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"Is my character a Mary Sue" thread:

 251 Evergreen 215, Tue, 14th Feb '12 3:09:17 PM from Unnamed Arctic City
Prime Elite

edited 12th Apr '12 7:23:03 PM by Evergreen215

God's in his Heaven all's right with the world
 252 nrjxll, Tue, 14th Feb '12 3:17:53 PM Relationship Status: Not war
Mary Sue tests are largely worthless, but if you really want one, try this.

 253 Evergreen 215, Tue, 14th Feb '12 3:38:05 PM from Unnamed Arctic City
Prime Elite

edited 12th Apr '12 7:22:50 PM by Evergreen215

God's in his Heaven all's right with the world
 254 Night, Tue, 14th Feb '12 4:47:31 PM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
That requires viewing the character in their natural environment. One of the things about Mary Sues is that their authors cannot always be trusted to describe them accurately; another is that they are not so much defined by their traits and accomplishments as by their ways and means.
"Remember that you are fighting the machine and the pilot both, but you only have to beat one of them."
 255 Fallen Legend, Tue, 14th Feb '12 5:24:29 PM from Mexico City!
Element of love
The problem is that we can't agree on what a mary sue is in the first place.

Even then Mary Sues can only be discovered in the narrative of the story it all depends on context.Just like he said[up]

A god character may be a normal character while a an average sounding character may be a "sue" for intsance.

@Ever this will be hard but can you list your character flaws and how much and how often they backfire him on the story?

edited 14th Feb '12 5:29:41 PM by FallenLegend

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
I'm a huge believer in this quote from Eliezer Yudkowsky: "The Mary Sue is not defined by her power, but by her lack of an even more powerful opponent." This should probably be inverted for antagonists, "The Villain Sue is not defined by his power, but by the lack of a hero who has a chance against him." If the heroes have a chance, albeit a slim one, then Hunt sounds like a pretty standard Evil Overlord.

Though actually, that's not the only way to play this. Really the key thing is that the fictional world shouldn't warp around Hunt. Maybe it's a forgone conclusion that anyone who goes up against the host of a chaos god will lose, but if so, the story should make clear that Hunt isn't magically super special in this regard: rather, you're telling a Cosmic Horror Story where one feature of your Crapsack World is that there are chaos gods running around empowering monsters like Hunt, and no one to oppose the chaos gods because The Gods Must Be Lazy. Even if Hunt stands out, it's still clear that the story didn't have to warp around him to make him stand out.
 
 257 Evergreen 215, Sat, 18th Feb '12 10:54:56 AM from Unnamed Arctic City
Prime Elite

edited 12th Apr '12 7:22:17 PM by Evergreen215

God's in his Heaven all's right with the world
Hi you all. I decided to check out this forum and ask if my character is a Mary Sue. She is a character from the fandom based on the animal fantasy series Redwall. Her name is Salome. She is a ferret - ferrets are one of the species that are considered evil in Redwall world, but some of them do reform themselves. I guess you could consider Salome to be a reformed ferret. So yeah, she's a ferret, and when the fanfiction begins, she's twelve animal years (or seasons ) old. She was born in a settlement of creatures at the edge of Mossflower Woods. The settlement refused to admit strangers or make themselves public because they feared dangers and diseases. Black Death entered the settlement when Salome was a baby and killed many creatures, including her parents. Samuel, her older brother, ran off with her when she was a toddler and raised her deeper in Mossflower. So she's twelve when the story takes place. In the beginning, Salome is introduced as clumsy and careless. She has an awkward relationship with her brother, who finds her flaws irritating. Salome is not educated, and not very skilled with anything. She has a normal appearance - light brown fur and brown eyes. Salome and Samuel find out that some of their tribe has recovered from the disease is trying to discreetly track them down and kill them for supposed desertion. When Salome is out in the woods on a rainy night, trying to gather plants that she stupidly forgot to gather earlier, she is attacked by a weasel, but is saved by Samuel, who had come out to look for her because she took too long. Samuel tells her off about being late and almost being killed, and slaps her upside the head. So they both go to bed shaken and upset. Samuel thinks Salome needs a better upbringing and has no common sense. He decided to take her to Redwall Abbey. The current head of Redwall was a mouse named Abbess Elinor. She is very strict, cold and gives an air of gloominess and depression to the Abbey. Salome knows that the creatures of the Abbey will be cautious about accepting him and Salome because of their species, so he warns Salome to be on her best behavior, and try to be presentable before the Abbey creatures. The Abbess Elinor allows them into the Abbey and gives them a rundown on what is expected of them morally. Salome generally acts kind of dozy. She barely pays attention to the lecture, wolfs down the food they give her, and shocks the Abbey creatures with her ignorance about basic religion. Samuel is embarrassed. Things don't get off to a very good start. Salome meets a young squirrelmaid named Marianne. Marianne tells her a little about Redwall history. The two are a little awkward around eachother, but they manage to make straightforward conversation amd grow to like eachother. Every though many things in the Abbey seem silly to Salome, she vaguely admires their history and their canon warriors. She and Marianne grow a friendship. TO BE CONTINUED BECAUSE IM TOO LAZY TO WRITE THE REST RIGHT NOW.
 
