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Creating a Well-developed OC


Hello! Welcome to my guide on the creation of a balanced, believable original character! Whether this is your first time creating a character and you want some advice on where to start, or you need to tweak your character, because you're unsatisfied with it, then you've come to the right place. In this guide you'll find details on the importance of every aspect of an OC, from something seemingly insignificant as the name to the powers of a character.

This guide can be applied to original characters of any fandom or purely of your creation for your own story! If your setting doesn't include some parts, like having abilities, you can simply skip over that section. Likewise, if I'm going into details on some specifics that don't apply to your character, feel free to skip over that as well.

Before I get into breaking down a character, let me first start off by asking you to do one thing. Get the term "Mary Sue" out of your head right now before reading this. This will be the only time you'll see the phrase used. Why you ask? I'm not here to judge your OC and label them as being one of those; that's not the reason for my creating this. I personally dislike the term, because half the time people use it without understanding the entirety of what it means. If a person sees one aspect that is considered that, they automatically label the OC as such, which isn't very encouraging. It puts a damper on creativity and is just a negative, ugly term.

In place of that, I'll be using terms such as "undeveloped," "poorly developed," "overpowering," "unrealistic," "unbalanced," etc. (And the "M" word.)

Without further ado, let's begin!

Your Character's Name


You might be wondering if this should really even be on this list, but actually, the name is a very important aspect of your character! It's almost like what the first person sees, and first impressions are pretty important. Some advice:

1. Don't name the character after you. In fact, try your hardest not to basically create an OC version of yourself. This is what people refer to as a "self-insert" and oftentimes relate it to the "M" word. The reason I am against basing a character off you is because it's not very original and even slightly boring. (And then of course there are those assumptions that you're just inserting yourself into the story to live out your fantasy or be with your dream character.)

2. Try not to make up a name. If you suddenly pull a name out of your head like, "Phonesca," it will definitely raise some red flags from critics. There are some exceptions of course, like if a story takes place in the future and everyone has unique names, then it's fine.

3. Keep the fandom/settings in mind. Let's take anime for an example. A majority of them are set in Japan, so more than likely you should think of naming your character a Japanese name. Again, there are always exceptions, but ask yourself if they make sense. Like if the character were visiting from another country, then having a non-Japanese would be fine. However, if your character is fully Japanese and has a name like "Emily," then that wouldn't be very realistic. It's pretty common for people to name their Japanese characters American names.

4. Meanings are important, but let's not take it too far. If your character is cold-hearted and loves the night, be careful about naming them something like "Raven." Let's face it, though your parents know a lot about you, they probably couldn't tell what you would be like when they first named you – so keep that in mind. If the meaning is something general (such as "beauty" or "faith"), then that's fine. Don't try to search names for their meaning to match your character – that's not how it works in the real world.

5. Multiple names…? A bit iffy. That's like if the name was something like, "Marianne Elizabeth-Hudson Lockheart." Kinda crazy to have so many names, and a little unnecessary? Again, being realistic, some Spanish names have more than one last name, and if your character is married and hyphenated their last name, then that's okay. So long as we're being realistic, you don't have to worry about it.

Was that too bad…? Didn't think there was so much to a name, did you? Now onto the looks!

Your Character's Appearance


Another biggie some people use to throw around the "M" word. I'm trying to make this guide general enough to apply to both male and female characters, so bear with me in this section!

1. Modesty, let's not go overboard now. And this is calling for some modesty on your part. When describing your OC, try not to use biased descriptive words, like actually calling your character "beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, handsome, etc." People get a bit iffy when you're very attached to your character; let the people decide for themselves if the character is beautiful or not! Likewise, in the canon world, be careful of having every single character fawn over your OC. If the canon character naturally ogles, then that's okay. And if every other character is jealous over how good looking your OC is, then that's also a problem. You don't want to exude them as being too much in any category.

However! It's absolutely okay to make your OC beautiful! And by that, applying to females, you don't have to feel obligated to make her flat chested in worriment over what critics will say. I find that very silly. It's a little strange to see that people feel the need to make "average" characters, if we're truly being realistic; there are tons of good-looking people in this world. But like I said before, modesty. We're modest people here. (Now, that doesn't mean your OC has to be. But we'll go onto personality later.)

2. Don't stand out for the sake of standing out. Be careful on making some unique feature for your character. For example, pink hair is rarely natural; so mention your character dying it at some point. And purple eyes, if you really want them to have that, say they have colored contacts. Yes, there are some fandoms where that's natural, and if that's the case, don't worry about it. Also I wouldn't be so hasty on giving a natural tattoo that the person was born it that holds some special meaning…it's a little overdone.

3. OMG BOOBS. Sorry, I have to specifically go into females now! Breasts. I have nothing against large breasts, but if you're only making your character have them to score some points with male fans, then I think that's a very shallow reason right there. And please, please, don't use the excuse that anime creators make female characters with horrendously large breasts, they have NO idea what it's like. My friend is actually getting breast reduction surgery because the size of her breasts are causing her back problems…it's not so great when you think of it that way now, is it?

4. Your character should have a natural style of dress. I don't have much to say about this one, except can I say that their wardrobe should correlate with the character's personality? If your female OC wears a mini skirt and super tight shirt, but is very innocent and shy, does that really work together well…? …Not really. However, sometimes things like that can be pretty interesting, like a guy has a lot of tattoo and piercings and looks completely frightening, but he's actually a sweetheart.

