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How to Judge a Sue, Not Be a Sue, and Write

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  Alright, it seem to be very popular on here for people to write about "How-To" on creating original characters either for fan fictions/fandom universes and/or original stories. Granted, I've stepped out of the fan fiction scene for a while to help others in their writing and various other reasons but I feel that I should explain how I make my own OCs and how I outline my overall stories for them. I'm open to criticism and/or suggestions on perfecting this but I'm only going to dignify constructive criticism with a response. Get ready for a long tutorial here because I got a lot to say.

 Alright, the textbook definition of a Mary Sue/Gary Sue is a character that is an idealized representation of the author in a story who is virtually flawless and perfect every way. Now, Urban Dictionary and TVTropes.com go on to give subdivisions of Sues and almost every writer and meme artist on here has created something for people to evaluate their characters. On top of that, these people also like to jump to the conclusion that any character that has some sort of labeled personalty like a tomboy or has a tragic past of any sort is immediately marked for Sue categories. What really seems to be the problem to is that people focus so much on the initial creation that people forget to develop their character along the way to address these problems and balance them out as the story progresses. The fact that people are trying to make a character "balanced" at the very get-go of a story in of itself makes the character in itself a Sue of sorts because they're static, ideal common person, not someone to be a part of any sort of story. If you're afraid to add some sort of tragedy or drama to a character's life because that makes them too extreme then you're creating someone who is entirely unmotivated and without any sort of concern because they have nothing on the inside; people can't grow emotionally attached to the character they're so static and unchanging over the course of a story.
 
  Another thing, the key word to a Sue definition is IDEALIZED meaning they're the ones that everyone wants to be and have all the characteristics of the model citizens. They're like the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers who were all excellent students, good role models active in their community, and did what was right just because its the right thing to do. I find it ridiculous that people create things like the Victim Sue, Martyr Sue, and Rebel Sue. Most of these characters don't have characteristics that are positive, just cliche and obnoxious when taken over the top. No one wants to be these characters and none of them are ideal in any sort of the way. I'll admit that all these things can be taken out of hand way too often and the people who recognize the flaws of this are right in their judgement, but don't go labeling every character you see whose lost a parent, lived through a war, or undergone some other sort of tragedy as a Sue before they've had time to either be developed or show how these events have made them who they are. Remember, static characters who don't learn to deal with these tragedies are uninteresting and the way they go unfazed makes for shallow personality.
 
