Blue Screen wrote:
I don’t think Black and Red colors are the issue per se. More like having an eye-shredding color scheme is the problem. People generally hate ponies that look like Alienware PC’s or the physical embodiment of a glow-paint rave party. Avoid colors that appear gaudy, inconsistent or high-contrast
Correct. It’s not specifically the black and red that’s hated and overused. It’s more the dominant black with any neon color rave party. Purple, red, dark blue, or anything like that is commonly considered bad. The common usage of them just makes them an annoyance. Not to forget that seeing a lot of them makes it unoriginal. Even without their story, their looks already make them something “bad” due to that.
The creators simply want a character that seems “interesting”, but most of them don’t want to spend way too much time on it. Black and Neon is often considered “cool” in the minds of 12-16 year olds. So they ditch the idea for a more natural character and aim for “cool”.
That’s the same reason for the overpowered Alicorn, relationship with mane 6, etc. They only work out the easiest and most simple ways to make their OC interesting. An Alicorn is super rare, thus interesting. The mane 6 are widely known, thus interesting. They grant their character a position within the canon of such great importance that they have to be “interesting”. Not knowing that a well balanced character with a well thought out personality and/or specialty can be much more interesting due to being so rare.
Which is also where the Mary Sue part comes from. A Mary Sue describes an original character that is often overly idealized or assumed to be a projection of the author (the author’s avatar so to say), and build to be near perfect in all ways. The overpowered Alicorn tough guy explains itself that way. The relationship for the OC can be a projection of the author. They want their favorite pony (and love interest?) in the story, so they make them a couple. Simple, unoriginal, but simple.
What’s wrong with orphans? I mean, sure, they don’t give a lot of background information to your pony, but… I can’t explain it in fair terms.
This is commonly a deal through the “parents died tragedy”. They lost their parents in a terrible accidents when they were young. This commonly splits up in two ways: 1) They saw it happen and it scarred them for life #sofuckingbadass, or 2) They never got to know them but when they grow up they discover their parents were some demigods. In either case, a common later story is them meeting the person who killed their parents and then going full bananas ragemode.
It’s a common trope for tragedy, trying to make the character appear sad and using their death as a reason to fight evil. But how it is received differs on how you build upon the orphan part. If the author constantly mentions them being an orphan or using the orphan status as the trigger for a live chaning event, it can be bad. If it just happens to be like that, meh.
Just remember that your OC is not the goddamn Batman, fighting crime chaotic good style.
Serious Business wrote:
Thank you very much, but I like to sleep tonight. So I’ll only run over the points brought up below the image on the Common Mary Sue Traits page.
- Impossibly cool outfit? Check.
- Give them an appearance that is a clear case of wanting a “cool” character or something that makes them stand out way too much. In other words, Black and red (“cool”) alicorn (stands out). It’s no longer a more natural character that fits within the universe. His looks alone point out the creator has much bigger intentions for him than staying on natural level, into the ways of the Mary Sue.
- Purple? Check.
- Can be replaced by any color. But purple, red, dark blue, etc. are commonly colors combined with more nocturnal or dark/satanic powers. It’s an overused character trait to make them satanic or a demigod in some way.
- Ethereal traits? Check.
- Same as satanic, ethereal character (Alicorns) are a common demigod tier. And anything that might make them overpowered is shunned by most OC circles.
- Contradictory backstory? Check.
- As it reads. The daughter of some past king/hero. Mother an angel and father a demon (lol, DmC). Common Mary Sue fuel.
- Stealing the hero’s job? Check.
- The hero in an existing canon universe is there to be the hero. Having your OC steal his thunder is a bad case of ego. You envy the hero, so you steal his job instead (and get the girl, let’s not forget that).
This Harry Potter example describes both ends of the Mary Sue and natural character quite well imo: