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Discussion The Mary Sue - what they are and why we should avoid them

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Kurisan, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    This surprises anyone?
     
  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I don't think the line dividing those two is particularly thin, so there are many "rights" and "wrongs" we can consider.

    A garden toolshed, as far as I'm concerned. They could simply ASK somebody who has the disability in question.

    Yup, that is all he actually did. BUT HE'S SO HANDSOME THAT IT HURTS, ISN'T HE?



    [face_rofl][face_rofl] SO.TRUE.



    It's in one of the books. And I agree about Obi-Wan.


    This is pretty much my view of things. =D=


    You think so?

    "Waiting for Nute" by Sameel Bq'tt is something I would write and read.

    BECAUSE ABSURD. YOU GAVE ME A KRIFFIN' PLOT BUNNY, YOU SON OF A BITH...WAIT, YOU'RE A WOMAN. ANYWAY, HEADASPLODE *jumps into the cold vacuum of space and realises that once her head really explodes*

    I really want to write that, btw. It's way too tempting, especially because of the creepy slave scene and when the slave speaks, because he could speak like that Stu example. [face_rofl]

    Otherwise, yes, I agree that you won this threadamajig. :D

    And here's a list of various Sues (and Stus, as far as I'm concerned). I think that most of the SW ones in profic and films are God-mode Stus.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarySue
     
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  3. A Blind Prophet

    A Blind Prophet Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2016
    i actually had an idea of making something that was a complete mary sue... and then trying to make them actually be interesting. think like luke and leia's older sister who's a better pilot than han and stupid levels of rich kind of thing. i never did anything with it, but the concept of mary sue's seems more like a challenge to me than something that should be taboo.
     
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  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    That could be a fun plot bunny.
     
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  5. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Again with the rich = sue. I don't quite get that.

    In fact almost every rich person I see in fiction (whether by the pros or in ff), are always portrayed as evil or stupid or both.

    It's a trope I rather tire of.
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I could go for rich = ignorant of people's day-to-day struggles, but not more. Then again, what's rich to me is something in the lines of proper western middle class, as our middle is lower, so...
     
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  7. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Plus, rich means you can buy your way out of problems, you can always wear designer clothing, have a massive house, servants, top grade transportation, and do all of these things even when you're barely out of school. (Bruce Wayne, we are looking at you! :) ) Contributing to Sue-ism.

    Some rich people are evil, some are just clueless, and there are others who are philanthropists who try to use their money to help others. I suppose the rich=evil trope comes from the idea that ruthless people crave money & power & don't care who they hurt or what they have to do to get it. And rub their wealth in other people's faces once they've gotten it.
     
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  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Still, sounds more like other tropes, not Sue. Except for Bruce paragraph.

    Sent from my SM-T310 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Are you accusing Batman of being a Mary Sue?! *gasps* [face_laugh]
     
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  10. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    He isn't one.
    Yeah he has a lot of skills but he spent several years gaining them and is shown constantly training and improving his abilities.
    Bruce Wayne puts a lot of hard work into being Batman. A Sue would just have this skills with no explanation.
     
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  11. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Yeah, I didn't really think you were. I was just joking.:D
     
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  12. FireKeeper

    FireKeeper Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Geez, what a Stu... And I thought some fanfics had it bad... At least they didn't write a lengthy two-paragraph description about how good looking their Sue/ Stu was.

    Also, I actually kinda liked Aragorn in LOTR. And I think every female falling in love with him( which, if I remember correct, were just Arwen and Eowyn) more has to do with there being very few major female characters in LOTR rather than some devastating handsomeness( or at least, I don't remember him being described as handsome in the books, correct me if I am wrong) or something.
     
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  13. DARTH_MU

    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Ewok Poet, Where did you find such a gem of two paragraphs of pure.....

    My eyes.

    I can't breathe. Too many run on sentences.

    Theoretically, though, Luke, Mara, Thrawn, and Tallon Karrde are all sues/stus.

    I guess it's all how and the length of time you develop them (OC kids to adult spanning trilogy or a series) If an infant William grew up in kindergarten in book one, and in book ten we have the two paragraphs provided by Ewok Poet, no one would mind.
     
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  14. cookeycat

    cookeycat Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Ahsoka Tano from TCW is Mary Sue.
     
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  15. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Explain.
     