  Another thing I want to judge is this: Stop basing action characters on their Sue levels for their win-lose records. Its very shallow and poor. Granted, Yugi from the first season/series of Yugi-oh had this problem since he always won his fights in a predictable outcome but things like comparing an OC to a superhero that's "unbalanced" is just utter bullshit. It's not about how they fight, its about who they are. If they walk out of the ring still the same asshole or scumbag who continues to indulge in sick pleasures and/or aspects to look down on then you're far from ideal. Prime examples: Iron Man, Tony Stark is an alcoholic, something no one wants their kids to grow up to be; Thor with his planet sized ego; Batman, Bruce's high opinion of his intellect amongst the other members of the Justice League and his questionable psychological conditions still make him a questionable figure even with his no kill rule; Spawn, Al Simmons' black and white vision of things and his inability to change his view on himself is one of the things that lead to his second death. So if someone's OC wins a fight while still being a womanizer, a dick to his friends, and/or substance abuser of type then he's still no where near ideal. Now there is still room to criticize how easily he won and/or the circumstances of the fight but that's another area of judgement.
  If you want to judge win-lose records then you need to know if the fighter is going based on strategy or power alone. In anime/manga its harder to judge this since the varying amounts of categorization in each universe and its laws of physics and the way powers work in that universe. For example, in many forms of Japanese media its often a set amount of magic from a finite source in the person that allows them to do what they do as opposed to someone like Superman whose powers are based on the amount of solar radiation he can absorb and how much of that energy he uses. Strategy in is also extremely debatable in Japanese media because how its used isn't the same. Only in very few instances will you see fights by characters like Shikamaru from Naruto breaking away from the fight to better analyze their situations or universes like Yugi-OH and Loveless where there are set rules to fighting and clear judgements can be made. Also, fights in fan fiction and Japanese media are often battles that must be finished on the spot except in cases of series like Bleach where fights may be intervened with to remove the individuals fighting to allow for strategy building or at least let the viewers know that such a thing is possible in a heavy action series. Look at that as opposed to Spider-Man who has taken on numerous enemies in several battles which have bettered not only his intellect but his strategic skills as well as seen with his creating acid laced webbing to fight Rhino and his faking his own death against Venom in order to fight Eddie Brock when he was at his weakest to win; there is set limits and powers on the character and the story is allowed time for a strategic fighter to be strategic by not needing him to stop his enemy on the spot. My point is this: If you want to judge a character for their Sue levels based on their fighting aptitude, take everything into account before judging.
1.) Does the story take place in a world where powers go beyond imagination? If so, does this character merely follow a pattern of his/her set world or is he/she legitimately overpowered by this world's standards?
2.) Is this character overpowered because they are supposed to fall under some sort of power type category in their universe? If so, then do they adhere to the weaknesses typical of power types in their universe? If they do not or use too many loopholes to get around these weaknesses with an added power,skill,etc then they are legitimately overpowered and must be remade to not be a Sue.
3.) What are typical strategies used by people in this world when fighting? Does the world place any set rules on fighting and/or show any examples/patterns of how to fight well in it? If so, is this character using those strategies to the best of their abilities in a fight or are they using made up rules set by the author so its easier for them to win?
4.) Is the character using well crafted strategy against an opponent who can read/prepare for such a strategy while fighting or has every opponent been made an idiot who falls easily into the character's plans? If they're made to be incredibly stupid for that purpose, then yes the character is an issue as a Sue.
 Keep these thoughts in mind over the course of the first few chapters/fights in order to see if there is a continued pattern of easy fights or miraculous turn arounds in order to tell if its a truly Sue like fighter.  
 
  I know that shipping/pairing of characters is a big deal to all of you people who like to prey on OCxCanon pairings or OCxOC pairings you make Sue formals for so I'm gonna address this too. Don't assume that an OC is automatically upstaging a canon character or intervening with actual romantic development; for all you know, the series may not even have enough development like that or may even lack a central character. For fandoms like Bleach or Naruto I can easily understand this because I admit to being guilty of such a thing with my own Bleach OC hence the reason I'm reworking him. These types of characters can often be made too easily on accident since the extensive cast makes for plenty of available love interests and everyone wants an excuse to write epic battle scenes of that magnitude with someone who they don't need to worry about is in character or not and the OC can either be saved by the Canon or rescue the Canon they love. But I don't want to talk about that right now; what I do want to talk about is cases where such things are not always obvious. Mainly being video games often in the fighting genre. Games like Street Fighter, Blazblue, Tekken, and Guilty Gear that are heavily story driven rather than character driven leave the role of the main character and/or villain open to each sequel to come. Because of this, romantic relations are open to interpretation or they are so non-existent making it that an author can create a character they see suitable and/or lacking in the cast to pair with a said character they either like or have taken interest in. Now the OC can still be a Sue when paired with the character of interest but the pairing itself does not immediately evoke Sue status; it only evokes Sue status if the character is overly used in other fan fictions as the girlfriend/boyfriend for OCs simply out of popularity and not legitimate lack of romantic writing for the character in the canon series. Often writers will lazily put that their OC is a long lost friend or acquaintance to the canon they want to ship their OC with thus completely rewriting the universe and the canon setting to better the chances/logic of the canon character falling in love with their OC. This is used as a lame excuse to not develop the character as long/as well as they would need to be if they were just introduced into the said universe and needed to actually get to know the canon character they fall in love with. To create and develop a great character who has solid relationship development with a canon character, don't give a connected background to save time and don't merely pick a canon character to ship with them because they are your favorite character; pick them because they really don't get any romantic attention and can be further developed in this aspect. If you really do want to pair your OC with the main girl/guy of your chosen series then tread carefully and come up with as much logic as possible for it that's sound; I'm not gonna touch on that now for the sake of time. For my example, I am using my Tekken OC Jasuka Hidalgo. I paired my Tekken OC with Asuka Kazama since:
a)the character has not had significant development with the current main character of the series since her first appearance in the franchise,
b) the main character has changed and most likely the character who she was suggested to have an interest in will not be as important to the story now and such development of a romantic relationship is even more unlikely because of it
c) the said relationship was based entirely off of cliches in Japanese media and all other pairings for Asuka go without grounds because of her either not having met the said character (e.g. Hworang) or the character is clearly and/or in canon conflict with her (e.g. Feng Wei)
d)  I do indeed like the character and would like to see her develop more in my interpretation of her but I am not going to make this character someone she'll fall in love with instantly because that would make the character a Gary Sue
e) The general lack of consistency in main characters within the series gives me the freedom to do so and I have chosen to play with the universe that so far is not going in a clear direction/conclusion.
These are the standards I usually use when creating a romantic relationship between an OC and a Canon character. However, in situations like Bleach or Naruto I will take the extra precaution when wanting to create a love interest to look away from characters who are clearly popular (e.g. Sakura, Hinata, Rukia, Orihime) and for more side cast characters who do not get as much attention if any attention at all. Hence the reason I paired my Bleach OC with Isane instead of someone like Rangiku or Soi Fan.



  Now to the actual process of creating an OC. First of all, and you're open to judge me on this, don't think about characters first, think about what kind of a story you want to write with a beginning, middle and end; think about if you actually want to use an OC for the story and if so then how/why are they being used. Not all fan fictions need OCs and its not a bad thing to not have them. Now if you do use an OC then ask yourself the following:
1) How serious do I want this story to be? Will it be as close to the canon story as I can get or will it go track a bit/be an AU of some sort where I can have some freedom to mess with stuff?
2.) What is the overall status in the canon story/series? Are there loose ends I can play on or put into my own interpretation? Can I effectively use an OC to play with/fix these loose ends?
3.) Does this OC have any connections to one or more of the main canon characters? Will this relationship effect these loose ends or ideas I want to play with?
4.) Do I want this character to have a love interest with anyone within the canon cast? Is there anyone available who has not been given any sort of romantic development or shown any clear interest in another character? How well developed is this character and how close to they're portrayal in the canon series will I have to be when writing this character in development with my OC? If this character is on the back burner and/or does not have much screen time to develop, how do I think that character is like and based on the little I know and how I chose to interpret them, what sort of qualities or complications should I add to my OC if I'm going to ship them?
5.) If its established that there will be this romantic relationship between the two, how should I make it develop over the course of the story I want to write?
6.) If there is romance, will this story play into the canon story/series/plot at all if there is enough room for such an interpretation? If not, then should I rethink the story so its not a part of the main canon story/plot at all?
7.) What will be the beginning, middle and end for my fan fiction now that I've decided this?

