First, let me say that I hate Mary-Sues. Hate. I loathe them with every fiber of my being. The last thing I've ever wanted is to write one myself. However, according to some of my friends, I've done just that in my current story. The heroine has become such a weak character that she might as well just be an observer, or an imaginary friend that all the characters share. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "Mary-Sue," it's a difficult thing to describe. There's no specific traits that a character must have in order to be considered one. However, there is a general consensus on the following things: 1. The character is usually an idealized embodiment of the author and is used to fulfill the author's wishes or dreams. 2. The character is described as incredibly attractive, incredibly skilled in various areas, and/or possesses skills that are rare or nonexistent in the setting. 3. The character lacks any real, relevant, or notable flaws. Or if he/she does have any, they are obviously meant to be endearing. One of the greatest examples in modern literature is Bella Swan from the Twilight series... if it dare be called "literature." (Go to TV Tropes for a more in-depth definition: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarySue ) My character mostly follows number three, more so than the other two. She almost defies number two in that she's completely useless and has absolutely no skills whatsoever. Yet, no matter how I present it to my friends, they still say she's got that "Mary-Sue" feel about her. I'm eight thousand words and five chapters into it, and I still can't seem to knock her out of it. Does anyone have any advice on this? I don't want to completely recreate her character, but I don't want her to remain a Sue, either. Or, if you don't have any advice, maybe you or one of your writing pals has gone through something similar? I'll take anything I can get. I'm starting to become desperate. Thanks in advance!