Created By: LordTNK on December 9, 2008
Nuked

Mary Sue cleanup

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An alternative to Ethereal Mutation's all-or-nothing plan, this is about tightening up the definition of a Mary Sue, and cleaning up bad examples. I mean those that show a poor understanding of sues, or are just an excuse to bash a character.

I mean, God-Mode Sue has Achilles listed. That character is not a Sue. He's a paragon, based on themes that have been lost over the years. I was half tempted to put Jesus on that list, if he isn't already.

These really need to be cleared of the clutter in the descriptions. So who wants to help?

Of course a solid definition is important. When the article was rewritten, the central theme was that Mary Sue is a "black hole". She sucks the story to bend around her. This is not about a protagonist who is simply the center of the action. This is about the story bending over backwards to be around the character.

On that note, I think a sue, even a Canon Sue, should be just as much about Bad Writing as about the character. That should knock several out, hopefully.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • December 10, 2008
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    I'll help. I've got Christmas break coming up and nothing to do.
  • December 10, 2008
    Charred Knight
    One of the things I think we should get rid of are any characters who depend on the writer. Yes, Superman is a Mary Sue if handled badly, but rarely do I see Superman handled badly.
  • December 10, 2008
    Smokie
    I've already deleted four idiotic examples, which is probably the reason why I'm so much for deleting.
  • December 10, 2008
    Rebochan
    I'll help, god knows I do it enough already. Should I take this YKTTW as a sign that we're ending the Mary Sue vote?

    As for the definition of the Mary Sue, I think it should definitely focus on the plot bias aspect. We also need to tighten our Sue articles and start salvaging what we can from the redundant articles and cutlisting the excess.
  • December 10, 2008
    Oath To Order
    One thing I noticed with all the Mary Sue types is that there are two major types. These are (should this be rewritten and is factual): One is what I shall here dub the "Fanon Sue". And then we have Canon Sue. While both have similar effects, each one has different circumstances. These circumstances should be noted. Our main problem is we have one definition for two similar but different types.

    Or maybe I'm reading to deep?
  • December 10, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    From Rebochan:

    Not really - I think the definitions are the same. Canon Sues are just rarer than the traditional Mary Sue because a Mary Sue sticks out like a sore thumb. They're created for a work they were not originally part of and all the problems they cause are not balanced out by the universe they've been slapped into. A Canon Sue tends to be rarer because characters in original fiction are created as part of the source material in the first place and the author is actually paying attention to where they fit in the grand scheme of their storyline and universe. But that doesn't stop a Canon Sue from being a flat character that's adored for no reason and/or has power levels out of whack for the universe they should be in.
  • December 10, 2008
    Smokie
    The problem is also when a character becomes a sue. Some traits listed don't make a clear border. I, personally, consider only real extreme sues to be actual sues. That's why I also believe a sue can't be done good or deconstructed or anything. If it's written good, it's not a sue.

    By what the definition we have states, I'd consider Mary Sue's do actually be very obvious. Not this shoehorning stuff some people make up "HURRR LUL TIS CHARACTER ISN'T PUT THRU HELL, HE MUST BE MARRY SUE LOLZ"
  • December 10, 2008
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    Smokie wrote: 'If it's written good, it's not a sue'. Some examples I've seen for Mary Sue are really Mary Sue Exemption, which we are working on renaming, because Mary Sue Exemption characters (Westley from Princess Bride being the Ur Example (I hate that term)) are NOT Mary Sue.
  • December 10, 2008
    Smokie
    Exactly.
  • December 10, 2008
    ccoa
    "Written good." Ah, the irony.

    The problem we have here is definitely nailing down the definition of a Sue. Personally, I feel the defining aspect of a Sue is author favoritism, coupled with the character serving as either author wish fulfillment, self insertion, and/or serving as a mounthpiece for the author's beliefs. As such, it is possible for a Sue to be written well and still be a Sue, just not as likely. I say favoritism rather than plot focus, because a main character is supposed to have plot focus, but is not necessarily a Sue.
  • December 10, 2008
    Charred Knight
    Rebochan has redone God Mode Sue and I think you should take a look at it
  • December 10, 2008
    Rebochan
    Thanks for restoring the edits I put in there. Sorry I broke the page history trying to restore them myself :P
  • December 10, 2008
    Rebochan
    Furthermore, I agree with Smokie - like i said in the last discussion, if you told an author they wrote a Mary Sue, they'd take it as an insult. If the character is written well, it doesn't matter how many positive traits they have, they're not a Sue.

    I'm glad someone's renamed Mary Sue Exemption, I hated that article - if they're not a Sue, there's no exemption, they're just not a Sue.
  • December 10, 2008
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    We haven't renamed it yet. See here and here for our progress so far.
  • December 10, 2008
    ccoa
    @Rebochan - I don't think that's true. Honor Harrington is almost definitely a Sue by any definition, but she's not badly written.

    Also, most of Mary Sue Exemption seems to be "some people like this character so he/she isn't a Sue", which is a problem. I can guarantee that you can take literally any character, no matter how blatent a Sue they are, and find at least one person who likes them.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=hg0vbhof7v8mobcwvhncin5o&trope=MarySue