Sol has tiptoed halfway down the stairs when he hears his baba's voice from the living room. "I spoke with Mx. Ramirez over the phone. They think we should see a specialist."
"I don't know." Mama sounds frustrated. "I don't think there's anything wrong with him... he's just different. A little quirky."
"Honey... his teacher works a lot of kids. They have basic training to identify disorders in children. And our son..." Baba's voice cracks. "He's showing a lot of the signs. You remember the incident yesterday."
Sol sits frozen. His parents hadn't said anything when they brought him home early from school that day. They'd sighe
Reposted from my blog
"Dear Miss Luna Rose,
I’m worried that my character is a Mary Sue. She has dyed purple hair and pretty blue eyes. She witnessed her dad’s murder at age 7 and it left her with some issues. She’s also bad at dancing and sometimes her anger flares up and she does things she regrets. Is she a Mary Sue?"
—Concerned writer #472
I get questions like this all the time. And I never can tell them a “yes” or “no.”
Why not? Because
I can’t possibly tell from a short description, andthis misunderstands what it means to be a Mary Sue.Honestly, I blame litmus tests.
How to Help a Friend
While I focus on friends with Mary Sues, most of this advice also applies to family members, art idols, and strangers.
Have you ever picked up a new story, feeling good about its potential to lift you up and alleviate your boredom, only to find that it houses a dreaded Mary Sue?
You stare at the piece of paper. Now what? You aren't pond scum, so you know better than to type "ur chara is a mary sue, u suck, go die in a hole." But what do you say? On the one hand, you don't want to hurt the writer's feelings, or turn them off of writing forever. But on the other, you feel that you have to say something...
This guide wil
You're staring at a blank page with no ideas about where to go or how you're going to get there. The image is so familiar, it's cliché. Yet no matter how many times we write about it, sing about it, or think we've gotten rid of it, we always end up returning to that sheet of paper as empty as our minds.
If you're mid-story and wondering where to go, this guide is unlikely to help you. You may want to try "Beating the Block," which lists a few scene ideas. If you're a visual artist and came here by mistake, try the "Art Block Banisher."
However, if you just want to put something—anything—on that piece of paper, this guide
This article focuses on novels, but its advice can be applied to any long-term project.
Do you tell yourself that you're going to write and never do it? Do you keep talking about your book but leave it sitting at chapter 2 for five months straight? Is it difficult for you to sit down and actually write something?
Most people don't write because there are so many easier ways to spend their time. Their favorite show is on at eight. Oh, look, their friend just posted a bunch of photos online. Then they feel like baking cookies. And suddenly, a day that was supposed to be productive has been spent on TV, the internet, and food.
When I tell adu
You know that you have a Mary Sue when she upsets the monochromatic color scheme of my Writer's Guides.
Mouse over blue text to see a note.
Internet communities often lash out at writers who create Mary Sues. Declaring the writing to be below their standards, they proceed to punish the creators. They mock the characters, verbally abuse the writers, and write hyperbolically about how much they wish the characters would die.
Bullying writers (who may be very young) is only going to make them afraid to write—and therefore improve—or share their work. Not only that, but it discourages other writers from speaking for fear of public
Hover over blue text for elaboration.
Mary Sues are a common phenomenon in stories: a character who gets special treatment. The definition of a Mary Sue is subjective, so it isn't always easy to tell whether a character is or isn't a Sue.
A male Mary Sue might also be called a Gary Stu, Marty Stu, or Marty Sue. Male characters are less often accused of being Mary Sues than females are.
Mary Sues are a natural part of learning to write, and while the writing community often lashes out at writers for creating them, their existence does not indicate a lack of writing ability. Mary Sues can be analyzed, improved, and outgrown over ti
For non-native English speakers and young readers: If you hover over a blue word, you'll see its definition.
Punctuating dialogue can be surprisingly difficult, even for people whose first language is English. It's one of the things that you see all the time in books, but you pay little attention to, and all your English teachers assume that you already know it. Sure, if you read a lot, you pick up the basics, but even then it can be difficult to unconsciously absorb all the rules. (Until 2012, I was making heinous mistakes with commas vs. periods. I'm still weeding out errors from my novel.)
Anyhow, for the sake of my fellow spirits who be
The purpose of this exercise is to see how much you've differentiated each of your main characters' voices from each other.
How to Use
Pick a few major characters in your story. (I recommend using between 3 and 6.) For each of the numbered prompts below, choose what each character would say in that circumstance. You may want to write a few sentences of dialogue from that character or a quick internal monologue.
These lines are meant to generate short pieces of dialogue (about 1-5 sentences), as it's easiest to compare lines to each other that way. If you start writing long paragraphs or another character's reply to your character, then sto
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. The