  For an example of this, I will use my Tekken fan fiction "Forerunner to Chaos" and my OC Jasuka Hidalgo and how I used this thought process with him.
1.) Tekken tends to be very serious in some aspects but silly in other aspects. I want to do something that still follows the canon story from what we the fans know from the outcome of Tekken 6 and combine it with the non-Canon Tekken Tag Tournament 2 story.
2.) Namco has not announced the release of another Tekken game that follows the canon storyline. Tekken 6 has shifted the focus off of Jin to Kazuya and Lars and will pick up on their development in the next canon release. The game did nothing to help develop/answer questions on any of the romantic conflict in the story with Xiao still being in love with Jin or Asuka Kazama finding out if she is indeed Jin's cousin or not or if she is romantically interested in Jin at all. The Tekken franchise itself is not giving us any clues as of when or where it will end and it has its own alternate universe played out in the Tekken Tag Tournament series. I do not like how fractured the Tekken story/franchise has become and feel confident in taking a stab at it at least from the TTT section. I can have fun writing this without stepping on the toes of the canon series which people want to stay with strictly. To do this and because I like the series so much, I will create an OC to help tie in the canon series with the Tag Tournament series so that the story is able to have some solid ground in my interpretation of an ending for the series or at least another chapter to it.
3.) This OC will be connected to the former main character Jin Kazama who will most likely still have an important role in the next canon game, he will be connected to the rest of the Mishima family because of this, he will be connected to Ogre because this character still exists in the alternate tag tournament universe and his role in the canon series was very downplayed/not given a full explanation which I think should be brought back to help explain some things on the main characters' pasts, and he will be connected to Asuka Kazama which will help explain the connection/rift between the Mishima family and the Kazama family. He will have to be on terms equal to these characters in the canon series but he cannot upstage them in some way. However, the Tekken movie "Bloodline Vengeance" set the precedent for the series being allowed to be as ridiculous as the writers want it to be so I will take that into consideration as I write this story. This means I can make epic fights without too much concern of creating a Sue formula.
4.) Asuka Kazama clearly has a role in the canon story but she not well developed in the canon series despite her popularity and a large number of players hate her too. She's neither popular or not popular. There are not enough significant moments between her and Jin to suggest that she will fall in love with him in the end and all other pairings for her such as Hworang go without real basis since they've never met in the canon story. I personally like the character Asuka Kazama and I am very unsatisfied with her romantic options because I feel they do not match the little that I know about her over the course of two games. I will make my OC a love interest for her. She has not been developed well in the series but I do know enough about her to create my own portrayal of her. The precedent from other fan fictions is that Asuka Kazama is a tomboyish tsundere character, I will use that as a basis and put it in with how I see the character since there is not much to work with. The way I see her based on all this, Asuka Kazama most likely has a lot of tomboyish insecurities and would need someone to help address those problems and also be her best friend too in order to show her that she is fine the way she is and doesn't need to be girlier in order to be attractive. However, Asuka has a real problem with being nosy getting into things that don't concern her and she looks to physical beatings to solve a lot of her problems. If this OC is going to fall in love with her, he should also bring out the worst in her in order to bring about some potential self reflection and address some of these problems as best as humanly possible.
5.) I want my OC to fall in love with Asuka Kazama who will be portrayed as true to character as possible as a tomboy tsundere. Typically tsunderes just beat the crap out of main characters/their love interests and call them names which for some reason cause the main character to better themselves even though the girl has her own issues which are never called out. This is cliche and I don't like this. This OC will be someone who challenges Asuka as much as she challenges him in order for both characters to seriously reflect on themselves and begin to see that they do need to seriously reevaluate themselves. In doing this, they can develop friendship and slowly become more intimate as they learn to better themselves. They won't necessarily lose all of their weaknesses and short comings, but they can at least try to be better people which is what anyone would want a friend to help them with. In doing so they can begin to discover whats good about each other and slowly fall in love in a realistic fashion, not instantly or in the manner of some cliche in Japanese media.
6.) Tekken is very fractured and anyone not of the Mishima family is easily overlooked and underdeveloped. I can easily think of how I see these characters and who I think would be compatible for them without too much controversy. I can easily decide on how I see the ending too because this is a video game and not an anime/manga/TV series/book series/comic that has given some sort of a predictable outcome. I can play with the canon story and universe all I want within some boundaries and not make everyone who reads it upset.
7.) The beginning should introduce my OC and gradually build up his relevance to the canon universe, the middle will begin to highlight some key romantic development while at the same time keeping the main characters active in the story at their rightful levels of importance to set up a climax, near the ending my OC will finally confess to Asuka at a point that still allows for some of the drama both typical of new couples and in action stories which will be resolved in some way at the end of the story which will conclude the Tekken series as I imagine it with the plot elements I wanted to play with. This was a fun story which I enjoyed writing as a fan and hope that my readers enjoyed it too liking my ending and character. If not then that is there opinion, I had fun either way.


