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  1. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    I'm happy about this:

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by R-e-n-n-a-t, Apr 7, 2011.

    One of my characters, the only one I've tested so far, only got a 'mary sue' score of 11! I finally know with some certainty that my characters are not boringly perfect.
     
  2. BEyre
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    BEyre Member

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    For us newbies - where do you go to score your characters for "mary sue"-ness?
     
  3. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    Give us a brief template of the character? It'd be interesting to know a little bit about them.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol Well mine score really, really highly :) One is 86 and the other 113 haven't even started with my half sparrow half immortal spy character- not about to change them they are not boring characters. The one consistant feedback I do have is my characters are not cliche and are well rounded.

    Sometimes being too concerned with removing cliche, stereotype and perfection you can create dull boring characters.
     
  5. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    The main character in one of my WIP's is an 80. I was really upset about that, but as one of my favorite people told me this morning, screw it! Write your story, write it well. (basically anyway... LOL) So, I'm taking his advice and that's what I'm doing :D
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your work is good your characters are anything but cliche - I want to bite this whole Mary Sue things head off and spew down it's throat lol

    The very things that cause my characters to score highly are the things that make them fun - they can shapeshift into birds, my pre-mortals have allsorts of downsides (They have to eat a horrible diet, and exercise loads or they get fat and they take much longer to heal than mortals), Socrates is technically a half breed, Angus has animal empathy as part of his talents, I like writing good looking characters etc I am not repenting I am writing these characters even if I manage to exceed it further :) I did choose Angus' name because of it's meaning and Socrates kind of arrived with his.
     
  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Awww. Thanks El :D I really appreciate that! The Mary Sue thing is pretty irritating.

    Animal empathy sounds painful... what is that?
     
  8. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    Those tests can be misleading. I have a character who was designed to avert most of the traits, scores anywhere from a 14 to a 77 depending on how I interpret the questions, but cannot be a believable character because she answered a specific question "yes."

    The question was something along the lines of "is she from a world where the characters she's interacting with are supposed to be fictional?"
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL basically he has a cat called Galileo, wolf called Gorse (having a wolf scored him a point lol) and a horse called Invincible - he is close to all of them. He can read all animals understands them is a vegatarian right from when he was little he sort of sensed the animal's pain when he was given a plate of meat.

    The wolf often saves his life :) Also has an ability to share his life force - he has built up an excess of life and energy because of his kindness towards others and can save an animal/human in birdform's life. It all sounds better in the story.

    However I think that all gave him about six points.
     
  10. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I don't put much weight on things like this, but I took the test just for the heck of it. Taylor scored a 9. Didn't really surprise me, since I only know of one other character in any medium who's even remotely similar to her. What is surprising about such a low score is that she's basically a goddess. Seems to me that someone like that is at greater risk of being a walking cliche.

    Another character from the same story scored 11, and he's just a normal guy. :confused:
     
  11. Cheshare
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    Cheshare New Member

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    now see this bugs me, Mary Sues should not be defined by a test
    my MC is a mary sue by definition, shes me when I was about 7 years younger when the events that inspired the story take place. But the thing is, I really dont want to be her and yes she has my faults and faults others point out to me.

    I honestly dont like these tests, yes avoid the pretty princess this has been done 1million times and I did it cause it's pretty :love: mindset, but dont create boring as toast characters just to avoid these cliches
     
  12. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    Ah see, a high-ranker here keeps .... well what is a nice term for bitching? Vehemently insists? My feelings about the issue say that I should try to find a lower-temp definition, but I was always confused by connotation. I wish I knew the flattering term for bitching.

    Anyway, the issue is very complicated. That's probably why off-the-wall characters get the MS label while characters that deserve it get ignored. Personal opinion and shifting definitions.

    According to his definition of Mary-Sue, one of them could score low according to those tests, yet still be irritating. Or conversely dodge the tests while being annoying to those who know what to look for.

    I keep thinking about my first Mary-Sue... She's a classic in that she draws on my past enough to be me, (I honestly get depressed at reading the depiction of her father, now that my own is dead.)

    My newer one is an effort to remove from myself, to the point where I try to invent any background detail I can rather than loaning. Considering her background, I can't completely non-me her.
     
  13. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    My MC is only a 23 - surprising seeing as how it's loosely based on my teenage self.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you think a checklist can evaluate a character, congratulations. Personally, I have no faith in such metrics. A character can only be evaluated in terms of his or her performance in a story.

    And a test for a Mary Sue is almost certianly garbage, and based on a completely wrong notion of what a Mary Sue is.

    A Mary Sue is a fantasy-fulfilling surrogate for the author in a story, period. It does NOT mean a shallow or annoyingly perfect character, and even if it did, there are times when that is exactly what the role demands.

    Avoid such "tests". They have no more validity than using a tax form to decide whether a person has a good grasp of personal economics.
     
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  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be fair think the term Mary-Sue has well and truly evolved - words are kinda like Pokemon in that respect, you throw them out there and they change. It is useful i find to see what is seen as cliche, and to see how my characters tally up - where the problem comes is when the person doing the test doesn't have the ability to evaluate the question.

    A lot of the reason my character isn't a Mary-Sue by the evolved meaning is the universe he lives in. Also it does give me some new wonderful ideas about Mary-Sueisms

    Personally think if you have a fantasy character that doesn't score high on the springhole test you could well have a dull character. A contempoary character is never going to score as high.
     
  16. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    I just did this test and my highest scoring character was an 8, and my lowest a 2. No, I'm not bragging. My characters are boring. All but one of them, at least. At the moment I'm on my first draft and I'm just trying to punch out a plot, and most of my characters are not engaging in the slightest. If making them 'Mary Sues' makes them more interesting, then that's what they'll end up as.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I disagree. The broader usage is not at all well defined, and is nothing more than ignorance given a facade of legitimacy by a convenient label.

    It's a way of dismissing a character as unsuitable without providing any specific rationale. It's a red letter stamped on the character's forehead by parishoners of the Church of Mediocrity.
     
  18. dnsralg
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    dnsralg Senior Member

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    I've never heard of a Mary-Sue test. I just took one for my WIP main character out of curiosity. She scored a 1; she is a smoker and everyone significant in the story has heard of her. Hmmm...
     
  19. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is the best answer anyone can get for determining if their character is a Mary Sue or not.

    I just googled a Mary Sue checklist. According to it, basically if your character does anything other than die in the first scene there are traces of Mary Sue in their essence, which is really dumb.

    Your character's actions when facing desperate situations in your story will determine if they are a Mary Sue or not. Was there any doubt they wouldn't prevail? Is your character an 'I Win!" button for the good guys? Your character's glaring flaw could be he is deathly afraid of heights, but if he never has to face that fear in your story, it's not really a flaw.
     
  20. ProwerGirl
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    ProwerGirl Member

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    I character who I deliberately made to mock Mary-Sues got a nine. Mary Sue tests are good to judge if the majority of people will think your character cliche, but otherwise, I just use them to amuse myself. My suggestion is to do try one early on just to check what it thinks of your character, and then edit and add from there.
     

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