Roleplaying an original character is a daunting task, but here are some ideas for anyone wanting to step out from the Canon mold. You want to make your OC someone other roleplayers will notice and want to interact with. So let’s discuss how to make their voices heard!
1. Give Your Original Character Unconventional Characteristics
There’s nothing worse than a one-dimensional character. You’re surrounded by competition, and your OC will fizzle out if you don’t make them different from others looking for roleplay. So start by giving your character traits that will make them unique. How do you think a Canon character becomes memorable?
Roleplay Ideas for Quirky Traits
- What if your guy has an inkling for the sight of blood that brings about some sort of response in him?
- How about if your beautiful OC girl has a secret past she hides behind her out-going personality
- If your villain has a passion for a piece of music, what if it soothes him into being somewhat less crazy?
Make sure you’ve fleshed out your OC’s quirks so you’ll best be able to express them in your RP, solos or backstories. These little nuances of the OC will make them more enticing to someone wanting to develop a storyline with you.
2. Give Your OC an Occupation to Tempt Others Who May Have a Storyline Idea
There’s a common complaint in the RP Community that Canon characters in any roleplay venue are ignoring the OCs. If you’re wanting to RP with Canons, then create an occupation for your OC that will meld well with their verse.
When I first began roleplaying, my OC had hardly any interactions. However, as soon as I gave her the occupation of Forensic Pathologist, I had a half-dozen RPers hitting me up with storyline ideas.
3. Target a Specific Fandom or Verse
When you’re starting out, if you make Original Characters for ANY verse, you run the risk of not understanding who your OC is or in what direction to take them. Even if your OC is a vampire, you can zero in on many different fandoms and also venture into the horror or gothic genre. By having a verse direction for your OC, you’re more likely to find RPers from the same verse pausing at your account and giving it a look-see. That’s what you want!
4. Find an Engaging FC and AVI Others Will be Drawn to
You’re reading this blog because you want to entice RP your way, right? Well, this may be one of the critical tasks you have in establishing your OC in the RP community.
When someone finds your account, you need to stop them in their tracks and to take notice of your OC. How? Visuals are the first thing that will make them linger long enough to read further. Your FC (face claim) and AVI (avatar) are their first introduction to your character while they’re scrolling through accounts. Make sure your marketing is on par with others. Yes, you’re advertising your OC and competing with other RPers for attention.
The choices for Face Claims are limitless. But in selecting your FC, make sure it’s someone you can imagine RPing for the long haul. Everything you do from this point is shaping your character. If you’re working hard to establish your OC and you change your face claim, you’re essentially creating a new character. Even if their traits are precisely the same as the former FC, to other RPers, your OC is still a brand new character. Welcome to ground zero.
5. Make Your OC Approachable or at Least Curious About Others
Many who write in the RP Community have naturally introverted personalities and use RP as a safe place where they can create characters ‘unlike’ themselves. Even if you’re writing an outgoing RP character, don’t hesitate in reaching out to others. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you.
Yes, it’s a scary thing to reach out, and yes, you may be rejected or ignored for your effort. But if you’re starting out, do everything you can to make your OC more approachable, and that starts with approaching others.
6. Follow RP Etiquette Guidelines
If you’re new to RP or even if you’re an old hand, visit the RP Etiquette Quickie Guidelines and read over the areas every RPer needs to know before and while engaging in the RP Community. This list will be updated as more issues come to light.
7. Write a Backstory For Your OC, But Maintain an Element of Mystery
Many will write a backstory for their Orginal Character, and keep it posted somewhere on their site so others will know more about who their character is. Others will simply post the attributes of their character and a list of their expectations for any RP interactions.
Personally, I’ve never written the stat type of posts and have never given a list of what I expect from my RP. I find that’s immediately a non-approachable red light for me. But I’ve written a backstory, not long-winded, but one that I made sure was free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. It hinted at all those qualities in my OC’s personality that made her the perfect OC to write with. It spoke about her job working in a large hospital and her need for a good run after a stressful day. She even had a little interaction in the backstory that showed her flirting with another colleague, highlighting that teasing side to her personality.
8. Always Have That “What Can I Do For You” Attitude to Entice Others Your Way
Now is not the time to be self-absorbed. I started RPing with a character who was in the Classic Hollywood genre that I loved writing in. I really wanted to RP with a particular character as I had a lot of ideas for the direction of an SL. Oh, and I should mention (which I will address in a later blog) his follower count was around 50,000. So in my mind, his writing abilities were exceptional. Well, not so much.
No matter what character you’re RPing this is the golden rule about finding a partner AND keeping a partner: It’s not all about you. No one wants their RP time to be a glorification of you, except maybe you. Roleplay is about working with your partner, and it’s a balance of conversation and interaction.
This particular RPer had over 50,000 followers, and yet he would answer my replies with badly-worded one or two line responses. Never asked about or showed interest in finding out more about my character in the RP. Every reply I gave was my attempt to get him motivated to give me something to work with. It turned out to be a giant “blah” interaction for me and what I think to this day as a complete waste of time.
9. Write Posts Like an Open Invitation to Others to Engage With Your OC
When you keep hitting dead ends with interactions, try sending out Open Posts that will tempt RPers to engage with your OC. Make sure to attach an image or a gif to the post as our attention is naturally drawn to pictures before words. Establishing interactions with images is a great way to show your OC’s personality. It provides a glimpse into ‘your’ writing that will entice eyes your way.
Of course, responding to open posts by another in a funny, or off-beat manner is something you should consider. This won’t work all the time, but it often gets the other RPer peeking into your account to see who you are. There’s no better way to find RP than to interact with open posts. Sometimes this fails if the RPer is wanting a specific interaction, but it can become that first step in developing your RP relationship.
Creating Original Characters is definitely not an easy task. But by using these suggestions, others might discover how engaging your character can be. And when your character finds their own voice and more RP interactions come your way, this world of Roleplay will be a place you’ll love to visit to release your inner OC.
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