[LMB] OT: Judging a Mary Sue

beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com
Sat Sep 21 05:37:00 BST 2013

"Gwynne Powell" <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Here's the thing.... I write in a number of genres, (this is my only
> fanfic
> arena) and some of my stuff is based on r/l. And often my protagonist
> is somehow based on me (I walk through the story in my head before
> I write) although secondary characters often spring up and grab a lot of
> attention too.
> I'm therefore assuming that I'm Mary-Sueing, since I'm putting me into
> the centre of the story. But when I'm close to a character she tends to
> be absent-minded, clumsy, and gifted at saying the wrong thing. She
> usually
> achieves some kind of success, but it's often with help, and even when
> it's
> due to some particular skill there's plenty of areas where she's not all
> that
> impressive.  I can't recall creating a character who is as stunningly
> wonderful
> as the list above (although ohhhhh I wish that described me, I so wish
> it.) Most
> of my characters stumble rather than stride to success.
> Is there some other kind of Mary-Sue? A sort of less gifted stepsister?
> Gwynne (Theme word: Oooops.....)

Gwynne: stop worrying about this.  You want to know what the true core of
Suedom is?  It's one of two things: a female character in a poorly written
story (because any or all of those characteristics can actually work if a
story is written well, and even in a badly written story if it were a man
people would find it less annoying), or a female character the
reader/reviewer doesn't like.  You can't do anything about the second
type, since it's 99% in the reader's head; and as for the first, generally
focusing on the craft of storytelling will fix the problem whereas
spinning around in circles petrified of writing a Mary Sue will only give
you writer's block.

Beatrice Otter

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