Main Common Mary Sue Traits Discussion

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11:29:48 AM Sep 25th 2015
I feel like this page is kind of glossing over the main thing that makes a Mary Sue a Mary Sue; that being that they completely bend the plot over and make it their bitch.

A character can have as many sparkly accessories and overly complicated names as they want. They can also have the darkest and most troubled past imaginable.

That still means absolutely nothing next to a character who's practically the center of the universe and can do absolutely no wrong what so ever and no one can stand up to her power and everyone loves her and so on and so forth.

I really feel like the page should be rewritten to better emphasize the main things that make a Mary Sue a Mary Sue, such as ungodly power, turns the canon characters into complete ninnies who gush over her, and nobody ever calls her out on her actions no matter how heinous they are. Stuff that can apply, such as Dark and Troubled Past, appearance, and such should be included after the main stuff with the explanation that it depends on how it's written and presented that makes it an example.
08:15:17 AM Jun 26th 2015
edited by Snopelol
I found a bit of a contradiction between two points. One trait claims that the Sue will be of the author's current/desired ethnicity (which can be non-white,) yet another says that Sues are always white. Should one be phased out in favor of the other, or are these traits not as mutually exclusive as they seem?
08:25:27 AM Jun 26th 2015
That second one doesn't really make sense since people's ideal of beauty is very varied and is readily dependent on the nature of the work the Mary Sue is being inserted in and the culture that the creator grew up in. But Not Too Black may be in play here, but bad writing can occur across all cultures.
12:46:31 PM Jul 2nd 2015
edited by Snopelol
Decided on replacing "always white" with "mostly but not always white." Ideals of beauty vary, but I've seen a quite a few "lily-white" Sues.
08:54:42 PM Mar 11th 2015
edited by Thunderchin
" A Mary Sue will often have a backstory that contradicts itself, and/or is illogical (e.g., how is it that she's the daughter of Enjolras and Katniss Everdeen AND half-vampire? AND the CROWN PRINCESS OF SIAM? HUH???????? Okay, the first troper who can explain this one in a way that actually makes sense gets five bucks.)"

I think I can. Is there an actual fanfic out there that's done this?
01:58:18 PM Aug 11th 2015
I've never actually read Les Miserables myself, and it's been a while since I read the Hunger Games, but let's be real, that's more than the average badfic writer knows.

Here I go!

Enjolras is bitten by a vampire, allowing him to live long enough to not only liberate France but to eventually meet, marry, and start a family with Katniss Everdeen. The King of Siam is later assassinated, and his only living relatives is Katniss on her father's side, making Katniss Queen, Enjolras King, and their only child Crown Princess.
10:00:34 AM Aug 30th 2015
Alternative option:

Both Katniss and Enjolras are one quarter vampire, and vampirism is a dominant trait, Therefor their child would be half-vampire. Katniss, traumatized by the violent rebellion she caused, encourages her daughter to go into the engineering field. She excels at this, and eventually rises to the newly-made position of Princess within the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Also known as SIAM. Thanks, google.
01:28:23 PM Oct 17th 2013
edited by
It seems like nowadays people are getting Genre Savvy and playing with various aspects of Common Mary Sue Traits in ways that deconstruct the overall course of them. This kind of makes the characters who would otherwise be Mary Sues more realistic and filled out.
03:23:22 AM Jul 12th 2013
Like Raglan's hero pattern, some of this seems Older Than Dirt. Has anyone thought to rate non-Fan Fic characters? I'd guess a characters page would be as good a place as any for a list.
02:44:25 PM Jun 9th 2013
edited by
I ran a few of my characters through the Litmus Test. Oddly, though they all came out with pretty decent scores, the one with the highest (28) wasn't even the main character! He was her Love Interest (albeit in a one-sided way), so that added points for being described as extremely attractive. Plus, he's a Troubled, but Cute Jerkass Woobie of sorts, which added more points.

I thought I'd break the scale with the main character, who ran away from home to live out a wish fulfillment life (it didn't turn out too well) because her mom was unfair (though it turns out her mom was really a Well-Intentioned Extremist who was only trying to protect her). The character is treated as irresponsible for it. I guess that was enough to pull it out of Sue-dom.
06:22:41 PM Jun 5th 2012
edited by JewelyJ
About the author relationship thing, what if you write a bunch of stories with a character but treat the character like generally anybody else (including putting him through serious shit) and you just genuinely enjoy messing with that character?
12:57:57 AM Jun 6th 2012
I wouldn't class that as a Mary Sue — sounds like a good character and plot and all. You can get help with characters and such in the Writer's Block forum.
10:31:29 AM Apr 16th 2012
edited by Stoogebie
I find it amusing that purple is the most popular Mary Sue color. I never realized the irony of it until I started on an art project for the Seven Deadly Sins - purple is associated with the sin of pride.*
11:44:01 PM Jan 6th 2012
"The same character tends to appear in all of the works by a particular author or artist because the author/artist identifies so closely with the character."

