Week 2: Create an OC

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Some of our Pillow Palace artists reproduced scenes, characters or story elements from their favourite books, TV shows or films.

We had lots of conversations about the settings or narratives we’d love to live in and who we would be: our backstories, personalities and other characteristics, jobs and even pets.

‘OC’ is short for ‘original character’ – a relatively new slang term – that describes a character in an existing fictional ‘universe’ that has been developed by a fan writer. An OC is usually a completely new character created to live in that imaginary place – it could be anywhere from My Little Pony to Star Wars to Eastenders – or could be developed from a minor character who already exists in the story.

OCs are often developed on a ‘character sheet’ that combines details about that character’s traits, personality and skills along with a depiction of their appearance.

It’s a different way of immersing yourself in a story you love and sharing why it is so important to you. Some people like to create lots of different characters fairly quickly, others prefer to develop and refine one OC that they identify with, exploring their ideas over weeks, months or years!


Decide on the fictional world you would love to live in, it could be from a book, cartoon, TV series or film and then think about the original character that you would be or see in that world.

Start with simple written or voice notes – this can be as high-level or detailed as you like: from name, age, gender, species, physical features through to clothing, magical powers, loves, fears, motivations, pets… and on and on!

Create a character sheet for your OC: the important elements will depend on the universe they live in and the design/style of your character sheet could also reflect this.

We have created a long list of things you could consider for your OC with some guidance notes: https://bit.ly/3QrADHR

Above: Jill has created Jay Vella – a conflicted AI scientist – for a new series of Stranger Things. Jay’s face was generated using an AI image tool which felt apt!

Left: Bea has created Tired Barbie within the world of the recent Barbie film.


What storylines could you develop for your OC?

Which of the existing major characters in that fictional world would be involved?

Could you rework an existing story to make more of your character within it?

If your OC was one of the major characters, how would it change the story or universe?


Send your character sheet to a friend and invite them to create one too. You could quiz each other about what your OCs would do in different situations or dilemmas. Could you develop a role play and act out a storyline for your OCs together?