 259 Fallen Legend, Sat, 3rd Mar '12 9:36:33 PM from Mexico City!
Element of love
@Evergreen

Hunt's main character flaw is probably how much he obssesses over his goal of killing his brother.

Obession can be a good flaw if developed properly.

This basically causes him to lose touch with reality, and he doesn't really have any close relatioships with anybody.

Those are also very good flaws if expanded on the plot as actual drawbacks that actually afect him and not just as traits.

Another point is that he isn't exactly the Big Bad- he's more of a Dragon than anything. The Big Bad appears about a third of the way through the story, and ends up being a more dangerous foe than Hunt was.

Not a flaw at all

I suppose one of the things that worried me is that part of Hunt's "master plan" involves him dying and then coming back to life, even more powerful than he was before. By the end of the story, the heroes are technically strong enough to rival Hunt, but he's never actually beaten, he just doesn't succeed in his goals.

Don't worry that's actually a very interesting point. I would advice you to give your character more flaws. Flaws are divided in moral and skill flaws

By your post your character doesn't seem to be a Sue. But he still needs more than one flaw in each category
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
 260 nrjxll, Sat, 3rd Mar '12 9:38:09 PM Relationship Status: Not war
Or you could try thinking of your character as a real person instead of a collection of tropes, abilities, and flaws to "balance" him.

Edited to be less condescending.

edited 3rd Mar '12 9:39:11 PM by nrjxll

 261 Fallen Legend, Sat, 3rd Mar '12 9:39:24 PM from Mexico City!
Element of love
@IMCI

I don't want to be mean. If so excuse me.

  1. But I would adive you to use paragraphs no longer than 6 (absolute max 7) lines.It's very hard to understand and read what you mean.

  2. You saidBECAUSE IM TOO LAZY TO WRITE THE REST RIGHT NOW. I am sorry to say this But the author (you) has the burden of proof (that your work is interesting) not your audience.iF You don't care enough about your story much less your audience

edited 3rd Mar '12 9:55:49 PM by FallenLegend

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
 262 Flyboy, Sat, 3rd Mar '12 9:44:05 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Edited to be less condescending.

sad

But that made me laugh! evil grin
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 263 Fallen Legend, Sat, 3rd Mar '12 9:44:58 PM from Mexico City!
Element of love
Or you could try thinking of your character as a real person instead of a collection of tropes, abilities, and flaws to "balance" him.

That's true, I agree completely. That's my best advice in fact when developing personality.

I am mainly basing myself on my DevelopCharacterPersonality guide. (my first advice is to make the character human that is a person)

I strongly believe that flaws are a big part on being a person and having an interesting character. I would go as far as to say that it's impossibel to have an interesting character without them.

The biggest problem with sue characters in my experience is a lack of flaws and the inability of the author to recognise them.

While the lack of an actual personality is a big problem it isn't a sue inherent problem

edited 3rd Mar '12 9:54:34 PM by FallenLegend

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
 264 Jewely J, Sun, 4th Mar '12 1:28:02 PM from where the food is
^ I love your guide so much. As a type of person who likes character driven messes of plot I hate puppet characters. Puppets belong on Sesame Street, not in one's writing.
 265 Fallen Legend, Mon, 5th Mar '12 5:53:33 PM from Mexico City!
Element of love
[up]Thanks a lot! grin
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
Obsidian Proboscidean
I don't know much about Redwall, but I'll give it a try.

She is a ferret - ferrets are one of the species that are considered evil in Redwall world, but some of them do reform themselves. I guess you could consider Salome to be a reformed ferret.

It's not breaking the rules of the universe, and you could always spin this into an anti-racism message (if you want), so it sounds okay.

