Main Common Mary Sue Traits Discussion

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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 O Cs 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