How to Avoid Creating a Mary Sue TutorialHiya!
While reading manymanymany fan fictions and original stories with varying levels, it popped into my mind a few tricks to decrease the Mary Sue aspects from characters. I've sorted the tricks to different categories, hope they are useful! The categories are,
- What is a Mary Sue anyway? And why people create them?
- Before creating him/her, aka General attitude
- When creating him/her
- When writing about him/her
- Notes about fan characters
- Notes about original characters
- Links to other Anti Mary Sue tutorials
Most the tricks I've mentioned in this guide are good to remember all the time. However, the tricks I've marked with a star symbol (*) are optional, kind of extra tricks. I use quite harsh examples in the guide to make stuff clear, but remember that the flaws that are smaller than the ones that I mentioned can be bad, too!
On the other hand: Generally, NONE of mentioned flaws are ABSOLUTELY bad, so you don't necessarily have to throw your character into recycling bin or
Character Design TutorialGENERAL ISSUES ABOUT CHARACTER DESIGNCharacter Design Tutorial5 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
[New section!] Over-mirroring aka sticking too much in patterns of the original series!
INTRODUCTION: DESIGN OF CHARACTER'S LOOKS: WHAT IS ITS ROLE IN THE WHOLE CHARACTER DESIGN?
At first: No costume can save a badly made character. Your Average Joe/Jane character won't become any more interesting even if you make him/her to wear turquoise hair and odd-colored neon-color eyes. What makes character interesting is his/her INNER SIDE: his/her personality, history, skills, behavior pattern, odd traits, running gags, simply WHAT (S)HE IS. A rye bread doesn't become into a cream cake even if you put on it whipped cream and strawberries.
However, a good design may help the reader/viewer to notice, tell apart and remember the character more easily. That's why all Naruto characters are not sporting black hair and wearing those green tactical vests: if all character seemed almost similar, it would be pain for the reader to tell who of th
How to evade making a Mary SueThe Mary Sue GuideHow to evade making a Mary Sue8 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
This guide is meant to introduce and/or inform you of this threat that is currently attacking storywritting, drawing, Original Character creation (OCs) and fandom/fanfiction in general, not to say Originality itself!
During the course of this guide, you will learn what a Mary Sue is, youll identify one when sighted and, most importantly, you will not create one and hopefully you will help others in the subject, so they dont create Mary Sues too.
I) Mary Sue 101:
-What is a Mary Sue?
Mary Sue is a title given to characters in fanfiction (and sometimes original, professional work) who are simply perfect: They are beautiful, smart, friendly, always willing to help for nothing in exchange even if they can die, powerful, important in one way or other...you get the point (I will explain on emphasis later). These characters are often created in Roleplaying forums/chatrooms or simply as OCs with a storyline
Rants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OCRants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OC4 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Well, I figured that since Spongebob- Proof Of Spandy was so popular that I would do something that's different but also the same. I've written a little mini rant/opinions on an issue that isn't nearly as annoying as it used to be but it's still suck around for a quite a while everywhere I've been (Ex. DevArt, Fanfiction Net, LiveJournal). So, hope you can all enjoy and leave whatever comments you feel necessary. I would love to hear your opinions.
First I shall address Mary-Sues. Here's the five bad points of a Mary-Sue:
The name is only a slight problem. As in, it's not really one to be too concerned about but it is something that could give a good character a bad image. A name such as 'Melony Butterfly Lily DeeDee Silver Jay Hannah Rose, Melony Rose for short' is not going to give anyone a pretty image of your character and people will get tired just by trying to sa
How Not To Get A Mary SueX-x-X-x-X-x-X How to Create A Well balanced Female Lead X-x-X-x-X-x-XHow Not To Get A Mary Sue4 years ago in Profiles More Like This
For most people, the problems that people will have with a character is the lack of balance they might have.
Mary-Sues are the most popular characters that exemplify this.
