OCs are Original Characters, fan-made characters by an author that aren't acknowledged or endorsed by the creator of the series that the fanfiction is based on.

Common bad OCs are Mary Sues, Author Avatars (which often get turned into Mary Sues too) and Recolors (also often a Mary Sue, but more often than not a "long-lost brother" of the non-OC.

do not be confused with another type of original character, with the "original" meaning "first in a series of copies or versions". That one is often an actual character acknowledged by the true creators.

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