Your Character's Past


Unless your OC is a baby, he/she should have a past, most definitely. It sets the stage up for the rest of the story and it's actually helpful to you. Yes, you have to take your time in creating it, but if you're writing a story or even in an RP, you can pull elements from that to thicken the plot and add more depth. Notice how I said, "take your time"…because I mean it. A past thrown together in five minutes is pretty half-assed; excuse my language.

1. Oh…woe is me! One of the biggest reasons people use the "M" word is when they see a character with a ridiculously tragic past, and I actually agree with this. To me, it completely throws a character off-balance. You don't have to try and garner tons of sympathy for your character to make people like them. That's not the best way to go about doing that. So let's list some tragic events people often put:

- Raped
- Beaten
- Abandoned
- Poor
- Adopted
- Kidnapped
- Enslaved
- Abused in some other way
- Experiencing a parent's divorce
- Losing someone (or witnessing their death)
- Amnesia (poor excuse to not create a past)
- Having the life of nobility (and despising it)

Now, ask yourself this, "Do people really go through all of this?" The first one is my absolute "NO NO." Unless you do extensive research on the effect it has on rape victims, then I suggest you not use it at all. This is a very touchy topic and if you put it in some fluffy, teenage way, then you're basically slapping anyone who's had to suffer through it across the face with such a poor representation. So don't do it.

I honestly don't completely understand why people feel the need to dump so much tragedy on their character, it's almost as if you hate them! If you want to add some slight tragedy, elaborate on it and make it seem more realistic. For example, if the person lost their mother (a huge cliché, but we'll still use it), let's be reasonable: that person will not angst over that loss every second of the day. If you lost someone and told someone about it, and that person says "sorry," you're not going to burst into tears about it unless it happened recently.

So with all that in mind, remember that all characters have good and bad things in their past, and unless their life just sucked, the majority of it should be relatively decent.

Your Character's Powers


Not all characters are going to have this, so if this doesn't apply to your OC then you can just go on to the next section. However, more often than not, your OC is going to be involved in some original storyline or fandom in which powers play a key role. Personally, I'm not very fond of this part of the character-making process; so pardon me if this section seems less than adequate.

1. Your character is not God. In an RP the term would be "godmodding." A character that is ridiculously strong and overpowering is simply one people don't want to roleplay with. And for fanfiction, how boring is it if your OC already has every power imaginable and can defeat anyone with ease? This a balanced character does not make. So tone it down a little and come up with some weaknesses so that people know your OC isn't the most perfect thing in the universe.

2. All-in-one? I don't think so. Think carefully about creating a hybrid OC in mixing two or more races, or creating an entirely new one when ones already exist in the fandom. I prefer to stay true to canon, but you don't necessarily have to.

Yeah, that section was short. Now we get on to my favorite!

Your Character's Personality


To me, it's this part that makes or break a character, and so many fall short when it comes to describing their character's personality.

1. Traits, you gotta have the good and the bad. When creating a character, you can't just slap on two or three characteristics and call it a day. Do you think you could describe a real person using only, "nice, smart, funny?" What about stubborn? Impatient? Happy go-lucky? Easily angered? You're obviously going to be missing something. But let's take it the other way, you can't just pile on traits that don't even flow together, like, "he's really rebellious, yet still respects his elders." Wait…what? That doesn't make sense at all. Some paradoxes can work, but not many do.

And you have to remember that for every good trait you give your OC, there should be a bad one as well. And I wouldn't necessarily count "shy" as being a good or bad trait, to me it could go either way or is neutral. If you're really struggling to find some flaws for your character's personality, here's some websites that should help: cte.jhu.edu/techacademy/web/20… www.gurusoftware.com/GuruNet/P…

2. Show a little quirkiness. One of the things I personally like to know about a character is their likes and dislikes, what they do for fun, what kind of food do they like, what are their dreams, etc. I especially find it unique to put something unusual in, like just some strange hobby that makes you go, "Huh? Well, that's different." But in a good way! I believe putting these things in makes the character seem more human and easier to relate to, like you can imagine sitting next to that person.

Your Character in Love


This part mostly has to do with if you've paired your OC up with a canon character of a fandom, but it can also work for OC x OC couples.

1. Are we turning this into a teen chick flick? What I mean by this is, how corny is it? Are you using every cliché in the book? We don't want your love story to be the typical cookie cutter romance do we? It's uninteresting and unoriginal. Your relationship to you is unique and special, but you have to convince others of that by giving them something they haven't seen before. Originality. Uniqueness. The unexpected – within reason of course. Here are some clichés I'd try and stay clear of:

- Love at first sight (very unrealistic and uncommon, it's also more interesting when you actually show the development of the relationship and some problems before the two characters actually get together)
- Love triangles (this sets some people off especially if it's canon x OC x canon. The "M" word is used here, because they assume your OC is special and wonderful enough to attract the love of more than one person)
- Not doing justice to the canon character (if the canon character or OC love interest is someone cold-hearted or not one to typically be interested in love, you have to work very hard to make the relationship develop naturally)
- Sex after a short amount of time (It's tacky)
- Dying for the other person

Your Character and the Plot


This means both the plot of your fanfic/original story or the plot of an RP that is ongoing.

