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Re: "Mary Sue...Why?" K's ramble... ;)

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  • Kielle !
    ... Interesting subject, and as someone with a notorious love/hate relationship with the evil little creatures it s one I can t resist! * I love Mary Sues as a
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2000
      Kate Andrews <idontwannawait@...> asked:

      >As a writer who's never felt the urge to write a Mary Sue, I'm curious as
      >to what compells you? This isn't intended as a jab, but an honest

      Interesting subject, and as someone with a notorious
      love/hate relationship with the evil little creatures
      it's one I can't resist!

      * I love Mary Sues as a concept because I think they
      fill a valuable little niche in the human psyche.
      Everyone wants to be better, smarter, prettier, more
      loved, more admired, etc. -- and a lot of creative
      types take their first steps on the writing road by
      putting these longings on paper. Nothing's cuter
      than a little kid's first story about how this person
      they made up joins their favorite heroes and has
      adventures with them. :)


      * I hate Mary Sues as individuals because there's no
      excuse for them on the Internet. Almost everyone has
      created a character or two with Mary Sueish
      tendencies, thinking that they were being creative
      and original and that if other people saw that story
      of course they'd love that character too! However,
      it only takes a bit of reading and asking questions
      online to discover that no, your character isn't all
      that original -- in fact, people are downright sick
      of characters like her.


      It's not the creation of a Mary Sue that bugs me.
      It's when people go ahead and post these stories
      anyway and then get all hurt when their darling isn't
      welcomed with open arms that I want to grind my
      teeth. Did I have a Mary Sue. Yes. (In fact, her
      name was and still is Kielle!) Did I write stories
      about her? You betcha. Will I ever post her stories
      online? Not in a kabillion years. ;)

      However, self-insertion is NOT necessarily Mary Sue!
      If a character is original, realistic, and flawed,
      and doesn't dominate the story to extent of
      detracting from the canon characters, then they're
      not a Mary Sue...even if they're blatantly based off
      of you. Unless you go the OTHER extreme into "so
      cutely helplessly ordinary that the canon characters
      fall over each other to rescue and coddle you," in
      which case you'd skidded over the line into another
      Mary Sue species: the Victim.

      My best formula to avoid making a character into a
      Mary Sue is to take half of the "good lines" and cool
      actions they get to perform, and give them to the
      canon characters. Most readers aren't there to read
      about how much better your character is than the
      existing characters, so it's good to avoid making the
      characters they ARE there to see look like bumbling

      I'm sorry I rambled so much, I didn't mean to
      dominate the conversation! I'm having a slow day at
      work. :) Don't mind me -- I want to hear YOUR

      On a mad tangent: If you've never heard of Marrissa,
      she's the undisputed reigning queen of the Mary
      Sues. For a good long hard laugh, check her out
      (in MSTed form, thank god) at



      Keeper of the Mary Sue Society:

      And yes, my Mary Sue has her own little homepage!
      What can I say, I was really bored one day... <G>

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