Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Holo
    Offline

    Holo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0

    So what is a Mary Sue/Gary Stu?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Holo, Aug 2, 2012.

    What are the criteria and what types of characters tend to be classified as mary sues or gary stus. It seems like there are a wide range of (specifically female) characters that are labeled mary sues and not one of them are alike. Some are pure at heart and just good people. Some are anti heroes.
    I know someone said that the first ringer for a mary sue is a tragic backstory or circumstance. I disagree. Tragic backstories and circumstances provide the protagonist with motivation and drive. If their lives are just plain jane up until the story's events, then they really have no urgent goals. But that's just my opinion.
    But in your opinion, what are the criteria for a Mary Sue? What should people look out for in their characters to keep them from being labeled mary sues? And are there any traits or qualities that are never considered a mary sue trait?
     
  2. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Never mind. The concept of a Mary Sue is not useful. How could it be, if nobody agrees on the definition?
     
  3. Holo
    Offline

    Holo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I just wanted to see what people thought the definition was. Maybe somewhere down the line, I can get a clear concept of what people think of when it comes to a mary sue. It's useful because there are certain traits of the mary sue that are probably universal. It's just for help with figuring out my characters and knowing what to avoid. Therefore, the concept is a bit useful.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The terms are woefully overused, and therefore meaningless. Forget you ever heard the terms. Nearly everyone who continues to use them does so out of laziness, to dismiss a character without actually having a credible reason.

    Historically, the term Mary Sue refers to author self-insertion as a character to vicariously experience the story. Gary Stu was added for gender parity, after Mary Sue had already begun to be broadened to cover any character the reader didn't care for.

    This is a topic that has repeatedly blown up into stupid bickering, so I am shutting it down now.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page