1. Keep check on the hero complex. Your character will probably be the focus of the plot, however, you want to make sure that you're not surging them through every obstacle effortlessly. Yes, they will triumph, but with time, hard work, and impediments along the way. After all, nothing comes easy. Everyone shouldn't automatically befriend your character, because it's more interesting when there's some conflict between characters. However, I'd suggest not making your character hate the character you personally despise…again with the self-insert concept mentioned earlier. Your character is not you, or at least it shouldn't be. To create a well-balanced character, it almost has to have a mind of its own. That means its thoughts are different from your own, so that it can stand on its own. Also, when you create a character that is unlike you, you won't be so emotionally attached to it. And that brings us to our final topic:

Your Character and Criticism


Yes, it's awful when your character is called an "M" word. That's why if you base it off yourself and someone insults or criticizes it, you take it as a personal attack, because your OC basically is a version of yourself. So don't do that.

My suggestion to you is to be open to criticism and not immediately lash out on the person giving it. And yes, be able to tell the different between a harsh criticism and someone who just wants to be mean (a "flamer"), because there is a difference. A person that points out something they don't find quite right isn't necessarily trying to bash you, but may genuinely find a detail unrealistic or feel that it doesn't make sense.

Now, that doesn't mean you'll never come across someone that doesn't just hate your character's guts. It may be out of jealousy or for whatever reason, don't let it get to you. Stray from the negative side and instead divert your attention to the positive feedback you receive, and I can almost guarantee you that the good outweighs the bad. It's okay if not every person in the universe doesn't like your character, not everyone can be pleased.

And if when you're creating your OC you try to make it so that ever person will find your character "adorable," "sexy," or "badass," then you might as well just stop right there. Just stop. There's no need to continue making your character, because it's not even yours anymore. It belongs to all those people you're trying to make happy, all the people you want to like your OC. You're not doing any justice to your creativity and abilities. Don't make a character to please others, make an OC that you are happy with. Who cares what others think? In the end, it's only your satisfaction that matters.

So long as you put your heart into what you create, that will always be good enough.
Hey guys, I was finally able to make this! I've been wanting to write some advice on creating an original character for a while, but never got around to it until today!

Firstly, this advice is not the words of God. So it's completely find if you disagree with some parts, find it inaccurate, or what have you. All of this I compiled from my own (painful) experience in original character creation; from the many Mary Sue tests I've taken to researching character flaws and looking at some amazing original characters. Also, pardon the bit of sarcasm laced in this article. I can't help it. I'm a naturally sarcastic person.

That being said, this is in no way based off of any original character. All of this is generalized information that I've come to conclude help creating a balanced OC. So if you feel that I may be describing your OC in some part, don't take it personally, the only OC I had in mind while making this was my own: Marise Asahina.

Depending on the feedback I get from this, I may create an example using Marise to show each part, because I kind of feel that it's sometimes hard to really understand new information unless you apply it to something, and so by showing an example I feel that would help people understand this advice better. But I'm not sure yet.

If you feel that I may be missing something that should be up there, feel free to let me know; I might just put it in. :)

This article =angel808

DO NOT STEAL. You are allowed to give this link on other websites, but do NOT copy this onto another website or on here.
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:iconserene-simplicit:
I love this so much.
For me, it was a little hard to read some of this, especially the part about naming. My OC is named Madison Yattamori right now as I write this, and my name is Maddie King, which many think is short for Madison (IT IS NOT), so she has been called a Mary-Sue at least a few times. And, her first name is american based, so it does help. So, I'm renaming her. I totally agree with not making up a name, because I have tried, and it's only worked once (Calankaiana (Ca-lan-kai-on-a) yeah...she was eqyptian), LOL, as well as multiple names. I luckily have kept in line with the character appearance very well (see Yattamori in my gallery), though I'm ashamed to say I have given her a tragic past in which she did die, and come back, though she luckily doesn't have a bad personality in which the story relies on much of it. I absolutely don't hate her! I just did this because I wanted her to have a stronger bond with the main cannon character in the story, mine being Toshiro Hitsugaya from Bleach, though I must admit I have put a lot of tragic twists in the story, but it turns happy in the end, so it's all good! I did give Yattamori power, but not undefeatable power, so it's good there.
Sorry, but I'm comparing my character to this so you know what I was thinking when I read it. ^^
Luckily, I did give her a good personality, with good and bad, and I do have a long way of explaining her, as well as not many paradoxes ^^. Her quirks become more known as well continue in the story, especially how she hates when she's called "Captain Yattamori", or ma'am, seeing as how she believes in equality. The romance doesn't show up for a while my fanfic, though I definitely will try not to get super cheesy!! But warning, Toshiro will smile more LOL. I'm good with plot, and criticism has been given, but I'm luckily the type of person that explains stuff , so I'm good. One girl did get under my skin once by totally bashing Yattamori, ending her review with saying "Burn your mary-sue alter-ego and come back with something decent", though I let it go, and nothing bad has happened since.
Continue doing OC guides like this, it will definitely help those out who don't understand some of this stuff, maybe writing something about over used character designs and plots?
Keep writing this stuff, you've definitely helped me. Oh, and b sure 2 visit Yattamori and me at my page soon. ^^
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Critique by ButterflyTrancy Aug 21, 2012, 9:14:37 PM
I really love this guide and to tell you the truth I really find it helpful even though I never found my Serenity to be a Mary-Sue due to a quiz I once took and trust me Serenity's was a passing score so yay she was never a Mary-Sue in the first place~! : D Anyways, I was going to say that this does help other people create characters a whole lot and also I agree with you 100% on this guide I mean the outfit part does make a whole lot of sense when it comes to shy and innocent characters like I said before. Now onto the criticism part...yes there will be good and bad criticism but the main thing is never let others bring you down because not many people will like your character even when well-developed. I am actually happy you made this guide, amber-sky. C: Keep up the good work on your guides and tips, my dear. ^__^
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Bunbunpo Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2018  New Deviant
Thanks. I don't agree with EVERYTHING you said but a lot of it. So happy I'm not the only one who hates the Mary Sue thing. It will help me make my character. Also like another guy said I thought of some of the things you mentioned so that gave me confidence. Thanks for taking the time to write this.
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:iconkarinawithheadphones:
KarinaWithHeadphones Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, there! Random question...