  Okay, now that your fan fiction is set how you want it, decide next on how to fill in the gaps with your OC now that you know what you want to do roughly with your story. Now here is where most people will start hounding you to either destroy your character or reboot them from scratch because they are a Sue. Here's the thing though, even if there are still some problems with your OC after the third or fifth reevaluation of them, you can have the character address these personal weaknesses over the course of the story you've outlined already; these problems can be a part of their character development making for more depth to the story than a static character running the motions. This won't make anything/everything excusable with your character so don't think a problem can just be allowed to just sit. You have to do something with it in some way. Address it, fix it, or make it a part of the tragedy of the story if that's what you're looking for. Once that's taken care of, begin your background for the character to explain why they are the way they are.
  Now Rebel Sue category does have some legitimate pointers on characters just being melodramatic cry babies who have the worst life stories ever, but you don't want to be generic either. Here is how I go about creating tragedy for a character's bio:
1.) DO NOT BE GENERIC WITH JUST PLAIN ABUSE OR DISCRIMINATION. To just say that the character was all alone, had abusive or non-existent parents, no friends, was betrayed, or is discriminated as just some generic ethnic other. The later is an extreme problem for anyone writing a fan fiction based in an anime/manga universe because Japanese media, from my experience and observation, does not handle this/use this issue very well for whatever reason and too many young people are very black and white over the issue not taking a time to think about divisions within the ethnic minority or what it really means to be a part of this group. RWBY has a huge problem with this with the generic group of the Faunis, FMA despite all its excellency as an allegory of WWII also falls short of a religious/racial discrimination theme due to its generic grouping and the author's general lack of an understanding for the Holocaust, and One Piece also had its very generic moment with the fishmen. Perhaps these problems exist due to Japan's culture and history lacking in such things, I don't know, that's for another discussion. The bottom line is this: If you're OC is going to be a part of some sort of ethnic other either in a fandom universe or your own original world, do not make it so generic and sitting there so the audience will go "Oh that poor character" or in order to boost the moral standing of another character, it doesn't work and its cliche.

2.) Do not make it seem like the fact that the character suffered the things they suffered be a good thing. If its something they're so scared by, they shouldn't go on crying about it in a way that people want to immediately come rushing to their side. Make so its caused the character to be so secretive about it that it discourages others to investigate because of how bad their attitude about it is or because the character has turned into such a dick from it that no one wants to find out why they have such a bad attitude. No make so complex that even the character themselves can't figure out what's wrong. Its kind of like the movie "Analyze This" where Billy Crystal explains to Robert DeNiro why his character is so hard to help: "Every time we do this it always goes 'Doc I need help, EH! Fuck you! No one helps Paul Viti!" It prevents the feeling that the character is some sort of ideal martyr and causes for the story and character's development to lengthen too. I'll give a better example/explanation for this in my OCs example.

3.) If the character has become so defined by this tragedy then make sure its set at an early enough age for the effects to sink in and change them for the worse or have it continue for a significant amount of time to do so. Gaara from Naruto is a prime example of this. He was harassed and abused for years by others to lead him to think that he was something subhuman but the thing that truly turned him into a cold blooded killer was the betrayal by the only person he loved that told him something that haunted him forever on. Waylan Jones aka Killer Croc is another good example. He was born with a rare skin disease that made him look like a monster, was raised by an abusive alcoholic aunt, was put to work as a circus freak which further reinforced his low self image as being less than human, and was abandoned in the wilderness at age 16 when there was no more use for him and he had become too angry and too strong to handle. This set in stone his hateful attitude and defined him. If you're going to have a character with a tragic past that truly effects how they define themselves, then make sure its well established psychologically and makes your character want to be avoided or something else in which people do not want to find out immediately whats wrong with the character and its something they don't want to go around telling the world in order to get pity and immediate comfort. People don't bounce back that easily from psychological abuse and to talk about it is even harder.

4.) For all people quick to break out the Sue label, STOP READING SO MUCH INTO THE CHARACTER THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY ASSUME THAT THE OC IS A PERSONIFICATION OF THE AUTHOR SUFFERING EXAGGERATED VERSIONS OF THEIR PERSONAL PROBLEMS. Just because a character has a rough past does not mean that the author is trying to win sympathy for themselves. Like Jhoanan Vazquez once said: "I can create a naked circus midget as a character who is every bit a part of me because he came from my imagination". Angry characters and/or tragic characters could very well be just something that the author made up because they wanted that type of character. Granted it is still possible that these things can be taken over the top, but when done in ways like that of the third step and they come off as undeserving of help/sympathy then it can be done right. Hell, the character can even be narcissistic crying about their problems while never telling or explaining what those problems are because they hurt to much and still be undeserving of comfort because they don't tell what they are and/or they're attitude/behavior is still inexcusable by the rest of the story cast.

