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"Is my character a Mary Sue" thread:

Insert witty title here
As the thread's title gives away, a place for you to check wheter your character is a mary sue or not.

Forgive me if I'm bothering you, or wasn't supposed to be posting this at all, but I think such a thread could be useful. Hopefuly, I didn't say anything too wrong, I'm just saying what I think/read and agree with. -_- And I'm complete moron with TV Tropes forum codes... Could someone point me out where could I find a guide about them?

Mary Sue litmus tests are useful, but... Sometimes they create anti-sues. Besides, usually you can only see if a character is a sue by the way you write him or her.

Some detail about how people view the character are important, as this is what makes a sue a sue.

And O Cs aren't always mary sues, even though in some places people might say it is. I don't mean to offend anyone by saying this, but... It's just something I saw it happen.

Some links for Mary Sue litmus tests, anyway. There used to be plenty of these in the internet, but for some reason, they became more rare. Weird.

-Universal Mary Sue litmus test: http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysue.htm

-Supernatural Mary Sue litmus test: http://lady- jenna.livejournal.com/11100.html

- Writer's Mary Sue Litmus test: http://www.katfeete.net/writing/marysue.html

- Original fiction Mary Sue Litmus test: http://www.ponylandpress.com/ms-test.html

edited 3rd Apr '11 8:00:06 PM by risingdreams

 2 Ori Doodle, Sun, 3rd Apr '11 9:03:28 PM from Tracking Down My Nemesis Relationship Status: Sharing a spaghetti noodle
Blondes Have More Fun
You've posted this in the exactly right place, and let me encourage any other thread readers to post an accurate description of your character and all us to judge for you.
Forum Herald for the Old Folk's Home

Team Mom For Yackfest

It's easy, mmkay?
The story is original fiction. The protagonist is a teenage Reality Warper who is routinely demonstrated to be uncreative, shallow, and impulsive. Nevertheless, he is treated sympathetically, because his flaws and desires are common enough to identify with or to at least feel sorry for. He is slowly ruined by Power Incontinence (namely, the Mary Sue character that he creates takes over his life and he is forced to be the sidekick in a straining, if ultimately cliche and predictable, quest of his own devising), eventually being killed by it when he considers the possibility of his own death too seriously.

Marty Stu, Anti Stu, or good character?

edited 3rd Apr '11 9:36:53 PM by PDown

At first I didn't realize I needed all this stuff...
 4 Anthony H, Sun, 3rd Apr '11 10:34:52 PM from monterrey, mex
Transformers 4?!
[up] I'm not really an expert in fantastic fiction (I'm more comedy /Slice of Life oriented) but I think your concept is interesting and the characters sounds good, then again, I would really like some link to your story if it is posted somewhere.

 5 Ori Doodle, Sun, 3rd Apr '11 10:38:58 PM from Tracking Down My Nemesis Relationship Status: Sharing a spaghetti noodle
Blondes Have More Fun
[up][up]I don't know that there's quite enough information on this—the guy creates a mary sue, so how can he be a Mary sue?

his flaws seem reasonable.
Forum Herald for the Old Folk's Home

Team Mom For Yackfest

 6 Mister Always, Sun, 3rd Apr '11 11:59:14 PM from The Netherlands.
Go away.
I take issue with these Mary Sue tests. They are, in a word, biased to the author's preferences. For example, the one at katfeete.net apparently counts wearing a duster coat (well, they put it as "trench coat", same thing in practice) towards the overal Mary Sue-ness. Never mind the fact that my character wears it because he spends most of his time in the fucking desert.

I wish people could stop being paranoid about being a Mary Sue, or what level of sueness their characters exhibit.

Edit: And there's this one: "[X] appears to die but later turns out not to be dead after all." WHAT?! THAT'S NOT EVEN A CHARACTER TROPE! THAT'S A FUCKING NARRATIVE TROPE YOU INBRED SCUMFUCK WEASELCOCK AAAARGHRBRRLBRLBRLBRL

Sorry, I'm over iAAARGHBRLBRLBRL-

We now track my thought process over the rest of this test.

And getting resurrected over the course of the story counts too?! Jesus hogwrestling Christ!

Suffering guilt over something they did in the past? Extra Mary Sue points, y'all. Obviously a balanced and well thought-out character doesn't care that he, for example, fed a woman to a horde of alligators in a fit of outrage. Just whistle down the wind and walk right on, cowboy, nuthin' wrong with that.

Okay come on, what the fuck, half of these are narrative tropes rather than character tropes.

Okay, legitimate Mary Sue traits as far as the eye can see, now...