So, my character's name is part of mine, but at the time I didn't realize it when I named her (Her name is Rin, which is Japanese, but she was named after one of her mother's friends. I kind of want to change her name to Yui.), and she was abandoned and adopted. Because of this, she dislikes adults and has slight anger issues and major trust issues.

Is my character technically a Mary Sue?

Sorry if this is annoying...
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:iconchaolamity:
Chaolamity Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
To my mind, there's no harm in giving your character a harsh backstory. While it isn't the average person's reality, it does occur where someone experiences something tragic and ends up traumatized because of it. It would probably be a different story if all of your characters had a harsh backstory - unless this is what makes sense in your universe.

Yui doesn't sound unrealistic to me. My feedback is: are her trust issues stemming from being left by her family and distrusting her new one? Or does she distrust everyone? 
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:iconkarinawithheadphones:
KarinaWithHeadphones Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
She is learning to trust her new family, but she doesn't fully trust them yet.
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:iconchaolamity:
Chaolamity Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's definitely some conflict your character can overcome. It's understandable why she would feel that way.
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:iconkarinawithheadphones:
KarinaWithHeadphones Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah. =)
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NikkiMatsuyuki7 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Awesome! 
So I have this OC I named Nicola Jamie Matsuyuki, 'Nikki' for short. That is NOT my real name, or even close to it. She is basically my opposite besides the tomboyish personality and her hype for cheese. She has a boyfriend Brandon (OC) and a little brother Marcus, based off of my own little brother (not too much, just a few traits). She has superpowers that run in the family, like super-strength, flight and super-speed. She also has the power of shooting fire out of her hands (she's kinda based on WordGirl, my favorite superhero). She's also a race plane (literally). 
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Hybrid-15 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So, my OC's name is Rose Woods but only part of my first name is Rose, does that count as using my name? or not since it's only half of my actual name?
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:iconbrieeze:
Brieeze Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
My oc is named after a type of tea... 
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:icontinyhunter756:
TinyHunter756 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for doing this! Reading this really helped me identify some holes and clichés I have with my OC's, especially one particular OC I have in the TMNT 2012 universe. There is also some pointers that I have already done or am doing with my characters, so this also helped boost my confidence in character development! Thanks again for the help. 
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:iconcoxinhadoce47:
CoxinhaDoce47 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for writing this, I finished reading this and I see that I can improve some things in my ocs. I have some characters in one of my universes that they suffer really bad things (one of them the mother died, got betrayed by many people, lost loved ones and was almost raped but the betrayal and deaths of loved ones to me makes a bit of sense since he is immortal, and the almost rape was because he was tricked at a very young age and didn't had the knowledge he has today), and I try to make them a bit realistic, even tough the concept is not that realistic (there's angels and demons). I made some of them hybrids, but they don't have over the top powers or anything, since in the real world hybrids aren't overpowered and have some disabilities. (I love my babies, but to make more angst and scenarios to help them recover I put some tragedy)
For names, they aren't that common but they aren't super rare (Seth, Dereck, April, Raven, Magnus...), and most of their names meaning doesn't have nothing at all to do with their character (Seth, a POC characther, his names meaning is "white"; Alexander, who is one of the antagonists has the meaning of "protector of the men"). I don't make any of them like, the most beautiful thing in the world, they can be pretty for some people, and even tough some have strange characteristics (white hair, purple eyes...), I've found a way to explain that (it's a bit complex, so, resuming it: genetics). 
The protagonists will become boyfriends in the initial chapters of the story, I don't want to make it rushed, but more gradually, not making the cliché of love at first sight, we're opossites so lets fuck, and etc. They may appear opossites at first, but in their visuals and personalities they have details that set them appart but at the same time have things in common.

I have many more universes but I only talked about one of them because it's my oldest and most developed of them.
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AlabastrinePrincess Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2017
This is so helpful! Thank you so much!
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:iconfuntimecircus:
funtimecircus Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconxxmysticstardustxx:
xxMysticStardustxx Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2017
thanks for this, it was very helpful. Is it ok to have a bug loss for my main OC if it's important to the plot and how the story unfolds
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:iconlimelines:
Limelines Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"I honestly don't completely understand why people feel the need to dump so much tragedy on their character, it's almost as if you hate them!"
oh, honey. You don't know the whump community. 
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:iconmint-yuki:
Mint-Yuki Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
is it ok if my character is a lieutenant ?  
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:iconthat-annoying-cat:
That-Annoying-Cat Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what the fuck is the m word?
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:iconjaqenart:
JaqenArt Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2017  Student Digital Artist
mary sue
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:iconlattewitch:
lattewitch Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
i have no idea
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SarahDoodle2005 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I make up names for almost all of my characters, though it really doesn't make sense for their universe. I just go with whatever seems fitting
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:iconlucinagamerrp:
LucinaGamerRP Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2017
Name: Hana Tanaka Gender: Female Height/Weight: 5'3/120 lbs Species: (Would Android really be classified as a species? If so, yeah.) Hair color/eye color: Still debating on if her hair color should be brown or green, since in her universe, what would be considered "unnatural" hair color is normal./ Gray-ish blue eyes. Clothing style: Casual, Somewhat Sophisticated and Organized. Current residenc Sussex, Great Britain but constantly changes her location from time to time.

