(Warning: long post ahead! Sorry, but no TL;DR) Okay, so, hello there. : ) I was writing a novel but I put it on hold when I decided I needed more practice writing first, so I put it aside for now and I'm now just working on other smaller projects to improve my writing. At the moment, my project is a fanfiction (I know, cue laughter). My fanfiction is from a video game I love (who's name I won't give away, but if you're smart enough, you should be able to guess it). The main issue is... my main character. She's kind of half OC, half canon. Mostly because she's based on the player character, and as most video games go, the player character lacks a canon personality & has a vague background to make you, the gamer, fill in the rest yourself. This lets me play around with her background and personality. I'm trying not to make a Mary Sue out of her. The problem? She's based on the player character, and as we all know, the player character is sort of a Canon Sue game-wise - they're the best, they always come out on top, and they always knock out everyone that's in their way, making the "bad guys" eventually see reason and whatever. You know, typical video game. So how to keep to this flawless canon storyline yet still not make my character a Mary Sue? Well, I want you guys to be the judge of that. : ) Let me give a description of my character so far (I tried the Mary Sue Litmus Test, and I failed it, so critique on what I should add to lessen the Mary Sueish edge to her is good). Her name is Edna "Eddie" Knell. She's 16 years old. However, she has no will of choice. Her mother controls everything about her: her life, her friends, you name it. From birth, it was decided how Eddie would live her life. Her mother wants Eddie to be a "princess". You know, the typical housewife: as feminine as possible, cooks well, dresses well, etc etc. Her mother decides absolutely everything for her, even if Eddie isn't too keen to leading the lifestyle her mother planned for her. Now, they move to a new town, and Eddie isn't quite pleased with the move. She would have stayed behind in her old town (her brother, who has more freedom, did), but her mother forbade her and dragged her along with her. At her new town, she befriends the neighbourhood boy, who soon realizes the lifestyle Eddie leads. He encourages Eddie to become independent and live her own life, but she has trouble with this, as she isn't really the "independent" type of person, and never rebels or disobeys her parents. With her new friend's encouragement, she runs away from home to live her life, destroying everything feminine tied to her name in the process (literally too). She cuts her hair, starts wearing tomboy clothing, and refuses to be acknowledged under her "elegant" legal name of "Edna", instead self-styling herself as "Eddie" (thus... the name, yea). She also gets pissed and mad at anyone who calls her "girly" or similar, even if it's not really intentional on the other party's part (resulting sometimes in the chars getting mad at her defensive and rude behaviour). Now this is where it ties to the game's storyline. She goes on to become the "best fighter", defeating all those that stand in her way, etc etc... you know, typical video game. I know I should throw in some personal conflicts here and there to make her more "relateable", but I'm having a hard time. This is what I've got so far: While she's trying to fight her way to the top (ie follow video game's storyline), she's also struggling with her self-identity, unsure of who she really is whether she made the right choice in running away and leaving behind her old life. With help from the canon characters she befriends along the way (mirrors the characters the player befriends in the game), she begins to try to figure out her place in the world and come to "find" herself, and also try to resolve the whole family conflict (you know, possessive conservative mother, etc). Now, another thing bothering me... is the "bad guy" part to the game/storyline. In the game, you as the main player help overthrow the bad dudes and whatever, and eventually they come to see reason like "wow our resolve was pure fail, okay we're gonna back out now", etc etc... How can I tie something like that in with the fanfic itself, yet not make Eddie seem like the whole Mary Sue of "YAY! SHE SAVED THE WORLD FROM AN EVIL ORGANIZATION!!", and whatever? Also, keep in mind in-game, ALL THE CHARACTERS LIKE YOU. Every single character likes you (except the bad guys, but they don't count)!! How the hell can I work around that? I want some people to dislike her like a normal person, etc etc... I can't have everyone bowing at her feet and all smiles at her. Of course, like in the game it's not a case of, poof!, now you're the winner and toughest of all, since you still gotta train, etc etc. to advance and become stronger (yet somehow you do speed up and become strong at lightning-speed). But how can I tie that in with my story without making it seem like "aha! overnight, with just a bit of practice and not as much as everyone, I have become the best!" and still add in plot elements of my own creation (like I did with her background story)? I want her to have flaws, which the player character obviously lacks (and I can't think of how to add flaws and keep to the original storyline), and I don't want her to be a "natural" at what she does. How can one write about someone growing stronger and stronger little by little instead of just being naturally good? WHOO, that was long. XD Anyway, sorry about the long post, but I'm seriously dedicated on making my character not a Mary Sue. Thanks in advance.