Results: "In general, you care deeply about [X], but you're smart enough to let him stand on his own, without burdening him with your personal fantasies or propping him up with idealization and over-dramatization. John is a healthy character with a promising career ahead of him. "

There you have it, folks. If you want good characters, bully the fuck out of them and don't let up.

edited 4th Apr '11 12:12:44 AM by MisterAlways

Always touching and looking. Piss off.
 7 nrjxll, Mon, 4th Apr '11 12:06:42 AM Relationship Status: Not war
[up]Except for the Cluster F-Bomb, this guy speaks for me. Those tests are beyond worthless; they're the biggest creators of Anti Sues imaginable.

If you want my opinion, the best way avoid having your characters called Sues is to have all your readers like them. Seriously, it's not much more then an insult now. I have my doubts about the usefulness of this thread.

 8 Mister Always, Mon, 4th Apr '11 12:14:29 AM from The Netherlands.
Go away.
[up]COCKSTRAP WEASELDICK ASSFUCK AND TO HELL WITH THE MARKUP SYSTEM

Incidentally, I agree.

Yes, every single one of my posts is required by law to contain swearing.

edited 4th Apr '11 12:18:05 AM by MisterAlways

Always touching and looking. Piss off.
 9 Morven, Mon, 4th Apr '11 12:14:37 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Yeah, I think that these days the Sue-paranoia is worse than the disease.

Worse, the people who actually create Sues don't get stopped by these things; only the people who don't intend to who get all freaked out about their characters and don't write.
A brighter future for a darker age.
 10 jasonwill 2, Mon, 4th Apr '11 12:31:07 AM from West Virginia
I didn't know which one to take, so I did the 'original fiction'. I got the lowest score possible to qualify for a mary sue...

Considering at least four/five of my answers are believable (i.e. good with hand to hand combat and a 'sharpshooter', part of a resistance) and part of the plot at large. I'll take it as it says it can be inaccurate as he is a veteran of a war and part of a badass peoples anyways revered for military prowess. It's a military epic ffs lol.

edit: what are the differences between the different tests?

edited 4th Apr '11 12:32:06 AM by jasonwill2

as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
 11 Mister Always, Mon, 4th Apr '11 12:33:54 AM from The Netherlands.
Go away.
edit: what are the differences between the different tests?

How much they suck.

Though they're all above the 'Godzilla Eating Your Dog, Stomping On Your House, And Fucking Your Mom' treshold. Dohohohohohoho!
Always touching and looking. Piss off.
I take issue with these Mary Sue tests. They are, in a word, biased to the author's preferences. For example, the one at katfeete.net apparently counts wearing a duster coat (well, they put it as "trench coat", same thing in practice) towards the overal Mary Sue-ness. Never mind the fact that my character wears it because he spends most of his time in the fucking desert.

You're doing it wrong. Most of these tests say in the instructions that if [x] behavior/trait is commonplace in the 'verse, then it doesn't count toward Mary Sue points.

Other than that, yeah. This Mary Sue paranoia is getting real irritating, if you're self-aware enough to know that certain character traits tend to really annoy people, you're probably not writing a Sue anyway. At least not in a way that other people can tell just from character descriptions. We'd have to see how they interact with the plot/other characters.

 13 jasonwill 2, Mon, 4th Apr '11 12:44:10 AM from West Virginia
[up]

So the the fact that my main character's eyes are a slightly different hue make that a trait? He is part of an uncommon ethnic group that developed on Mars (his home planet) a while after people settled on it. A rare genetic reaction to the environment causing people to be generally Caucasian-tan in skin tone, shorter than average, and the before mentioned slight off hue of eyes?

He's literally one of like 200, 000 out of a population of 2, 000, 000. Is being part of 10% of the population one of those 'traits' that make him a mary sue?

I get your point, and I hated answering that it is plot significant later, the whole damn fact that the ethnic group exists is plot sensitive to begin with, VERY. Not so much for the hero, but in general.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
I dunno, would being an Asian person in America (4.8%) make you a Mary Sue?

I think you (and many people) are taking the test much too seriously. Having X and Y trait don't automatically make the character a Mary Sue. The test is just telling you that having all the traits in one character may piss off your audience, so handle them carefully. I remember there was one test that actually said that Morpheus from The Sandman scored some insanely high number, and The Sandman is a freakin' classic.