She was born in a settlement of creatures at the edge of Mossflower Woods. The settlement refused to admit strangers or make themselves public because they feared dangers and diseases. Black Death entered the settlement when Salome was a baby and killed many creatures, including her parents.

The death of the parents is not strictly a Sue thing, so it's still good.

Samuel, her older brother, ran off with her when she was a toddler and raised her deeper in Mossflower.

It makes sense that her brother might have to assume the role of the parents, so it's fine.

So she's twelve when the story takes place. In the beginning, Salome is introduced as clumsy and careless. She has an awkward relationship with her brother, who finds her flaws irritating. Salome is not educated, and not very skilled with anything. She has a normal appearance - light brown fur and brown eyes.

This is a very good start. You've given her obstacles to overcome. She's not perfect right off the bat and, while an unusual appearance does not mean that a character is a Sue, you've made her look pretty normal.

Salome and Samuel find out that some of their tribe has recovered from the disease is trying to discreetly track them down and kill them for supposed desertion. When Salome is out in the woods on a rainy night, trying to gather plants that she stupidly forgot to gather earlier, she is attacked by a weasel, but is saved by Samuel, who had come out to look for her because she took too long.

Still fine. It adds conflict, raises the stakes.

Samuel tells her off about being late and almost being killed, and slaps her upside the head. So they both go to bed shaken and upset.

Harsh, but that may just be the brother getting frustrated. Actually, that's good. It shows the brother's difficulties of filling the role of parent when he may not be properly prepared for it. It gives him an obstacle, too.

Samuel thinks Salome needs a better upbringing and has no common sense. He decided to take her to Redwall Abbey. The current head of Redwall was a mouse named Abbess Elinor. She is very strict, cold and gives an air of gloominess and depression to the Abbey. Salome knows that the creatures of the Abbey will be cautious about accepting him and Salome because of their species, so he warns Salome to be on her best behavior, and try to be presentable before the Abbey creatures.

Still good. Still makes sense.

The Abbess Elinor allows them into the Abbey and gives them a rundown on what is expected of them morally. Salome generally acts kind of dozy. She barely pays attention to the lecture, wolfs down the food they give her, and shocks the Abbey creatures with her ignorance about basic religion. Samuel is embarrassed. Things don't get off to a very good start.

Good. She's not the best at everything right off the bat. That she is uneducated and dozy makes perfect sense, as she would not be used to this situation.

Salome meets a young squirrelmaid named Marianne. Marianne tells her a little about Redwall history. The two are a little awkward around eachother, but they manage to make straightforward conversation amd grow to like eachother. Every though many things in the Abbey seem silly to Salome, she vaguely admires their history and their canon warriors. She and Marianne grow a friendship. TO BE CONTINUED BECAUSE IM TOO LAZY TO WRITE THE REST RIGHT NOW.

I hope you're not too lazy to write this story, because it sounds like a pretty good start.

edited 6th Mar '12 1:36:03 PM by BlackElephant

I'm an elephant. Rurr.
Lol. Excuse me. Please don't be mad at me. About the paragraphs, I'm working off a mobile device so its kind of hard. For that reason, I said I'm too lazy right now to continue typing the DESCRIPTION of the character HERE. Not that I'm too lazy to continue the story. I already finished the STORY. I'm in the process of revision.
 
I'd really appreciate some input here. Text wall ahoy!

My character is a woman named Evelyn. The story takes place in a fantasy setting. Evelyn appears to be in her forties, but is actually over a hundred years old; she is very skilled with magic, and in this world, such power extends one's life significantly. She is slim with brown eyes and brown hair. She is nomadic and travels constantly, sharing stories of her adventures and the legends she encounters by trade. Money doesn't come easily to her, but she gets by.

Her backstory goes like this: Evelyn grew up a noble in name, but her family was actually very poor. Her best chance in life was to marry a noble who could support her. This she did, a marriage arranged by her parents, when she was very young (I'm thinking fourteen or so). Her societal role was then to bear and raise her husband's children. They tried to conceive for several years, but they never met success. An infertile woman was of little use to a man (or so was the way at the time), so Evelyn was under a lot of pressure to prove herself. She secretly bought a fertility potion and used it, which resulted in pregnancy... and a subsequent stillbirth. Her husband's reaction was an unsympathetic "let's try again". But Evelyn fled from her miserable life instead, and has been nomadic and single ever since. Even a century later, she has not quite gotten over this part of her, and she has yet to return to her original home.