Back story: (Still in progress but this is what I got so far.) Created by a successful young man named Futeki Tanaka, as an experiment to see what happens if he saved someone conscious into a robotic body, as a way of humans getting the ability to live forever. He had an anonymous test subject for this experiment ask wha their wish fulfillment was and how they would want to look like, so the body looked exactly as she described. Light skin, green hair, blue eyes and light (almost pale) skin. Her memory got transferred over to the body, killing her, but it actually worked! Yet there's a catch. When she activated, she complete forgot everything. Over the months, Hana's character and personality started to return, and she was about to go back to normal. The two had a very strong bond, but one day, the Goverment learned of what he was doing, and tried to convince him to work for them and show them how he created Hana, wanting to use it for Top Secret purposes. Futeki refused the offer, and later on got assassinated. Hana was heartbroken about these actions, and hunted down the murderers, only killing them and leaving no evidence of it whatsoever. Afraid that the Government was still after her, she only pretends to be human to blend in. Personality: Tsundere, Organized, Perfectionist. Powers: Is that even possible? I mean, she can run 60 mph and has exceptional strength using weapons, but she was just built like that.. 

Weaknesses: She'can run 60 mph and has exceptional strength using weapons, but she was just built like that.. Weaknesses: She's incredibly weak when she doesn't have any type of weapon, but she can turn anything into one. Not only that, but if you stab her in the chest, you can one shot her that way if you're trying to kill her. Also, tasers are one of her weaknesses, because if she gets shocked her battery decreecreases. 

Historical significance: None.

To most of my consern I use small websites as Miiverse & Roblox to fit my needs, and even some times ChatStep. I think every charater has to be uniqie in one way and this is just an starter to an OC, this is when you have your body & build of your charater's story(s) built into an form that would be good for fantasy. Even though Hana has an storyline that would be confusing, it is nice to know she was experimented on many times before to be created like this. One thing that the author of this post forgot to mension should be the weight & height. If this is an fantasy RP, you should consider its species; cat, dog, ect. You should always include the sex of the person, and skin tone. Also, there orgin. What you should not inculde is there depressing faults in the whole story, find someone that may fit and soon enough may become an romance or an BFF. You have to make your charater count in RP's, and not just let them be an bystander in the whole story. If they are just in the corrner, there is no point of them in the first place.
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:iconlucinagamerrp:
LucinaGamerRP Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2017
Name: Hana Tanaka Gender: Female Height/Weight: 5'3/120 lbs Species: (Would Android really be classified as a species? If so, yeah.) Hair color/eye color: Still debating on if her hair color should be brown or green, since in her universe, what would be considered "unnatural" hair color is normal./ Gray-ish blue eyes. Clothing style: Casual, Somewhat Sophisticated and Organized. Current residenc Sussex, Great Britain but constantly changes her location from time to time.

Back story: (Still in progress but this is what I got so far.) Created by a successful young man named Futeki Tanaka, as an experiment to see what happens if he saved someone conscious into a robotic body, as a way of humans getting the ability to live forever. He had an anonymous test subject for this experiment ask wha
their wish fulfillment was and how they would want to look like, so the body looked exactly as she described. Light skin, green hair, blue eyes and light (almost pale) skin. Her memory got transferred over to the body, killing her, but it actually worked! Yet there's a catch. When she activated, she complete forgot everything. Over the months, Hana's character and personality started to return, and she was about to go back to normal. The two had a very strong bond, but one day, the Goverment learned of what he was doing, and tried to convince him to work for them and show them how he created Hana, wanting to use it for Top Secret purposes. Futeki refused the offer, and later on got assassinated. Hana was heartbroken about these actions, and hunted down the murderers, only killing them and leaving no evidence of it whatsoever. Afraid that the Government was still after her, she only pretends to be human to blend in. Personality: Tsundere, Organized, Perfectionist. Powers: Is that even possible? I mean, she can run 60 mph and has exceptional strength using weapons, but she was just built like that..

Weaknesses: She'
can run 60 mph and has exceptional strength using weapons, but she was just built like that.. Weaknesses: She's incredibly weak when she doesn't have any type of weapon, but she can turn anything into one. Not only that, but if you stab her in the chest, you can one shot her that way if you're trying to kill her. Also, tasers are one of her weaknesses, because if she gets shocked her battery decreecreases.

Historical significance: None.