Mary Sues are characters that have more good traits than flaws and therefore look perfect for the audience. That can include all sorta of aspects in the character 'life'.
1) You have over-powered Mary-sues who can defeat any and every opponent and therefore are respected and awed by everyone.
2) Realtionship-Sues who are so much of the woman that every man who meets her is obviously struck with love the minute they see her, even when the character has no real qualities that WOULD normally attract men. And these are also the ones who are able to take their pick of the guy and somehow always end up getting with the most sought-after man in the series.
3) You have the feminist-sues/tom-boy sues who are the perfect women in their being less "girly" on
Character Flaws [Personal Review]When people have asked my opinions about their characters (often specifically if I consider them as Mary Sues or not, thanks to my tutorial about avoiding Mary Sues), a reoccurring theme in those conversations has been the character flaws. A frequent (and rather crude) definition of Mary Sue is "Mary Sue is a character without prominent flaws", and I would add, "without prominent character flaws". In order to apply this definition, it is necessary to know what is a character flaw. This is what this article is about. Or, tutorial, review, rant, something like that. In any case, I hope this will be useful for someone! At least to me, as I can link this article next time I talk about character flaws, heh.Character Flaws [Personal Review]1 year ago in Writing More Like This
Please note that this mostly consists of my personal definitions and experience as an amateur writer, so take these words as words of a hobbyist rat
OC Mary-Sue Test 2.1OC Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu TestOC Mary-Sue Test 2.15 years ago in Writing More Like This
This test is designed for Original Characters. Questions for Role Play Characters and Fan Characters will be added soon.
Now, this tests for both the traditional Mary Sue/Gary Stu, and for 'gloomdog' style characters, which I suppose is a sub-category of the Mary Sue, but is often over-looked in this kind of test.
Further down this test, there is a list of traits and characteristics, each one stating how many points that particular trait is worth. Simply read through the list, and give your character the appropriate number of points for each of the listed traits/characteristics displayed by your character.
When you reach the end of the list, add up all of your character's points and refer to the results at the very bottom of the test to see (approximately) where your character is on the Sue Scale.
Now, while you're taking this test please also take into account
Character Cliches to AvoidCharacter Cliches to Avoid (Like the Plague)Character Cliches to Avoid5 years ago in Writing More Like This
This tutorial-suggestion love child will be split into two parts :: 1 for cliches that should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVUR be done by anyone, and the second part being ones that shouldn't be done by beginning writers.
Section One: The Black Plague
These are character cliches that are so overdone that they should NEVER be done anymore. EVER.
Not a lot to say on this one. There's nothing worse than reading a piece of writing though with a main character or side character that never got the character development that they deserved.
This is my name for characters that never change through the series/work. Your character should always grow with each obstacle they're faced with.
Characters with Atrociously-Spelled Names
Let's just say that if I have to get out the pronounciation guide to get through the first half of your character's name, it shouldn't be done.
How to make a characterCreating a new original character for your own use can be both an exciting and scary time, not just for you, but for those who will be hearing about your character in one way or another. That is the main idea behind this guide, to give you some ideas to think about when it comes to making your own character (also called an OC).How to make a character5 years ago in DeviantArt Tutorials More Like This
Come up with a good background for the character:
One thing I can't stress enough is to get at least a decent idea of your character's history before whatever you decided on as the "present time". Things to keep in mind here would be the relationship with parents (if any), natural tendencies while growing up, relationships with friends, things like that. Now I'm not saying you have to have every single little nuance down before you go anywhere else with it, you can paint the background in some fairly broad strokes zooming into one or two major incidents that help shape the character's personality today.
DO's and DON'Ts of OCsDOs and DONTs of Creating OCs.DO's and DON'Ts of OCs7 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
I'm not a brilliant or fantasmically talented writer, but I know a decent OC when I see one. Or at least a non-crappy one.
