Before you read any farther, it would probably be best to read my "Mary-Sue: Who is She?" series first before reading any of these because my definition of Mary-Sues are quite different from anything I've read by anyone else. I'm quite open-minded, so if you have a gorgeous, powerful character with a tragic past, I would accept it without automatically declaring it a Mary-Sue.
These are the chapters I have written or am planning to write. If I have submitted the subject, I have put links in this index itself, so just hover over the subject you want to read, and click on it. If you feel I have missed something, by all means, let me know and I'll either add on here, or I'll make a guide for the "Mary-Sue: Who is She?" series.
- "You" P.O.V.s
- Clichés and Self-Inserts
- Sucked into the Universe
- OCs Paired up with Canon Characters
- OCs Related to Canon Characters
- Controlling All of the Elements
- Suddenly or Accidentally Gaining Powers
- Having or Gaining Wings
- Coming Back to Life
- Musical Talents
- Having Numerous Hobbies
- Knowing Numerous Languages
- Youthful Old Gals/Men
- "Hot" Only Characters
- Multi-Colored Hair
- Lack of Scars on Fighters
- Inflow of Japanese Characters
- Princesses vs. Rebellious Tomboys
- Girlish Boys and Macho Girls
- Cutters, Druggies, and Alcoholics
- Killing Canon Characters
- Physical/Emotional/Mental Disabilities/Disorders
- Has an Alter Ego/Demon/Angel Inside
- Sex as an Outlet (Even for Sexually Abused Characters)
- Rule Breaking Genres
- OCs with a Canon Character's Name
- Characters with Extra Long Hair
- "Rare" vs "Impossible"
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn
- Sweet Sixteen
- Endearing Flaws
- Animal Companions
Giving Credit is NOT Enough!
Guide to Writing Romance
Mary Sue Guide - Part 1
Research: How to do It
Anyways, what this checklist is, is just me writing specifically about these so-called “bad writer/Mary-Sue traits” and telling you why it’s OK to write about/with them. With the other guides, I just didn’t have room to be more specific, so I wanted to have another series within the series going. If I think of another guide-worthy idea, I’ll still continue the general guides, but for now I’m taking a (well-deserved) break.
By writing another series of Mary-Sue guides?
. . . I'm weird.
The links to each of the subjects that I have written are in the index. Just hover over whatever you want to read, and if it adds an underline, that means I've submitted it here.
Learning how to develop characters and the story itself isn't something I can just teach you or write a tutorial about, you have to practice that on your own. So this is really just a checklist.
I’m not sure if you’re still adding to this, but I think a good addition would be clumsiness.
Besides often being called “not a character trait”, it usually pops up in the arguments of why Sailor Moon is mary sue, along with being a crybaby (which could actually make a good edition too.)
And granted, it can lose its weakness potential when used solely to make a character more endearing: tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php… (not unlike how you mentioned in the main guides how using “nicer” words makes flaws/weaknesses sound nicer.)
It can be an effective trait when used properly- like having the character trip in the middle of a fight, for example.
Also, “unnatural” hair colors. Granted, it’s sort-of already mentioned in multicolor hair, but it’s not unheard of for people to condemn a character for having otherwise normal hair in say, lime green or pink. Even if the characters are for a series where those colors aren’t that weird.
I did talk about unnatural hair colors. It was kind of alluded to in multi-colored hair, but I also talked a little about it in the first Mary-Sue guide in the first series:
"In a universe where everyone has a normal hair and eye color, everyone by birth should also have the normal hair and eye color, unless they were born with a genetic mutation or such. If a person has an off the wall hair color, and there are no colored contacts or hair dye, then there is definitely something wrong and that it’s the author’s fantasy overriding their common sense. If the story takes place in a more colorful universe (like say Naruto, or Star Trek depending on the species), then you can go all skittles with the hair, eye, and possibly even skin tone."
These two series of guides go together, so if I don't discuss in detail in the first series, or if I should get into more detail, then it can be added to the second series. They go together, but they can also stand on their own.