I see your big "because" there, and raise you a "however": Sometimes an author just sucks at creating OCs and uses the same one. I've used the same one for about 10 years now (granted, she never showed up in any of the stories I've posted because I never *finished* any of them), and of course she's evolved over that time, but it's just because I suck at OC's. They *always* turn into Mary Sues (the major reason I stop writing). I've taken two different Sue tests and they both say the current iteration isn't a Sue (yay!), but that won't mean she won't become one...

If anybody's interested in helping me, I'll take it. T_T And about the "constant use Sue" (Hmmm...), I'm just sayin'.
08:03:32 AM Oct 28th 2012
I am able to help. I know the basic definition of Mary Sues and what other 'noticeable' details make them as such. I used to make a lot of ocs that when I look back to, are just plain Mary Sues or Overpowered. But a few years of reading literature on the internet, I am able to create ocs that are pretty decent and a bit original.
11:48:56 PM Sep 7th 2011
"she's probably the one telling the Sorting Hat which house she's going to be in." Was this choosing one's own house not specifically presented as an option students may select, as part of the story's free-will theme?
11:53:03 AM Jun 6th 2012
edited by Aspie
Sort of. Yes the Hat took Harry's choice into consideration when sorting him, but it was also having a hard time deciding where to put him before that. Even though it said he could be great in Slytherin, it found qualities in him that would have made him a viable candidate for any of the four houses. In other words, it was able to take his wishes under consideration because he wasn't heavily predisposed towards one house over another.

Now, imagine that Mary Sue is being sorted. Mary Sue puts on the Sorting Hat and it identifies her as ruthless, power-hungry, and willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. In short, she's an obvious candidate for Slytherin. But when it tells her that, she says "Screw that, I want to be in Gryffindor!" and the Hat agrees.

See the difference? In the first example, Harry's choice is considered and he ultimately goes into Gryffindor because he's just as good a fit there as anywhere else. In the second, the Hat bends to Mary Sue's will and sorts her into Gryffindor against its better judgment, ignoring the fact that it's a poor choice of house for her. (She has no sense of loyalty, bravery, self-sacrifice, etc...)
11:14:17 PM Jul 10th 2013
On the other hand, I imagined a very comedic Harry Potter fanfic in which a chronically unfortunate character begs the hat not to put them in Slytherin, but the Hat puts them in anyway. Cue them shouting an expletive in response, prompting an immediate deduction of 50 points. I'm sorry, I just had to throw that scenario out there.
02:14:11 PM Aug 25th 2011
That first mentioned litmus test is horrible. Seriously. Any character that's unusually interesting is a sue, according to it.
07:29:13 PM Nov 7th 2011
edited by drdeathray
The litmus tests are supposed to be a guide into NOT writing Mary Sues for unexperienced writers, a character can be unusually interesting/multi-talented etc. and still a good one if it's written well. *
12:46:01 PM May 7th 2014
On the other hand, just doing things for 18 years doesn't make you an expert at them as she is. And some things like charting stars- someone would have had to teach her that yet Gothel seems to have not previously known she could do it till she showed her that painting.
06:06:49 PM Jul 4th 2011
I'm curious, how is the Mary Sue on the main page's outfit revealing?
07:23:37 PM Nov 7th 2011
Well apparently she's maleficent niece, from Sleeping Beauty, which is set in the 14th century, if I remember it well. Women didn't dress like that until the Roaring Twenties, or maybe earlier, but certainly not in the medieval era.
02:20:28 PM Mar 29th 2012
Still, we're talking about the trope in the present day, and that's not really revealing at all, minus the minor cleavage. That bit about being revealing and even linking to Stripperific seems to be reaching.
04:43:00 PM Jan 28th 2011
I think what really makes a Mary Sue is a combination of over the top attention, favoritism, and crappy writing. Your character isn't a Sue because (s)he had a bad past; it's when they whine about it all the time, randomly mention it, or it has nothing to do with the plot, or all of the above. Don't you agree?
06:56:26 AM Apr 6th 2012
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