To most of my consern I use small websites as Miiverse & Roblox to fit my needs, and even some times ChatStep. I think every charater has to be uniqie in one way and this is just an starter to an OC, this is when you have your body & build of your charater's story(s) built into an form that would be good for fantasy. Even though Hana has an storyline that would be confusing, it is nice to know she was experimented on many times before to be created like this. One thing that the author of this post forgot to mension should be the weight & height. If this is an fantasy RP, you should consider its species; cat, dog, ect. You should always include the sex of the person, and skin tone. Also, there orgin. What you should not inculde is there depressing faults in the whole story, find someone that may fit and soon enough may become an romance or an BFF. You have to make your charater count in RP's, and not just let them be an bystander in the whole story. If they are just in the corrner, there is no point of them in the first place.
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:iconvickipedia17:
vickipedia17 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this guide!!! I was really stuck on making an OC, this guide helped me so much!!
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:icondeemoon928:
deemoon928 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG! Thank you so much for this. I'm working on making my 1st OC & really want a great story going on with it. Once again, THANK YOU!
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:iconbugsyart:
BugsyArt Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2017
My OC has a child, and was previously married to a man who, after discovering she was pregnant, walked out on her.  Is that too tragic?
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:iconantonin--dolohov:
Antonin--Dolohov Featured By Owner May 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Nope, it is not too tragic. It's something that could really happen to somebody. 
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:iconwhimsicalwonderbean:
WhimsicalWonderBean Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Whats the M word....? 





Someone help me ;-;
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:iconkarinawithheadphones:
KarinaWithHeadphones Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
The "M" word is Mary Sue.
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:iconsikarouva:
SikaRouva Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Mary Sue?
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:iconheraldofopera:
HeraldOfOpera Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017
I'd like to note that many of these can be excused in the right setting. For example, most comic book and comic book-inspired settings follow the rule spelled out (though not invented) by Linkara: "If your name sounds like ANYTHING, you WILL become a supervillain." In that case, an unreasonably appropriate name is actually completely reasonable in-setting. Basically, expand point three on naming (keep the fandom/setting in mind) and apply that to basically everything else in the guide, above all other considerations.
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:iconboomer6:
boomer6 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2017  Student General Artist
Interesting! I usually don't make OC's so a couple of these points weren't so obvious to me. So I have an OC (who may or may not end up being a self insert, but still be a well developed one) and I think a major trait to be explored later on would be them struggling with their gender indentity (being trans). Is that cliche or too 'special'? I rarely see this topic adressed and I think it would be interesting to write about.
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:iconthelosechesters:
thelosechesters Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Honestly, it would make for a great point in the character's life, for it can explain most of a character's personality (i.e., why his/her self-esteem may be so high/low, why he/she may or may not be so open to people he/she meets, why he/she acts the way he/she does (attitude-wise), etc.). If I were developing such a character, I would just try not to make the bio so self-pitying.
Of course, most people of the trans* community won't say to everyone they talk to for more than 5 minutes, "Oh, also, I'm a trans MTF(etc), so respect me!" simply because it's not everyone's business to know what goes on in 'your' super personal life. Usually, that would only be shared with those the character is very close with or if it somehow comes up in conversation (for example, if the person your character is interacting with makes a remark that offends your character's gender identity, etc, your character has every right to say something like, "Well, I am gender-fluid(etc), so that joke kind of offends me..." because that's a natural reaction to stand up for him/herself).

I hope this wasn't too word-y or extra for a simple question, but I have wondered the same thing. I, at one point, thought it unnecessary to add such a background to a character, simply because it can come with a very troubled background, but, I now realize, such a history isn't unrealistic at all, and it happens to many people. I would advise you, if my reply isn't too late, to write the bio in a way that doesn't force everyone that reads it to feel bad for the character--try to write it in a way so the readers can choose if they feel the character is worthy of pity (adding things like the character sometimes using the fact of being trans* as a way to get away with certain things/force others to feel bad for him/her and later realizing he/she shouldn't have used being trans* as an 'excuse' for something can show that, although being trans* is NOT something one should feel guilty of, a trans* person will make some mistakes and will not be 100% innocent throughout such a journey)

Sorry if that doesn't make so much sense and I ended up rambling on so unclearly :0
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:iconghouliasally:
ghouliasally Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2017
Very helpful. I have been struggling to find a guide for this sorta thing and now I know what to add to my favs list for later, to look back on. Thank you. Cause over on a site called wattpad someone called a tmnt oc I had a Mary-sue and I didn't understand why until reading this just now. Again thank you for helping me open my eyes and realize what that person on wattpad mean't about my tmnt oc. <3 :)
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:iconghostwithteeth:
GhostWithTeeth Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2017  Student Digital Artist
I have seven names.. So..
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:iconthelosechesters:
thelosechesters Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is just a guideline. Of course some people are going to have multiple names; the author is just saying **always** making OCs with super long names can get both difficult and tiring (lmao) :)
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:iconblankcolors:
BlankColors Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Name: Ashe
Nickname(s): Doc, ‘’A’’
Age: Uknown, but she’s a young adult  (I just started making her :D )
Gender: Female
Physical appearance: Literally. Unknown. Help.
Personality: I’m deciding between the two: (1) Ashe is a very boisterous girl. She finds amazement in many things. These days many kids are the opposite, so she is considered ‘’weird’’ to many her age. She never likes to be alone, and usually knows what she’s doing. (2) Ashe is a quiet, dark girl. She usually sticks to the shadows and only has a few, as she calls them, ‘’associations.’’ She likes to be left alone.
Relations: This might be a bit of a jump.. She’s the 10th doctor’s daughter.
Haha that nickname makes sense now
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:iconawkwardsilencechan:
AwkwardSilenceChan Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Can I give a bit of friendly advice?

