A story for a doll or a doll for the story?

Sep 30, 2020

    1. So, I was digging through the forums, as per usual, trying to settle some of the doll waiting jitters and could not help but notice a lot of thread and discussions about "shelling" OCs in to dolls...
      The thing is - I have panty of OCs, both from written works and from art and yet I have no desire to "shell" them - setting the difficulty of doing so (in my case) aside it seams so... Limiting. There are so many beautiful dolls and sculpts that I enjoy and would like to have, not getting them just because they look nothing like any of my OCs seam... Sad.
      So instead I want the other way and quickly made up an entirely new narrative that includes the dolls I do like, giving them roles and personalities in a new world/story... Still needs to be written down as anything more detailed than quick drafts, but I think it will be a lot of fun to do. It is a bit like a writing challenge - you get a bunch of people and you try to connect them in a compelling manner - makes me think outside of my usual boxes :)
      And it got me wondering - how many people go the same route? I do know that not everyone gives their dolls backstories, but thous who do - how often you decision on the doll/story is driven by the doll vs picking a doll that matches the story?
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    2. I make a story around the dolls. I can’t not do it, I like stories and making OCs too much. I’ll never post their story anywhere, either, unless I’m making photo stories, I guess. :XD:
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    3. I make a story around the doll, I've tried a few times, trying to male a doll off an existing character has been dismal for me.
      I've found geting a doll and slowly doing whatever inspires me at the time, works a billion times better.
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    4. I'm the same way as @ghostly0rigins. I will create stories around the dolls and let them bring my tales to life. It also helps that I normally don't have a very detailed description of my OCs in my head so most any doll that generally fits the bill would do if I liked them enough. lol
      • x 1
    5. I do both, I have dolls that I've gotten to be made into OCs of mine/RP PCs, and I have dolls where I got the doll and then formed a character and/or story around it (and maybe later even made into a gaming PC.) Sometimes I see a doll and it's all OMG I need this one, it would be the perfect doll of X. And sometimes it's OMG I need you, I have no idea what you'll be, but I need you in my life.

      That second case is what happened with the last doll I bought. A 2nd hand mnf Sia, I had no set plans for it, I just knew I needed a mer-boy in my life, and the day before he got home to me I suddenly had a super detailed character for him without trying. And as an example of the other way, I not too long ago shelled doll as a vampire PC of mine. I see dolls as a creative outlet, and as such there really isn't a wrong way to go about the hobby for me.
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    6. I would love to shell some of my characters, but I think I would be limited by funds/availability/skills. I would want them to be authentic and it's always hard to get close to what's in your head.

      My first doll I bought was because I fell in love with her, she doesn't have a story but I did rename her after a beloved book character.

      My second I think is perfect in every way and haven't even renamed her, it fits just right :D

      But those dolls are fullsets, and when I bought my first blank doll I started to build a story around her based on a world I created for one of my OCs. My second blank doll has been given a story in the same world, and it's fun to figure out how they fit together. And since I'm building a character around them I have a lot more creative freedom and less pressure to make them look like a long established OC in my head. I would love to shell the OC from that world one day so she can join the family but I just haven't found the right doll. ;)
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    7. I've tried to do the route of making a doll from one of my own characters and it just didn't seem to work. While the face sculpt was perfect, the rest of the doll was not and she would've needed so much more work to be what I wanted her to be it just wasn't possible for me to do. I ended up trading her with no regrets.

      Now I like to just find a doll that I absolutely adore and build characters off of them.
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    8. I've done both. I've had dolls shift through characters and end up as new ones, and some of my mainstay OCs have changed/fleshed out parts of their character after i had them as a doll- that is to say, stuff like their fashion, color palette, size relativity, and even one's name ended up not fitting or working to the effect I wanted once it left my head. Other dolls ended up in my hands without a plan ahead of time and just became a character. :? consistency is for the birds
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    9. I feel like limiting my dolls to characters I have is more a limit on my spending than a limit on my creativity. And honestly I'm rather bad at making up characters and back stories :lol: So the characters I have created are special to me and creating a new character just for a sculpt ends up feeling rather hollow.

      My first two heads were originally purchased because I fancied the sculpt and face-up (no character in mind). But once they arrived, I found that they would be suitable for two characters I had loosely mapped out back in junior high. I find having them as BJD's is a way for me to progress their character designs!

      My third doll was picked because I found her adorable. She doesn't have a backstory at all (and I don't intend to make one) but is more like a mascot to me.