 15 jasonwill 2, Mon, 4th Apr '11 12:55:46 AM from West Virginia
hmmm

some of my characters i wrote as fan fic in non-canon expanded universe for star wars were called mary sues. then again compared to everyone else he wasnt the best by far, everything was cranked up to eleven in those.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
 16 jasonwill 2, Mon, 4th Apr '11 1:06:10 AM from West Virginia
the first link gave me this:

"17-21 Probably not a Mary-Sue, although a character can go either way at this point. Fanfiction writers should pay attention to ensure that their characters aren't getting too Sue-ish. For an RPG or original fiction character, however, you're probably perfectly fine. "

I got a 21.

I like these results better =D

I used to be geared towards sue-ness ALOT years ago, didnt even know the term. guess ive come a long way. At any rate taking things into consideration.

Also for [up][up], I was agreeing with you when I said that, I didn't think that those traits made him a sue, I was comparing an example I could apply as I know those traits do not make him a sue.

edited out edit

edited 4th Apr '11 1:25:41 AM by jasonwill2

as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
 17 d Roy, Mon, 4th Apr '11 1:53:11 AM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
The Hero of my story got nice 44. Has it not been for the de-suifiers, he could've easily gotten over 50. Not that I don't care about it too much anyways; I don't really find the test reliable.

I'd like to submit one of my own main characters.

The hero of my story is sort of like the Doctor in that we don't ever get all the details of his past, and this past suggests he's an Atoner. (In fact, I give even less of his past than we get of the Doctor's.) He is also a fairly good martial artist (in a world where Everybody Is Kung Fu Fighting) and his main thing is that he's kind of like a shaman - has the ability to reveal, fight with and speak to the supernatural (ghosts, demons, spirits, etc).

When asked about his past, he tends to be very evasive, giving non-answers all the time. This often drives a wedge between him and the others, but makes it a massively important thing whenever he reveals even the tiniest hint of his backstory. Early on, he mostly does good things to assuage his guilt (for the aforementioned not explained backstory).

Any opinions?

 19 Sal Fish Fin, Mon, 4th Apr '11 4:43:29 AM from on top of Your Mum Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Trolling Swordsman
You know what? All of those Litmus tests are total Bunk. They only gauge the character based on what they do, and not how they're used. Plain and simple: Does the story exist for the sole purpose of sucking your character's metaphorical dick? Then yes. Mary Sue. Otherwise, no.

Away on the wind~
Helloooo subjectiveness, I thought you weren't going to enter this thread?
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
 21 chihuahua 0, Mon, 4th Apr '11 5:02:03 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
The problem sue paranoia is that a lot of the canon characters that are accused of being one are considered badly written (like the wonderful Edward and Bella duo). It's hard making a Sue that works (like Haruhi Suzumiya, as a Black Hole Sue).

Also, another problem is whatever the various Sues sub-types should be considered Sues too, or just the archetypal one.

Oh, my character: Sixteen-year old swashbuckler who doesn't know his parents. Has some Beginner's Luck but gets curbstomped at least once in the first story, but eventually involves to God-Mode Sue...to proportion to some of the pirates in the world.

Just making sure.
 22 Morven, Mon, 4th Apr '11 7:27:22 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
I agree completely with Mellon. All that these tests do is make good writers paranoid and bad writers who lack self-awareness just write a different kind of Sue, or commit another writing crime.

Some of my favorite fictional characters score in the "Kill it now!" range on most of these tests. If you'll all go and think about it, so do most of your favorites, most likely. Unless you're the very rare troper who only likes really ordinary protagonists.
A brighter future for a darker age.
 23 Mr AHR, Mon, 4th Apr '11 7:45:45 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
A good chunk of my characters are sues on the default, mostly due to how I set the story up. I don't mind this so much, since they are sue-ish in terms of abilities, and that is what they were made for in story as well, to be over-powered by comparison.

That being said, I do think these are more of warnings, not official diagnosises. Basically, play the justifying game with it every time you do it. If one shows up that you really can't give an adequate explanation for, then you might want to relook at your character.
 24 Morven, Mon, 4th Apr '11 8:09:38 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Good point. As warnings for "This character could slip into sueishness", perhaps, they're useful.

Characters have to be limited somehow. They have to not be able to get everything they want. They have to have weaknesses that are real and limiting in-story.

How not to cheap out on our readers is an important thing to learn, as a writer. Stories without actual challenge are just porn, and porn intended for the writer only. Do the world a favor and don't put those things out there for everyone else.
A brighter future for a darker age.
 25 Mr AHR, Mon, 4th Apr '11 8:10:43 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
And that is where Dragon Ball Z comes in and Super Saiyan level XX. You can say it's bad writing, but you can't exactly call their abilities sue-ish.

edited 4th Apr '11 8:11:19 AM by MrAHR

Total posts: 284
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