Evelyn was magically gifted as a child, and her new spare time was spent practicing it. She is also fluent in several languages, the result of years of travel. Evelyn tends to manipulate people to get what she wants and never shows anyone her full hand; she is mistrusting, dishonest, passive-aggressive, and has major commitment issues. When Evelyn winds up in a life-threatening situation, she will use her patience, wits, and resourcefulness to get out of it. Often, though, she survives because of sheer dumb luck. This tends to baffle her allies, of which she has few. She has no strong attachments to anyone or anything. Her will to live comes from her fascination with world cultures, the legends that shaped them, and her investigating those legends. Though she calls herself a storyteller, Evelyn fancies herself a historian. She is actually somewhere between the two.

EDIT: Little quirk I forgot to mention. Evelyn likes to speak in a formal, prosy tone.

(I created her based on her "occupation" first because I wanted a character who could narrate legends for the sake of world-building. The rest kind of evolved from there.)

edited 10th Jan '14 12:11:29 PM by TheBattyOne

Oh hey, thread necro!

 270 KSPAM, Sat, 11th Jan '14 12:53:09 AM Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
HYPE LEVELS APPROACHING MAXIMUM
[up][up]Doesn't seem like a Sue to me.
Team? You mean cannon fodder? — neobowman

Yankee Chain Blues
 271 Septimus Heap, Sat, 11th Jan '14 2:08:32 AM from Valencia, Spain Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
That sounds a bit like a Greek hero to me. In my mind, whether she'll be seen as a Mary Sue comes down to how easily she gets out of trouble. If it's in an interesting/challenging way, then no.

My demons would be a whole race of Mary Sues if they weren't so prone to cannibalizing and enslaving each other. Also, humans and monsters can occasionally outwit them. But they're still way better than any other race in the world, so...
Winter is coming.
 273 Ninjaxenomorph, Sun, 12th Jan '14 9:06:00 AM from Texas, Texas Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Behind you!
Me and my friend's webcomic, Forged Men (link below) has Mihai. We put him through a Mary Sue litmus test and he came out with a LOT of points.

Exposition: Mihai is a Child by Rape of a Pleb/Irrit mother (pretty much a mixed-class human) and an Optim father. Optims are a race of humans created to survive a nuclear apocalypse: smarter, entire bodies made from stem cells (they have a healing factor, but are preyed on my organ thieves), sight extends to different spectrums which results in shimmery eyes, and outright immune to most disease. They also have all-white hair.

Points for being a Mary Sue:

  • Genetic hybrid/chimera of human and Optim, who aren't supposed to be able to breed. His mother had an extremely rare mutation that allowed it, and Mihai is unique.

  • Eyes change color (between normal colors and Optim color)

  • White hair

  • Adorable child

  • Develops psychic powers (father was psionic, and he developed a psychic 'black hole', and absorbed psionic power directed at him)

  • Inherited Optim abilities. Except for the fact that Optims have no genetic disorders, he is basically an Optim, with their immunity to disease, healing factor, and physical characteristics, minus maybe the extended sight.

Points against:

  • Due to his genetic chimerism, Mihai is crippled. His legs are underdeveloped, and he needs leg braces just to stand on his own.

  • Growth defect. He looks 8, but is 12. Puberty has to be initiated through outside means, and when it IS, it's horrifically painful.

  • Creepy stoic. Sort of withdrawn since he's seen so much death, and isn't fazed by it much anymore.

  • Psychic powers come with strings attached. When he absorbs the psyche of one villain, which empowers him, it comes along with that villain's split personalities. It's like schizophrenia, but slightly more helpful.
Me and my friend's collaborative webcomic:

Forged Men
 274 Eagal, Sun, 12th Jan '14 12:36:57 PM Relationship Status: Waiting for Prince Charming
I tend to dismiss accusations of Suehood out of hand without extremely compelling evidence. The concept is a blight upon popular culture, more often used as an excuse to bash a hated character than a real indicator that there's something wrong with the character. Doesn't help that no one seems to be able to agree on a set definition.
The madness is catching.
 275 Jinxmenow, Mon, 13th Jan '14 8:49:08 AM from everywhere you look! Relationship Status: Not caught up in your love affair
Quarity internet video
So I tried this with one of the three main characters of the story I'm trying to write, and he came out a negative three. Does this mean he is unlikeable?
"Confusion Spore: Robots will become confused and try to attack each other or become journalists." - Lewatoo
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