      The remaining three dolls I have planned will be to shell my three original OCs which are special to me. The funny thing is that I never considered shelling these three until I found sculpts I thought looked like them. Now I'm all gung-ho to create their outfits and weapons and do photoshoots even though I've barely shelled 2 of them!
      • x 2
    10. Personally I just think it’s fun to have your vision come to life. Though I agree the sculpts and bodies are limiting. A lot of my characters are non white, and many of them aren’t stick thin, so I’m gonna have to put up with modding lol!
      For me, a lot of my characters give me comfort. So having them in physical form is just... nice? Especially when you’ve found that perfect sculpt that suits them to a T.
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    11. I do both. Some dolls are picked specifically for a character of mine, while others I just fall in love with the sculpt and they then become a character on their own. The second way is rather fun to me because it's sort of like, discovering and building something up. The first is especially nice because it gives one of my already existing characters a more physical form!
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    12. I do both! My Shinydoll Midori is a video game OC*, but all my other dolls are being fleshed out into their own beings! :)

      *my OC is actually quite buff in my head, but DA:I doesn't let you have buff elves in-game so she's pretty accurate LOL
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    13. I do both. I have gotten some dolls to fit a story I wanted them to and have also bought dolls and they did not have a story until they came home and I constructed one for them. I also have character specific dolls (like Hatsune Miku) that are not my characters.
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    14. I have done both/a variety of doll/story options, I guess you could say.

      When I started in the hobby I would purchase dolls I loved and create new characters for them in one big story that tied them all together.

      Then at some point, I got the idea that my first doll had a brother. And purchased a doll to be him specifically...but...it just didn't work. So he kind of fell out of the story.

      Then I went through a period where I didn't really give my dolls characters at all. Maybe just a name. That was enjoyable for me too. I took a lot of photos.

      Then I started making dolls into characters from existing media (not my own) and that has been immensely enjoyable!

      Theeeen, I made a doll into a character of my own that existed before the doll and have gotten quite sucked into that process. Hehe. It is just neat to see ideas in physical form.
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    15. I've definitely done both. Vince, Marigold, and Party Martian are very much doll first. Jack's my current D&D character, so he's got a WHOLE lot of story before I felt I had to shell him.
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    16. I started doing things one way but in the middle change to the other xD

      My first doll was supposed to be one of my most beloved characters and my second doll was meant to be her boyfriend which I also had ideas for from long ago... But I felt like I wasn't bonding with them and I didn't know why.
      Things were clearer when the third doll arrived. She was the boy's little sister which I didn't know I needed and I created a brand new character for her and she became the most loved one, which was like a point of no return for me.

      Since then, I decided to redesign my previous characters (keeping names and sculpts but reshaping everything else) and the rest of the dolls came just because I liked them and desired to make characters and stories for such lovely sculpts. That is working much better for me and I enjoy more (and find easier) to create characters for sculpts than trying to find a perfect sculpt for a character.
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    17. Man, I basically only shell my ocs. But thats because I have a bunch that seem really suited to common aesthetics in BJD sculpts, so its not very hard to imagine them. Also because I like having my characters in the Physical Realm
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    18. One of my dolls has more unique set up. He's my own portrayal of a character in one my favorite video games, but instead of just cosplaying him, I'm portraying him in the lore's timeline when he was younger and briefly lived as civilian before he signed himself up for more total war. This character's past was never explored in the video game, but in the wiki, he has an extensive background.
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    19. Kind of a combination of both. I take some artistic liberties when bringing my OCs to life in doll form, because, as others have said, the limitations of dolls (and my wallet, lol) prevent me from recreating them 1:1. I try to keep my expectations low and my mind open when looking for stuff for them, because I know if I create an image in my head of exactly what I want, I'll get disappointed when it can't become reality.
      I also like to let the dolls dictate the story a bit; I'll have a loose idea in mind for what I want for their characters, but ultimately, the doll will tell me what to do ;)
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    20. Almost every time - I hate the process of hunting down a doll/sculpt/body that works for a particular existing character, and the few times I've tried to assign a character to an incoming doll before they arrived, the doll has refused to conform to that character.

      So, once the doll arrives, I get to know them, find out their style, colour preferences, character etc. Sometimes it's quick, sometimes it takes ages. Sometimes they sip into one of the existing doll groups/families, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they get a detailed backstory, sometimes bare-bones, sometimes none. Sometimes their backstory grows and expands with "interaction"/play with the other dolls/characters, sometimes not.

      And I don't write their stories, I just know who they are and what their background (if any) is.

      • x 1