Maybe consider a different name. By all means, you don't have to, obviously. I've just found that the names Ash/Ashe/Ashton are very commonly used around the fan fiction, RP, and general writing communities. Given it is a very cute name, bringing some more originality into your character will do wonders! 

I know the pain in the ass it is to change it around if you've already got your heart set on it though. The name is one of the most important and triumph inducing parts to my OCs, so when a name I want doesn't work out for whatever reason, it can personally bum me out.

Nonetheless, do with this information what you will! And good luck!
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:iconblankcolors:
BlankColors Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the advice! I'm not very familiar with role-play ''communities'' as I have no friends. To be honest, in reality, she doesn't have a ''name.'' Also, I thought about how unrealistic the ''Doctor's Daughter'' thing is, and decided to save that for a different role-play. But about the ''name'', she was raised in an orphanage with no idea of her relations or anything, and she grew up with everyone calling her ''Ashe'' because of her grey hair. As she got into school and had to sign her name, she decided to add an E to the name, to make it sound like it could really be her name. I really like and respect your advice, and might change her name. Though as she isn't actually used with anyone besides my one friend on a video game, I don't know if it's necessary.
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:iconawkwardsilencechan:
AwkwardSilenceChan Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem! But all of that's alright, I'm sure you'll get the hang of it all eventually. I love the origin for her name though, which kind of holds me to one of my previous statements of you've already got that whole story figured out lmao. Even if she isn't widely used, it's still nice to kinda' have it figured out, ya' know? At least for me. Nonetheless, hope you have fun with her. <3
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:iconblankcolors:
BlankColors Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! And, thanks, and, thanks one more time. Heh. <3
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:iconfireflyunlimited:
FireflyUnlimited Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017
I gotta say, it's kinda disheartening to myself when I decide to read a "how to make an OC" guide when I've already made three with full backstories. But I guess I followed it pretty well. Naming's a little hard, though. But like you said, I like to add a little something extra to each of my OCs. Like an uncommon allergy or weird habit that they have, It just adds a bit of detail to them as characters.
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:iconno216redengine:
no216redengine Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017
What if you do name the character after yourself. But you're not trying to based the character off you or create a self inserted character. The character is its own it just bears your name. Would it still be okay as long as such a name fits into said verse?
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:iconblankcolors:
BlankColors Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I believe it is okay. Especially in role-play, where your real name doesn't exactly matter. If you think the name fits your OC well but the OC still isn't you, (which I still believe is okay in some cases also) it should be fine. Most of the people you role-play with, whether online in a forum or with a couple friends on a videogame or something, won't really care OR know your real name. In my own respectful opinion, I believe it is fine.
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:iconartsyaviator:
ArtsyAviator Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There have been a few characters that I make that are, well, sorta average. I feel like I don't want all my characters to be special, and sometimes I just want to represent more normal people in the world, or course, maybe their interests and hobbies or something set them apart. Is that, well, okay??
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:iconblankcolors:
BlankColors Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Though a small amount of my OCs are a different race/have ''powers'', many of them are normal people that I feel don't need to be special. I mean, if you see someone walking in real life down the street, what are the odds they have the powers to summon lightning down onto their foes or form ice crystals from their hands and shoot them everywhere? Probably not a chance. So no matter what world your character belongs in, I believe, in my opinion, it is fine to make them average.
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:icondeathkitsune68:
DeathKitsune68 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
this is something I've wanted an opinion for a while is this. my oc can be considered Mary-Sueish at the beginning of a story I plan to make, with his only flaw, being gullible. this is because he's a blank slate, no memory, but as the story progresses, he develops flaws. Is this a bad thing to have? the story doesn't even focus on him solely during his period of blank slate-ness.
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:iconblankcolors:
BlankColors Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
If his personality is affected by your story causing him to be Mary-Sueish, by all means, make the boy a Mary Sue! If that's how YOUR story goes, go with it! A real person in real life with no memory would most likely, in their instincts, act like anyone else as they don't know HOW to act. In my opinion, GO. FOR. IT!
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:iconblankcolors:
BlankColors Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing! Amazing!!!! I wrote a whole comment about my OC but then it made me join, so I lost it :( OH BUT I COPIED IT! *le pastes*
 My OC's name is Algid. Here's basically her summary.
She's extremely pale, she has light blue eyes, and white, almost blue-hued hair. Her hair voluminously all goes over the left side (if another was observing her, the left) and is straight. She wears a swoop, floor-length, face-covering purple cloak. She has a thin chin, not in an ugly way. Overall, she holds some beauty. She's lithe (skinny/graceful) and 6'8. ( I know, tall, right?) Her personality is stubborn and quiet, and she never really talks. I know it's hard to be stubborn when you never say a word, she I mean more, easily triggered. (Triggered makes this seem unprofessional) Anywayy
Her backstory is, when she was just a toddler, her race (ice sages, so the fandom is Trove) was invaded by another (Dragonytes, another Trove race) and she pretty much grew up in the care hut with a young Dragonyte named Klauth who the Ice Sages protected when he was brought to fight in war. (what the heck Dragonytes he's a child) Anyway she grew up with Klauth and they were besties for life, then they went to battle (both for the Ice Sages) and Klauth got killed :c And now she lives to destroy every race who might've helped destroy hers. She gets super snappy and angry if you mention her family. Thanks so much for this!
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:iconhentala:
Hentala Featured By Owner Edited Dec 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Just taking notice, while I agree with many points made here, I must take notice that on the internet, as well as outside of it, among readers who don't know you personally, the character will never be a self-insert from their point of view, unless they tell them it is... since they don't know what your self is like. There can be some clues dropped along the text that may point into character being a wish-fullfilment, but then again, the same clues may be fake if mary sue in question isn't really a self insert but just a victim of poor characterization.