I think we know how this works. Here we go
1. DO Try to vary your OCs personalities. In the real world, if everyone had the same awesome, flawless character, life would be mind-numbingly BORING. Also, not everyone is nice/horrible/depressed/energetic all the time. (Unless, of course, you want to use that as a flaw.)
2. DONT get too hung up on making profiles for your characters. Profiles are for procrastinators who want to make a fantastic character without getting started on the actual story. I was guilty of it too, before I realised how boring filling out the same form over and over again was.
Try describing them in the story, THEN make notes to help you remember stupid boring details like their star-sign and eye colour so you dont accidentally change them halfway through the st
A Comprehensive Guide to OCsSo you say you want to write an OC, but don't know where to begin? Well, here are a few tips to help you get started, and maybe help you avoid the terrible Mary Sue Trap that so many writers fall into.A Comprehensive Guide to OCs5 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
1. Create a profile for your OC, with their name, age, gender, height, weight, and other such defining characteristics, to help you flesh out how they will look. Once you do this, go back and take out any Mary Sue/Gary Stu adjectives, such as "Sapphire Blue Hair with Icy Pink Streaks" or "Emerald Green Eyes with Amber Sparkles". Everyone wants their character to be special, or easily recognizable, but this tends to backfire horribly when introduced into your story. Unless the universe you are working with has canon characters with strange hair/eye colors, stay away from the unique color approach. The same also applies to skin color, unless your character has some sort of disease, like albinism, that affects a person
How Not to write a Mary SueHow Not to write a Mary Sue4 years ago in Writing More Like This
How Not To Write A Mary Sue
So, what is a Mary Sue? It is used as a form of criticism in literature and refers to an idealised and somewhat "perfect" character that appears to have no flaws or if they do they are so limited that all the "perfect" characteristics overwhelm them making the character "flat." Mary sue often refers to a young female protagonist and male "Mary Sues" are often called "Larry Stu".
From my experience most Mary Sues are written in non-published works usually by young writers especially in fan-fiction. However there are a few Mary Sue writers who are actually published (sadly). It shows a deep lacking to create perfect characters unless it's done for satirical purposes.
So why should you avoid writing Mary Sues? Simple, perfect is boring!
We don't like perfect, we don't want perfect! Ask anyone in a relationship to list the positives traits, charms and idiosyncrasies of their partner and I guarantee at least one will be something that is weird, annoying, bizarre
The Problem with Self InsertsThe Problem with Self InsertsThe Problem with Self Inserts3 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
There is nothing wrong with inserting yourself into a story. Like anything, it can be well done or... not so well done. The fact is, the majority of people who tend to write about self inserts happen to be beginners. Naturally, that causes there to be a pattern of certain, specific mistakes that are frequently found whilst reading anything on the internet. The purpose of this deviation isn't to say that self inserts are bad. I'm simply going to point out the most common mistakes that we usually encounter.
1. Making ourselves better than we really are.
Don't be fooled by the word "better." This can be replaced with mysterious, deep, dark, tragic, romantic, lovable... anything we want. Maybe a mix of a few of those things. The point is, the version of ourselves will be biased.
2. Not making anything bad happen to yourself
Let's talk about the word "bad." Does this mean something, perhaps, like... getting a disease? No. It means anything that interferes with
Mary-Sues: Part 1Mary-Sues: Things You Need to Know and What to do if you see ThemMary-Sues: Part 15 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Mary-sues, Martha-sues, Marty-stus, Larry-Stus and Gary-Stus, we will all come across them at one point. Most of us have heard of them, some have been violently accused of making them via flaming, and others are still naïve to the terms. While people who have been on writing sites for years absolutely loathe them, most are inconsistent with an all-around definition. A majority claim that Mary-Sues are characters that are absolutely perfect in every shape, form and personality, while others just say that they are characters that are just too powerful, unique, or are so clichéd from past characters, and a few say they are self-inserts no matter how well-developed they are. Some on fan fiction sites even say that all Original Characters or Fan Characters (OCs) who are paired with a canon character or just take the spotlight are Mary-Sues. On the other side of the cr
Mary Sue Guide - Part 1The BasicsMary Sue Guide - Part 14 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Before you start reading this, two things to keep in mind:
Do not simply assume your OC is or isn't a Mary Sue before you start reading. Keep an open mind.
