I'm still fairly new to the fanfic community at large, just starting to get all the lingo down and learning about how it all works. I love fanfiction.net but have no idea how to work the message-board/community area of that site. I've often wanted to pick the brains of seasoned fanfic writers, especially about original characters. I've learned about Mary Sues, and I'm wondering if this is the reason it seems people just skip right over a fic if 'OC' is mentioned? I've read a whole bunch of fics that do seem to be an extension of the writer's fantasy life, but I've read a few original character fanfics that have been fantastic and left me wishing that character really existed in the canon the fic is based on. How do you guys feel about original characters? I am really curious because I wrote fanfics with an OC friend/love interest for Greg Sanders because I got tired of the writers never giving much info on his past or giving him a decent love interest. It was the first fanfic I ever published online, and I got a couple private messages accusing me of writing a Mary-Sue. I didn't even know what that was, and once I started digging around for definitions, I started getting the feeling OCs are really disliked (even hated) in the fanfiction community. Would you say I'm correct on that? I only ask because I have really enjoyed writing the fics I've done, but I kind of feel a bit daunted thinking I'm up against the bad rep of OCs/Mary-Suism. I definitely fall under the label of 'shipper' for sure, it's just I don't personally see Greg with Sara/Sophia/Nick myself (though I enjoy reading some of the fics others have done on those pairings). I don't feel the stuff I do falls under Mary-Suism in any respect, I've tried to craft a real character here and while I'm totally cool with people not liking her, I'd like to think they wouldn't like her because of some real flaw they see in the writing rather than just assuming I wrote someone based on myself, y'know? Again, I'm really interested in hearing your take and feedback on it. Like I said, I'm new to publishing fanfic and am in the dark about a lot of the ways of the fanfic world. Thanks in advance!