At the same time, it is not like self-insert is inherently bad. It can be executed properly as well as go totally wrong - If you do self insert properly you might get some of the most complex, believable, realistic characters - because there is no way to know any kind of psyche better, than you know your own psyche, emotions, logic and feelings. You can benefit of that and build up an epic story that is based off your own emotional turmoil, or a hard situation you've been through, or personal growth and experiences that led you towards it.

And, the best part of it, I guess, people won't know it if you don't tell them, may even start pointing to your OC and talk - this is an example of well developed OC. Definitely not like these silly self inserts!

But to achieve that, you have to be very careful to avoid self insert exclusive pitfalls:

Wish fulfillment -
These OC's are self inserts, but at the same time they're not. It happens when you make OC and say "That's basically me, but... [but braver, but smarter, but prettier etc.]" - this not only pushes readers away, since stories with these are probably these kind of stories that you'd like to be in, but when others read it, they notice straight away it's your own wish fullfilment, and things in it are most likely going too easily for the OC to make her relatable or make conflict at least mildly interesting.
What to do to avoid it? If you want to make a story with yourself, based on your real feelings about something, take exactly how you are, and how you feel - no more, no less - and work with it. Because you're a real human being - you can't get anything more realistic and relatable than that. If you make a self - insert OC a honest self-insert, and not a wish-fullfilment enchanced OC, it have a very good chance of actually being relatable, properly flawed, and maybe even likable, assuming you're a likeable person. And people won't even know it's a self insert! [Really, don't tell them, it ruins the trick]

Skip-it-because-it's-obvious pitfall - You can do that in school when teacher is going about a thing you already know since you were ten years old. Not in OC creation, not in original stories. So in your story OC gives a hundred dollars to a random homeless person she never met before. Of course it is because she was once in the pit of shame, someone got her out with the power of completely unconditional kindness, and she swore that her life mission was to spread the unconditional kindness around the world to the end of her days. Obvious, isn't it? NO! it isn't.
Often when writing self inserts, writers have their SI OC do something, because it is just the think they would do in this situation, or give a trait, just because they have this trait, and THEY DON'T EXPLAIN IT! And then it looks like a cheap trick to make OC look nice and likable, or the opposite.
The thing is, every trait you have, you aquired in result of some life experiences you experienced! Every habit, every tendency, every opinion have it's source in your past - whenever someone told you it's right to behave a certain way, or you experienced something good/bad and felt like passing it further on other people like a wire filled up with electricity, there is a reason, always a reason - whenever you're writing just an OC profile, or you have this OC in a story, show your readers why the character have certain trait or acts certain way - It is NOT obvious to us, and sometimes, if we know the reason why someone did something, we percieve it differently.
Look. If i wrote "Student was late for the class" - we have all the reason to think he is a lazy slacker. but if i wrote:
"Student came late to class, visibly in pain, his clothes looking wet and left side of his trousers was dirty with mud" - now we do not jump to negative conclusion straight away - it is suggested to us that something happend, that the student might have had a good reason to be late.

Self-Pity-Insert - exact opposite of the wish fullfilment - when you make an OC that is only supposed to illustrate how miserable life you have, and expect pity for OC, which you can freely take as pity for your own person, because it's self insert, right? It often overexaggerates bad aspects of your life. But guess what? I'm not here to read stories that will put my spirits down. Maybe some people do, but most search for stories and characters that are about overcoming obstacles and not rolling in the mud of self-pity.
You can solve this the same way as you solve wish fullfillment problem - by being honest about yourself in your self insert. Is it really that bad you have? This might even help you get a clearer look at your own life, If you try to solve it. And if you're just a miserable little creature and there's no denying it... just make sure you realize that people may not care about your character here more than people in real world care about you - Probably people in real life care about you way more than internet will care about your SI-OC, but it isn't all that simple to notice how they care. Some people have weird ways of expressing their concern. My mom for example yells at me for clumsiness when I hurt myself - But that's just her way to show she's worried xD

And finally - Lack of distance to yourself - One think to remember - even a properly done SI-OC will have people who don't like it, insult it, or criticize it. You probably know that is an internet translation of an universal rule of "there is no way every single person in the world will like you" - and in the internet you're exposing the translation of your personality to this whole world. And you might just forget about this rule and take offence. In real world you can, to an extent, pick your company, so most people who you hang out with like you - and those who don't, you most likely don't associate with them more than necessary - in the internet you don't have this filter - so if someone don't like OC who is literally you in the story - deal with it - if you done the SI properly, chances are the disliker is just the kind of person who in real life would join the camp of those who dislike you too. And do what you do with real life dislikers - ignore them and stay away (BUT REMEMBER - this only applies if you really took care to make SI properly, and your OC isn't just some silly mary-sue.)

And if you have a luck of being real world Mary-Sue - just don't write self inserts. Your life is probably perfect without them xD (just a joke ;) )
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:iconquonit37:
Quonit37 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know what? I'm making my own version of this with EXAMPLES. and advice from....
lots of people
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