This guide is NOT a rulebook. No matter how Sue I think something is, that doesn't mean you absolutely should not do it under any circumstance. Also, some things are more minor than others. Just because your character has some Sue traits doesn't make her a Sue. A little flare doesn't hurt.
This is by no means meant to be offensive or aimed at any specific author or character. It is also not 100% accurate. There are always circumstances outside a Mary Sue Guide. The purpose of this is not to be a statement of fact but merely something to help.
Definition of a Mary Sue: A clichéd being that is often too perfect and unrealistic. Because of this, they may cause other characters to go out of character.
Possible Traits of a Mary Sue and How to Fix Them:
How to Dress Up Naruto OC 1of2How to Dress Up Naruto OC 1of25 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Being annoyed about all those 'neko-ear', 'top model', 'school girl' and 'lolita dress' Naruto OCs, I decided to make a guide to help people to make their Naruto OCs more believable and Naruto-like. Before I begin, I'd like to note a few things.
* First, I don't speak English as my native tongue (I'm a Finn), so there may be some grammar flaws in the tutorial. If you note a flaw, you can mention it, and I won't get angry but happy. People learn from their mistakes, and so do I!
* Second, this tutorial deals with just the clothing of Naruto OCs, not about actual creation of an OC. There are heaps of tutorials about it, just go see them! Think of this as a deeper view to the Naruto clothing issue.
* Third, this tutorial is not made to flame those OC makers that create 'un-Naruto-like' characters. I'm just going to tell tricks to make your character more suitable for the series. It's up to you if you want to use them or not.
INTERNAL CONFLICTINTERNAL CONFLICT6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Note: this is how the professional authors do it. That doesn't mean YOU have to. As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest.
His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. His hand pressed at waist, the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. His fingers drifted upward, toward her breast.
Desire pulsed within her core, in time with her heart. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal. The fear in her soul told her to stop, and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy... He fired her blood more than any other man.
She turned away from his kiss. "Please, I can't."
His gaze narrowed, then he smiled. "
Writers' Notes - Battles and WarsWriters' Notes - Battles and Wars5 years ago in Writing More Like This
While I have written a tutorial on fight scenes, I felt that it would be prudent to write one regarding wars and battles. After all a war or a battle is not just about how to fight.
When you are writing a war or battle first make sure you plan where it's going to take place. Land can be tricky, and it changes during a battle.
Image two giant armies amassing on a huge field. Infantry and cavalry alike, all decked in battle gear and heavy armour.
The pound of thousands of feet, man and horses alike. How do you think the ground will look? Grass torn and flattened, turned to mud especially if the weather turns and it begins to rain or sleet. Are there hills or mountains? Has one army taken a higher ground, dug a moat or added spikes of wood to protect their area?
Is there forests around them, have the trees been burned by one army to keep the other from using the wooded area as shelter? Has an army begun to p
Interior MonologuesInterior Monologues6 years ago in Writing More Like This
"I was just wondering what you think about interior monologues, long passages of reflection?" -- Curious Kitty
A note on:
-- Interior Monologues
Whether you are considering adding a lengthy monologue to a story, or intend the monologue to be the story itself where the focus of the entire story is on one character's thoughts and feelings with very little action -- from my observations and experimentation, the readers either love them or hate them. There's no in-between.
However, it is notable that the internal monologue stories that are sought out most frequently tend to focus on a profound emotion of some kind: grief, loneliness, heartache... Usually by either those seeking to deal with such an emotion, as a kind of therapy, or by those that have never felt such emotions. (Strong emotional stories are extremely popular among young adults.)
