wrap their head around it. That could lead to many different possibilities and ideas you could branch off of.
Personality and social skills
The most normal thing nowadays for some OC is they'll be really unemotional/really hyper and have a fierce temper. If your character is one that has a fierce temper, no-one's going to befriend her/him that quickly as she will be hostile towards them at first and give them a very unpleasant first impression. If you want your character to be angry most of the time, you have to give it time before she gains friends as it's not as easy as some people make it out to be. Same goes for if your character is unemotional. If they really do show little to no emotions, she/he's not going to find it easy in gaining friends as it'll be difficult to approach, let alone talk to anyone as their social skills will be lacking a lot.
Build up their character and build up the friendships around them. You could have a very stubborn character constantly bug your character until they decide to be friends with this annoying individual.
Strengths and flaws
All characters have their strengths and weaknesses but your character is definitely lacking in personality if they're strong with no flaws. Most Mary-sues have it where they have super human strength and no physical or mental weaknesses as if they can't be defeated. You can't give your character all the powers in the book and not give her any weaknesses. Superman can practically do anything but he has a weakness. True, this weakness would be very hard to find but he still has a weakness. His happens to be kryptonite and he can be defeated as he has villains chasing him all the time, some probably owning this kryptonite.
A human owning all those powers must be stressed all the time as they should be worried over someone finding out and trying to exploit it all the time. There has to be some weakness there.
Your character needs weaknesses to make them human. A human without flaws aren't human at all. Nothing makes you a better person than when you value your own flaws. More people will respect your character if you can give them obvious flaws. Not flaws such as she/he can't sing, she/he's clumsy or they can't dance. That's not flaws; that's just a creator's excuse to get out of giving their character proper flaws. A flaw is something like a crooked nose or not being able to run properly as their legs go all over the place. Something as simple as she/he can't see straight as they are partially blind would even be reasonable.
Mary-sues are known for having incredible talents and not knowing when to stop. Most often or not, Mary-sues can sing, play the flute and shoot a brilliant goal in less than a minute. I could understand if your character can sing, dance and act because they all belong in the same category. They are all to do with arts and performances but having a character be an excellent cook, is able to dance and can shoot a perfect bow and arrow onto a target is not qualified as good character development. It just makes them cheap fandom whores who deserve nothing but a slap around the head.
Keep the talents in check and make sure to have them be reasonable to your character.
First of all, there is no such thing as perfection. So to have a character have a perfect body is just a reason for you to imagine yourself as being perfect. No-one could easily have big breasts, tiny waist and a curvy figure. Proportionally, a tiny waist would not be able to keep up enormous breasts as your waist would snap. If you want your character to be skinny, you can't have them have big breasts. Skinny would equal small or average sized breasts and a less than curvy figure. Having big breasts means having big hips with a big torso, big ribcage and chunky legs and arms. And you have to have broader shoulders to be able to have big breasts, otherwise your character's body would be out of proportion.
If you look up different body shapes, pear shapes are the ones with big breasts whereas spoon shapes are the ones with little hips and small breasts but skinny waist and legs.
Research is the key to a good character. Good character means having a 3-dimensional personality. And having a 3-dimensional personality means you can connect with your character more and people will enjoy your character just as much as you.
How to create a decent character
Creating a decent character only takes time and some small research on your behalf. Fictional characters need to be 3-dimensional so that if you were to write a story of your character, we would then be able to feel emotions for it, whether it's disliking them for being a jerk, loving them for doing a sweet thing for someone else or feeling sympathy for them as they go through sorrow.
Characters need development so as you go along creating your character, remember, you don't have to stop right there. You can keep going back and adding things to their personality, flaws, talents, and powers, whatever. The thing is you can never stop developing your character. Developing a character is a very simple and fun thing to do.
As you sit down and think over what kind of character you want, maybe you could base your character's personality on someone you know. Doesn't have to be someone you're close to, just anyone you would like to have as a personality for your character. You can even start with the basics before grounding it down into details. Is your character a sporty person, a girly-girl, a tomboy, an overdramatic control freak? Anything will do, they just have to have a personality.
As time goes on, you will be finding yourself enjoying your character as you figure even more things about them. You will start to develop their looks, their little kinks, their little perks and you will start to put in some little details there like, she/he chews their top lip when they're excited. One thing you do have to remind yourself, no matter how silly this may seem, is that your character is always right. You have to listen to your character like it's actually there.
So, if your character doesn't want to get the hero, don't pair them off with the hero. If your character doesn't want to like apples, make her/him hate apples. My point is that if it doesn't feel right when you put down that they like cakes; change it. When it doesn't feel right, that's basically your character trying to tell you that it doesn't like the direction you're heading with it.
The most important thing you have to do while making a character is have fun. If you're not having fun, then stop right there! Don't carry on. If it's not fun, what's the point of having an OC?
And that's it for now~! I hope you enjoyed this and hopefully, this will help you when you are trying to create a character. Have fun and comment if you have any opinions on this~!