When reading this, please realize that this is for fully human OC’s in modern times only.
No more than six Pokemon on a battle team. Why can’t people realize this? Seriously, have you ever seen anyone battle with more than six Pokemon? No? Then why are their OC’s battling with 15 freakin Pokemon a piece? It’s perfectly fine for a gym leader or professor to have a bunch of Pokemon that live with them, or for a trainer to have a ton of stored Pokemon as long as they aren’t constantly using more than six.
Starters as starters never go out of style. There are way too many fics where the OC has Pikachu or Eevee as a starter for no reason. Try to use starters as starter Pokemon (don’t give the trainer a bunch of starters or starters from foreign regions). When a new Pokemon is released before its generation (this happened with Munchlax), and is not a starter Pokemon, don’t use it as a starter until the rest are released.
Your starter is not Pikachu. Not every starter likes/hates their trainer imminently. Give them personality.
Shiny Pokemon are done to death. So you wanna have a unique OC with a party of shiny’s? Well, tough luck. Shines are rare, not something that your OC can have a million of (I’ve seen people who have OC’s with a ton of shiny Pokemon, and will flame anyone with a single shiny). One is okay (as long as it’s a fairly common Pokemon), two is pushing it, and three or more makes your character a Mary-Sue. Shiny starters are also done to death (seriously, who would give a Pokemon that rare to a little kid?).
Nobody has multi-color hair. Have you ever seen anyone with rainbow hair in Pokemon? It’s perfectly okay to give your OC purple hair, but not rainbow.
Nobody has a perfect body. Your OC shouldn’t be tall, thin, and large busted (especially if they are 14 or younger), that would make them a Mary-Sue. Give them appearance flaw. Why not give your character small breasts, and have her feel awkward whenever a woman with bigger breasts walks by?
Cool it with the Eevee’s. Yes, Eevee is an epic Pokemon, but it is also done to death. Unless your OC is an Eevee breeder (and not a part time Pokemon master), than they shouldn’t have a million Eevee’s (especially not shiny ones). Don’t even get me started on Eevee as a starter.
Pokemon don’t speak English. I’m fine with you having OC’s raised by Pokemon who aren’t carbon copies of N (Try to have them more like the Kangaskong kid from season one where the parents accidentally lost him instead of it involving rape/abuse). But if your OC was raised by Pokemon and had little or no contact with humans, than they shouldn’t be able to speak perfect English the first minute they encounter a human.
Becoming a Pokemon master isn’t a walk in the park. I get it you wanna make your OC be really cool with a bunch of championship titles, or top coordinator titles, or the like, but if you give your OC too much power and titles, they become a Mary-Sue. Decide of you wanna make them a renowned breeder OR a master of flying types.
Legendary Pokemon are supposed to be rare. Your OC shouldn’t encounter a legendary on their first day out, nor should they posses more than one that is not one of a kind and necessary to keep the Earth in alignment (Dialgia, Yvetal, ect.). Don’t even get me started on shiny legendary Pokemon. Even if your OC has a legendary/rare Pokemon, they shouldn’t get it very easy (not without a Master ball, which you can only get one of), it should take a lot of time and effort. Legendary Pokemon are already so powerful, leaving no room for growth.
Clothing shouldn’t be too impractical. Yes, flip-flops look cute, but they shouldn’t be worn on Mt. Silver. Your OC’s clothing should work for where they are/live. It’s perfectly fine to have impractical outfits that backfire for humorous effects (i. e. Getting sick after wearing a tanktop and shorts around Snowpoint city).
OC’s are not your shipping toys. Your OC shouldn’t exist so you can ship them with characters that you think are hot (N and Gary are big ones, but for me it was Falkner). Your OC should not be constantly hit on by character (especially not significantly older characters), or used as an object of desire of any kind (It’s really sexist to have your female character simply be a sex doll). Please don’t ship your OC with Pokemon, just don’t.
Pokemon don’t get stronger because you want them to. Let’s take Tallow for example (apparently someone was god-moding with one of these), it’s got horrible attack stat until it evolves. Now let’s say you pit it against a Chancy (very high HP). Your Tallow shouldn’t be able to take down the Chancy in one it. And forget about the whole, “Dodge every attack” thing. Look up stats are be reasonable.
Ash does not have a twin sister. It’s okay to have your OC be related to cannon characters, but don’t make it a relationship that couldn’t happen, and try to stick to less popular characters.
Get your evolution facts straight. Eevee doesn’t evolve by the moon stone, Porygon doesn’t evolve by leveling up. Get your facts straight, and make sure you use a reliable site for information.
Pokemon should be caught/befriended in different ways. You don’t even wanna know how many fic there are where all the Pokemon were nursed back to health by the OC who they then join. It’s okay to do this once or twice, but not all the time. Give each Pokemon their own method of capture.
Your OC is not Ash. Don’t have their journey be just like Ash’s, you know what I mean (waking up late, getting a rare starter that hates them, ect.) Give them their own journey.
Prophecies involving an OC as the “Chosen one” are dead. Your character is not some special half-Arseus, god. If you must put in a prophecy, make it less about your OC and more about others.
Rare Pokemon are supposed to be rare. Your OC should not be given a rare Pokemon as a starter because the professor “doesn’t need it” for some reason (“Here, take this shiny Eevee, I have no use for it.”), or find one on their first day out (“OMG, I’ve only been out here for three minutes, and I just found a shiny Dragtini.”). If your OC must of a rare Pokemon, have it take a lot of searching to get that one rare Pokemon (don’t have them find a ton of rare Pokemon).
Too many outfits, is too much baggage. Pokemon trainers are constantly traveling around, so they wouldn’t have room for a million outfits. Its okay for them to have outfits for different function (Swimsuit, coat, ect.), or for a stationary character to have a bunch of clothing. Try carrying a bag around with a bunch of different outfits (including shoes). Now put other things such as food in that bag. My point exactly.
Too much angst makes a Mary-Sue. Trauma is a good way to make people feel bad for your character, right? Wrong! Angst should never be used to make people feel bad for your character. Try not to use too much angst, and make sure it fits with the setting. And skip the whole, “Dad? What dad?” thing (I can name four characters off the top of my head with daddy issues).
Straw men are not suitable villains. Jessie and James are weak and stupid, but that’s not the entire team rocket. Your OC should have to fight strong villains which take a long time to defeat (fighting straw men and paper tigers makes them look weak).
Preteens aren’t THAT mature. This includes both physical and mental attributes. A ten year old shouldn’t be a D-cup, nor should they be able to process everything that is happening around them as well as an older person would.
There are no set gender roles. Just because your OC is a boy doesn’t mean he has to do gym, just because your trainer is a girl doesn’t mean she has to be a coordinator. Anyone who says differently is a sexist pig.
Just because its fanFICTION, doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep the cannon. No explanation necessary.
Use spell check. Your fic isn’t SOOOO good that everyone will ignore that you wrote in text format. Also, google translate shall not be used to translate fics.
Learn to take criticism. You are not the greatest writer ever; people have the right to give you helpful tips on your writing. Before you say to them, “You have no right to criticize my art.” Remember, you posted in a public space, and didn’t disable reviews. Never say, “I worked really hard on this, so please like it.”
Have fun. Duh.