- Posted: Sat, 03 Dec 2005 15:23:45 +0000
Who is Mary Sue?
Mary Sue is perfect. Everyone loves her, except authority figures and meanie evil people, or people who are jealous of her good looks and wonderful singing voice.
She is also your character.
What, you say? I have no character named Mary Sue! My character is Alianala Marviliciouse Dragonnae the dragon tamer with natural purple-black hair down to her knees, funky dragon wings, and a dark past involving the death of her parents, twin sister, aunt, uncle, godfather, best friend, and pet goldfish. Yea, that's a Mary Sue.
Mary Sue is the term for a cliche perfect character, created by an author (usually a fanfiction author) or a roleplayer. They can be male or female, but more frequently the latter, hence my choice of pronouns in this article. The exact definition of a Sue is very broad, but she's usually created by the author as a sort of "placeholder" for themself, so they can pretend through their character to be part of a fantasy world. Not a bad thing in and of its self, but roleplaying with one is very frustrating.
So, why should I care?
If you just wanna have some fun casually roleplaying, go ahead and keep playing your Sues. You'll probably outgrow it eventually. But if you're getting tired of seeing people with characters who seem too powerful and too perfect, while trying to explain your own characters' powers and perfection with whatever personal excuses you can come up with, maybe its time you took a good honest look at your characters to see if they're part of the problem. Also, if you ever want to be a professional writer, you should get rid of your Sues ASAP, they'll only hinder you from getting published. Few people want to read about Little Miss Perfect (But Angsty) and the Unicorn-Dragon Adventure.
Ohnoes! This is starting to sound like me! What do I do?!
Good writing, and good roleplaying, takes practice, but the first step in improving is admitting you have a problem. So, step one to banishing Mary Sue is to be open to the possibility that your character is one. If you read this with the purpose of proving to yourself your character clearly isn't a Sue, it won't help at all.
So, what exactly is this topic? A field guide, of sorts, to four common types of Sue. I will be describing Sues of various types using the four Sue houses of Pottersues, a livejournal about Harry Potter Sues.