1. Smoke

    Smoke New Member

    Mar 1, 2011
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    The dreaded Mary-Sue?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Smoke, Mar 17, 2011.

    I admit that I'm a Suethor. I'm too busy writing fan-fiction to bother with any original ideas, and I keep inserting meddlesome females to derail the lives of the canon characters. (I'm in a really dry period where my only idea is ten years old.)

    I'm just wondering if Sues aren't automatically bad.

    There was Lady Gonawei, who is a (rare for me) in-universe Sue who has a hobby of kidnapping people "that are doomed to extinction" from their proper time and place to live in her "preserve." Then she kidnaps the canon character at the beginning of the story and only her interactions with that character are seen. What she's doing behind the scenes is a mystery. I have a new story where the Sue does her thing and gets out of the way until she has to interfere again.

    The worst offender was Jennifer, who had the power to both pull people out of video games into the real world and then twist their personalities to suit her desires. And she wasn't the only person who could do that. Readers seemed to love that story.

    I've done a pair of anti-sue stories where the canon character is forced by circumstance to interact with the Sue, and she's too deluded to realize just how annoyed he is at the whole mess, even after he shouts at her for it.

    My latest Sue is descended from a story that stalled after I started posting it. Someone accused me of making a self-insert character, one who got beaten and raped by the bad guy. (That character was honestly the least self-inserty that I had made yet.) The current incarnation is very low-scoring on litmus tests, and mainly a Sue because of the irredeemable trait of being sucked into a video game that she knows back to front. (I lost a lot of the torture in the rewrite, and decided to make another minor Sue seduce him.)
  2. w176

    w176 Contributor Contributor

    Jun 22, 2010
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    LuleƄ, Sweden
    I think the key is the character has a element of Mary-Sueism is to make the Mary- Sueism universal. If you can write it so that any reader feel like the writer inserted the readers own dream self, their own personal Mary-Sue into the story rather then the writers Mary-Sue you gotten a long way.

    Another side note is a parallel to actors. Most actors does when they play someone else really play someone else They discard who they are and become someone else.

    But I also know brilliant actors they no matter who they play always just play them self in the characters shoes. The basically keep the same values, and personalities, and just lets them be expressed in different light when they play a character. And some of them does a interesting brilliant job of it.
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    The term Mary Sue is tossed about too often, and usually the term is used incorrectly.

    A Mary Sue is not, byu defiunition, an annoyingly perfect character. A Mary Sue is a surrogate for the author, so the author can vicariously experience the action and setting of the story.

    Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation was a Mary Sue, not because of his being annoyingly perfect, but because he was Eugene Wesley Roddenberry's surrogate to grow up on a starship. The annoying "save the day daily" was a consequence of that self-indulgence.
  4. JTheGreat

    JTheGreat New Member

    Feb 7, 2010
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    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Really? Interesting. I'd always used the "perfection" definition, choosing to use TvTropes' standard "Author Avatar" term to describe an author surrogate, but I can understand what you're saying. An Author Avatar isn't usually delved into that much, making cameos here and there, whereas a Mary Sue or Gary Stu is a flawless version of the author.

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