 
  Now for my example in Jasuka Hidalgo:

1.) He is of indigenous background from the lowlands or Peru. The indigenous natives in Latin America still face discrimination to this day by authoritarian governments mostly made of people of white European decent and/or lightly mixed backgrounds who still see themselves above the Indians because they have white blood in them. This massive feeling of inferiority has passed on from generation from generation amongst natives and at the same time has caused for them to feel the need to be more aggressively defensive of their heritage because it could very well mean the end of their way of life. Jasuka grew up in an Ashaninkan village which over the course of time became closer to urban centers by the urban expansionism of the 1950s until his time where the village became only miles away from modern establishment. In order to protect themselves from going extinct, the village gave up some of its cultural aspects for modern ones just to not provoke the government into exterminating them. Because of this, the Ashaninkan villages look down Jasuka's village for their moderate conformity even if they do try to help the other indigenous peoples in some way through this because of the loss of authenticity. On top of that, Jasuka was born with birth marks that culturally amongst his tribe are of a bad omen so he is not liked even amongst his own people. All that while still facing the discrimination of the mixed and white people living in the urban areas. His inferiority complex is well established and this makes for the first part of his anger issues which have caused for him to overlook the good in his life and those people who were good to him outside his family. He has legitimate psychological conditioning based off a major ethical/moral issue in real life, not a romanticized general one where the people discriminated against are all one visually different group. This works perfectly because Tekken is set in the real world even if it is 20 or so years into the future. It shows the complexity of the issue and makes how the character views himself complex too.

2.) Jasuka's long history of discrimination and the death of his family members have made him chronologically angry and a narcissist who can't listen to other people's problems or show sympathy for them because he's so hung up on his own problems. Because of that, he's an angry asshole who no one want so approach. He often says things like "Like you'd understand what I've been through", "And I should care why?", "Fuck you, I got issues biting my balls that outweigh your first world problems," and "What do you know about people like me?". Because of this people just avoid him and do not offer him sympathy for how annoying he is with this. However, over the course of the story he does learn to be open to other people and their feelings and learns to be sympathetic to others and that they're emotional problems are not as different from his as he thought. This allows him to actually feel more comfortable with actually explaining his problems and open up to people who now are willing to hear him out because he opened up to them. But his trying to open up to others' problems goes to far when he intrudes on an issue Asuka has, getting pissed that she won't open up and explain much like how Jas used to be and Asuka acting exactly the way she hated Jasuka acting. This keeps some core weaknesses to the characters to balance them out, adds to the complexity of the story/relationship's development while also keeping the characters from falling for each other too soon.

3.) Jasuka lost his father to the military police and his uncle to peaceful protests. After that, all his thinking went based off of anger and a quest for vengeance in the blindness of his rage. Because of that he joined the guerrilla forces of Peru to take down the authoritarian government that had taken control thanks to the Mishima Zaibatsu. Doing this all in rage and for so many years, Jasuka became a cold blooded killer and so blind by his rage that he couldn't recognize how he was being taken advantage of by the leaders of the guerrilla forces his thinking became so one tracked. He firmly believes that no other way other than fighting will bring peace to his country and people which also fuels his rage. This has cost him the relationship with his mother, grandfather, and younger sister which the remaining humanity in him is reaching out for but is ultimately rejected by how cold he's become. Seeing how his mother and the other women of the village do nothing while being harassed/hunted by the government alongside the guerrillas' indoctrinating him as a child has lead to him having a low opinion of women. This makes for approaching him extremely difficult especially for Asuka because so much needs to be bypassed in him. Thus only after key moments further into the story and some of these feelings being addressed to Jasuka finally begin to open up and gives the audience a reason to feel sympathy for him.

