Mary Sue, the enemy of character creation (for those you who don't know it's a name associated with a character who is generally too good/ perfect). I'm currently writing a High Fantasy novel and the problem is walking the fine line of the "tropes issue". Now tropes aren't an issue if you can do them your own way, and I'm not too worried about mine. What I am worried about is the Mary Sue, which is a name that many times seems to be unjustifiably stuck on any character who is really good at something, smart, athletic, personable, or...a woman. Yes, anyone else notice if it's a six foot tall white dude doing good then all is well, but the second a five foot nothing girl starts kicking ass HOLD THE PHONE! Here in lies my issue. I often have to walk a fine line with mine. Because my character is in a fantasy world and she is gifted with a LIMITED few special abilities, and the fact that she is female, makes me worry my character will draw this name when she doesn't deserve it. There's nothing wrong with writing about a normal person. I have read these books and many are great (big fan of James Siegel and he only writes about the average Joe). But having a character who is really good at something is fun. And honestly what would a Sherlock Holmes novel be without his keen observations? Or a Bourne film without his quick wits and ability to speak any language known to man? Or a political triangle without Tyrion Lanister spinning the webs he's ever so clever at? What do you guys think of this "Mary Sue" title being placed on women more so then it is on men (not even sure what the male version of the name is!)? How do you avoid a Mary Sue? And when you do bestow a talent or group of talents on a character (be they magical or learned/ a natural talent) how do you avoid the pitfalls?