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  16. cookeycat

    cookeycat Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2016
    "...A character frequently but not always a girl, usually young and more often a teen (Ashoka is like 14), who appears of nowhere
    and gets related to the main characters (Anakin), gets preferential treatment for no reasons (why she never used an uniform?),
    has skills far beyond her age and is showed as far more competent than many older and wiser character (why is she in charge
    of a battalion of people genetically made to fight?), even defeating main villains who should be far her level
    (Trandoshans, Mandalorians, Clones, Pre Vizla, Grevious, Ventress;
    all them characters able to kill full trained jedis even masters but defeated by Ashoka) gets skills as plot demands
    (mechanic, pilot, fencer, actress, changes to double sable) never faces consequences by her harsh behavior
    (sending cones to their deaths because she gets reckless, just cost her a frown and slap in the wrist)
    even when other people could be hired by same behaviour and if for some miracle is show to be in the wrong,
    at the end of the episode will be "right" or pitted or any kind of punishment will lead to a beneficial situation
    (being sent to the library gets her being the only one able to find something wrong with Jocasta),
    doesn't have any major flaw and is very attractive even to people who should not considerer her attractive
    (remember that separattis human boy, Lux) and of course gets spared when everybody around her dies (order 66)
    because lame excuses (yes she is not technically a Jedi but still a kind of famous force and hero war, so should have been a target).
    And then comes rebels, (when she is the strongest and wisest character ever). "
     
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  17. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    But Ahsoka still manages to have an interesting character arc. She makes mistakes, has to learn from them, and still isn't so blessed with the Force she doesn't immediately recognize Anakin became Vader.
     
  18. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002

    Well..., you rose to that challenge.

    The 'sending clones to their death' thing doesn't count; no-one seems to be taking much notice of clones, anyway.
     
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  19. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I would say yes, if you strictly look at the Clone Wars 2008 movie, Ahsoka does come off heavy on the Mary-Sue-ishness. But she had a character arc. She fails miserably in some places, eventually leading to her leaving the Jedi order. I'd say her surviving order 66 makes a lot of sense. It's a big freaking galaxy - if Obi-Wan can survive USING THE SAME LAST NAME ON THE HOME PLANET WHERE HE FOUND ANAKIN, Ahsoka's survival isn't much of a suspension of disbelief.

    But again. I point to the fact that the Mary/Gary-Sue test really doesn't work for Star Wars characters (Anakin and Luke are two prime examples). THE defining feature of a Mary/Gary Sue is an underdeveloped character, which these characters are not.
     
  20. DARTH_MU

    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2005
    looks over rules of mary sueism.

    dang it! The OC I'm developing is a Mary Sue! Why oh why did I make her a teen girl!? Well, at least she died. (and I guess she isn't that attractive. So....)
     
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  21. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Oh boy, the dreaded Mary Sue.... It doesn't help in developing the character at all if you're constantly hovering over them checking how Sue-ish they might be, and the term is overused and gets thrown around too often IMO.

    It's really not that hard to write a compelling character--all one has to do is go out into the real world and actually talk to real people and understand that people have flaws. There's always going to be over-achievers who seem like they're great at everything, but even those people may struggle with internal conflicts or have other issues. Understandably, real people tend to be kind of boring and a "Mary Sue" is ideal and can do anything. But a character that seems smarter, or more powerful than everyone else really doesn't seem fun to be around with so IMO it's not really about trying to "avoid them" but more like understanding a character's limits and their position within the actual story.

    Just my two cents [face_peace]
     
  22. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    To be honest, I don't even bother paying attention to 'What is a Sue/Stu' anymore. The reason being is that people have a tendency to label characters as Sues (I use the female term, more than the male) simply because they don't like the character or writer in some cases when it comes to fan fiction and RPGs. It limits people's writing by telling them that they shouldn't give their writer this ability or that ability, or this particular background. It's more often applied to female characters than males and I think this is an example of misogyny, more than anything else.

    The only true Mary-Sues/Stus I come across are made by people who are inexperienced at writing and haven't developed the skills yet to balance their characters out. I also think that it's a natural process that writers go through while they are learning to write. People want their characters to be unique and special, and this applies even to experienced writers, which is probably why you get characters like Harry Dresden. If people are allowed to practice their craft at writing then I think the tendency to over do things with their characters will diminish and you'll get characters that are interesting to read about.
     
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  23. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    For a minute, I thought that somehow, someway, the boards had been time warped to... well, a lot more years that I realize.
    I'll just back out and along now, as the 'discussion' has (thankfully) taken a far different direction this time (thankfully in the right one) and I'm too old and tired to think about it (Get off my lawn!)
     
  24. Vinylshadow

    Vinylshadow Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 2017
    Level 1 Sues are called Self Inserts, where the author dumps themselves into a series and messes around with things, using their knowledge of the setting to their advantage to solve problems before they happen. What most fics then fail to do is utilize the Butterfly Effect and have things spiral out of control, throwing them off their game and rendering their knowledge useless.

    Level 3 Sues are the type that manage to warp the story to revolve around them, thus making sure they're always doing the right thing, even when that thing makes groups like the Empire and Sith look like kitten-petting, orphan-raising nice guys in comparison


    I rarely write seriously and I like poking fun at the concept of a Mary Sue by having one of my characters be an author who then does various meta commentary like griping about reviews, debunking claims of Maru Sueism and dumping all the editing work on his roommate.
     
  25. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Hello Vinylshadow and welcome! I look forward to some of the meta-ness when you start posting. Excellent MarySue analysis. :cool:
     
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