4.) I distanced myself a lot from this character and actually made him so that even I would hate him. Some aspects I will admit do have some loose connections to my own experiences but the majority of Jasuka's character is all out of my head. I wanted a character that would be very hard to crack and would gradually become a better person while still retaining some qualities that would make people not like him still as to keep him balanced.


  Once that is all said and done, you can finally start writing your story as you've outlined it making whatever edits you need to along the way or ahead of time when you spot them. Most importantly though, in the case of your character being developed for the better like mine here, be sure to develop them in a matter that keeps them balanced with core flaws which may be improved but never truly fixed. For example, I said that Jasuka has a low opinion of women. He has psychological experience backing this and also simple cultural upbringing. But upon meeting Asuka, all the notions he ever had for women are challenged and broken which makes him realize that women aren't useless, weak, or unwilling to fight back as he's been lead to believe. Asuka becomes a prime example that a female can do anything a male can do and/or potentially be better at it too which in term makes him respect Asuka all the more and changes his outlook on women. However, at his core he still has his macho Latino ego which makes him still make sexist jokes and comments and unwilling to comply at times with anything that would belittle his masculinity or seem to contradict the feelings he has in which he believes men still forever exceed women in. This is one example as to how he does not become ideal like Sue characters are made to be; he becomes a better person but still retains personal weaknesses and aspects that would make people look down on him.

  That's all I got to say. I hope this was helpful to some writers out there and hopefully made you feel more confident in creating characters. Comments and critiques are welcome.          
Seeing how there are so many of these out there for fan fiction alone, I decided to take my own stab at writing tutorials at least from how I do it. I just see so many Mary Sue accusations and every growing definitions of the word that it seems to make it hard for people to write even fan fiction, a format of writing that's meant for entertainment not for selling, without going through heavy accusations from people who speak often with self imposed authority when it comes to the subject of writing.

What I have attempted to do here is create a formula to write a story and be able to keep it open to editing alongside the characters.
By doing this, it helps keep characters within a boundary that's not arbitrary as all the Sue definitions which make almost every aspect something that's desirable. Most people don't even know what the word means and throw it around almost like a swear word which is flexible to fit the sort of insult a person intends to throw like shit or fuck.

Personally, I focus on stories over characters because if I worry to much about how the character is presented then it prevents me from further developing the plot and thus developing the character as the story develops. In fan fiction this a real problem and this is why so many fan fictions go without being finished: There is too much focus on the characters and not the story. The best way to develop a character is over the course of a story, not off the bat where all their problems are set in stone where they cannot become either a better person or a worse person than what they were in the beginning. That only makes them static and more like a prop.

I'm not going to pretend to know everything and say that my way of thinking when it comes to fan fiction is the correct way or the best way to think but I offer this as a means to try to help people who are afraid to make OCs, have OCs under unfair prejudice of being accused of being a Sue just for being a fandom based OC, and how to edit OCs appropriately in a way that allows for them to leveled down appropriately without having to take away key/desired aspects of the character's back story which are often given immediate Sue labels.

So here is my formula. I may make another piece like this in the future but for now, here is my first tutorial of creating fan fiction OCS and I hope it has been helpful to others. For anyone more experienced in this type of writing I am open to constructive criticism on my methods so please do comment on this if you have input.
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© 2014 - 2021 CannedMadMan66
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Sylver-Star-Shyne's avatar
This makes me happy. I know a lot of this type of thing from experience, fandom OC's used to be a really popular thing when I first started writing fanfiction years ago. I took a fairly long hiatus at some point, and came back to find that the sentiment had shifted and suddenly OC's were taboo and we were only allowed to ship canon characters with other canon characters. Don't get me wrong, I still like reading canon/canon ships, but I also like reading a good OC/canon ship. Unfortunately this odd shift has gotten to the point where fanfiction writers have to go so far as to put actual flat-out warning labels on their stories just to avoid the flaming if they put in an OC, whether the OC is well crafted or not is pretty much irrelevant.
LollipopJewel's avatar
Interesting formula.
CannedMadMan66's avatar
Do you like it? I think it helps out a lot of people who are getting hassled by others for making fandom OCs.