In both cases, not only does the reader seek to submerge the
So You've Created a Mary SueSo Youve Created a Mary-SueSo You've Created a Mary Sue7 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
One day while browsing on deviant Art or even Fanfiction.net you get a really great idea to create your own Original Character (OC). So cool, right? You make him/her for your favorite fandom so you can draw or write them it, its like youre in the series. You can make your favorite sexy anime guy or beautiful girl fall head over heels in love. You quickly write everything you would like if you were in that fandom and upload away. Thats when you get your first comment or review. As soon as you open it the room catches fire and you are incinerated within the depths of a Flame. A flame is a type of review or comment that is left usually to bash one writing or drawing and hold little to no constructive criticism to help with improvements. Thats when you realized you have been infected by the dread disease of creating a Mary-Sue. Whats the first thing you should do, throw it out right? wrong!
Just like learning to
Basic Facts About Mary-SueYou are in love with Riku. You are warm for his form. Unfortunately, you cannot have him. He doesn't exist, after all. So you do the next best thing. You create a fan fic centering around your own original character (OC) and Riku.Basic Facts About Mary-Sue9 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Riku falls in love with this character immediately. His dark personality turns on your OC like a light bulb. The two share passionate moments as he gushes his feelings for her on Twilight Hill (three hours after meeting her, of course), telling her how much he loves her layered purple hair, silver eyes, milky white skin, and thin, curvy body. He tells her how the name Ruby Mina Rose-Topaz fits her so well. The normally chaste Riku agrees to a one-nighter without hesitation.
As they lie in the spacious bed in her mansion, she begins to sob. Her eyes turn emerald as tears pour down her cheek. Immediately, Riku strokes her moonlit silver hair and coaxes her into telling him what is wrong. Tearfully, she sobs about how her parents were murdered. She was brought u
How to Be a Likeable Female Character1. Have a sense of humor.How to Be a Likeable Female Character3 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
2. Learn to do some things for yourself; don't just sit around and expect someone else to handle all the work.
3. Have a listening ear and a sympathetic heart.
4. Dream about true love, but at the same time know how to care for yourself.
5. If you do find love, love him for who he is, not for what you want him to be.
6. Never be controlling or manipulative.
7. Never let anyone push you around.
8. Cry when necessary, but don't get carried away.
9. Always stand by those whom you truly care about.
10. Don't be so serious that you forget to have fun, but don't have so much fun that you forget to be serious.
The Naming of CharactersFirst of all, we don't need this surface-value, wishy-washy crap. I'll show you what I mean, so here's a form I used to give out when accepting OCs for stories a long time ago (ah, back in the days. I truly forgot how fun writing without bounds used to be--you know, writing for your own satisfaction with things like outrageous Sues, blatant cliches, and genres that I have worn out for a year or two. I still do it sometimes, but I can't bring myself to get too heavily into the story because I know it would be really bad to anyone else. I DO miss writing about fantasy journeys, though, but I really wore that out when I was younger, so right now I'm getting into fantasy-without-the-magic. Technically, historical fiction for my own world).The Naming of Characters5 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Anyway, carry on.
Nobody Loves My Character!Nobody Loves My Character!3 years ago in Writing More Like This
On making characters lovable, in your story and online
Brought to you by Super Editor
Disclaimer: This is a troubleshooting guide, and it doesn't necessarily cover every possible solution. It's based on my own experience, and not every idea may fit every character or work. Please use your common sense and personal taste when applying this information. Thanks for reading!
It's every writer's nightmare: your characters, after all the things you've put them through and all the months or years they've inhabited your head, have been eagerly displayed to the public and received an unenthusiastic response. Your audience has not been enchanted. They do not drool, fall hopelessly in love, or draw fan art in droves. They don't even pick favorite characters or whine for more information! You've failed. Nobody understands your characters. Nobody understands you.
...Wait a second. Try again?
Deviants who regularly post OC stories and art are lucky: their relationship with their audien