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The OAUMSLT Stamp
By Novadestin   |   Watch
13 18 744 (1 Today)
Published: October 8, 2012
© 2012 - 2019 Novadestin
Just a simply stamp for The Original ANTI Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test. Feel free to use it as an icon link or whatever but, if you do, please let me know as I love to hear about how the page has affected people :) Plus it opens up discussion lines with new people!

Stamp template by Kencho Thank you my dear :D (Big Grin)

Feel free to discuss the test here.
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Comments18
anonymous's avatar
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xXxKitsuneRunexXx's avatar
Wait, you created the Original ANTI Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test? O.o

ERMAGAWD I LOVEYOU
Novadestin's avatar
lol yeah, and I'm also the person who is currently working on updating it too x3
xXxKitsuneRunexXx's avatar
I can't wait to see it when it is updated :iconkittyglompplz:
EasyParadox's avatar
EasyParadoxHobbyist Photographer
Looking forward to it too. A lot of people in the fan communities (especially the newer ones) really need to see it.
xXxKitsuneRunexXx's avatar
I agree :) Too many people base Mary Sue off of appearance alone... Or just attributes and the traits. It sucks really.
EasyParadox's avatar
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Yeah, what if someone had a pretty character which only had an incidental role in a story? Anti-sues can be even more contrived.

I remember the days when it wasn't used for characters with tragic past, chimera characters (unreasonable hybrids), or appearances (not necessarily pretty ones) that are incongruous with the story's universe. I'm sure people call those Sue traits as people do stuff to make their character stand out. I don't understand why people put stuff that's more out of place than snow in the tropics.

To me a Mary Sue is a character that gets way too much spotlight or one that might as well be wearing a shirt that says "Readily available deus ex machina", they need not have big "Sue traits".


People now use it these days for cliched characters, poorly made characters, or as a lazy way of saying I don't like "fan characters".

Have you tried inverting traits which don't mean a Sue to you?

I'll take two common ones:

Really pretty -> Ugly
Succeeding at everything -> Bumbling fool

These two inverting probably scream Anti-Sue to you.

Let's take one people mistake as a Sue trait.

Tragic Past -> Happy Past

Does a happy past make you think of an Anti-Sue? Most likely no. Try this on other traits and you may be surprised.

Each of my comments is turning into a mini-rant.
xXxKitsuneRunexXx's avatar
*nods* I see. Some characters are called sues because they are simply cliche (even if they still follow the laws of canon). Or characters that are boring. x.x or too intersting... x.x

I've tried. Sometimes it ends up becoming anti-sue. While a happy past doesn't scream Anti-sue; the personality that tends to come with a happy past (I.e Cheerful, etc.) can instantly turn it into sue traits... @-@

Its okay. Mini-rants can be good.
EasyParadox's avatar
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On the other hand, some think having flaws or being "not perfect" is a ticket out of being a Mary Sue. The biggest thing to me that makes a Sue is getting an extreme amount of spotlight or taking over everything else in the story like ivy over a wall. One doesn't need to be "perfect", "beautiful", or "powerful" to be a Sue.


Many of the so called "Sue traits" aren't in the original "A Trekkie's Tale", I'm sure people call them Sue traits as people do stuff to make their characters stand out like a big hotel in a rural village.

tl;dr: It's not the traits in themselves but rather the execution of them and how they fit in.

<JOKINGLY>
I could operate a computer at 4 does that make me a Sue? </JOKINGLY>
EasyParadox's avatar
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Even though I'm not a fan of Mary Sue tests, I consider it the most well made and least biased out there.

I've picked apart things considered Sueisms from this test.

1. Out of place elements
2. Special treatment
3. Author idealization
4. Always in the spotlight
5. Too good at being too good
6. Clone of canon character

My thought on plot points is that they can be poorly handled or unexplained which causes people to exclaim, "Mary Sue!".

Misuse of the term "Mary Sue" I see:

A clichéd character.
A female character.
A powerful character.
Any (reasonably) talented character.
Any lucky character or one "dealt a good hand by fate".
Any self-insert.
Any character who isn't ordinary.
Any original character.



I'm sure some people are intolerant of OCs in fanfiction because they only want to read about the canon characters.

Unrelated to Sues is that some fanfiction have the N/A (not applicable) pairing, it's not very common but it does exist.

The fervor some people have against Mary Sues and the pettifogging over trying to uphold canon can get ridiculous.
Novadestin's avatar
I'm not a fan of Mary Sue tests either which is why I made the OAUMSLT in the first place :) Mine is not a test though, just an essay on why the tests are pretty useless as they are right now. And yes I got your email about the things you picked out from the test that you considered Sueisms, actually that email makes a little more sense now haha xD Out of places elements and special treatment can really depend on the character and the story. Even the setting can play a part in those, but it really boils down to if it fits or not. My character Vivian, with her pink hair, would be really out of place in the 1800s but given that the story is set in the 2000s its not a big deal. Author Idealization is a separate issue altogether. Always in the spotlight, now that's a Sue category, but doesn't always have to lead to a Mary Sue. Same with too good at being too good. Clone of canon character... I would think that's more plagiarism than being Mary Sue myself :P

Plot points generally are part of the story/plot and have little to do with the character other than what is going on around them. They really shouldn't affect the character's character if they are removed from the story. The acts of storytelling are not related to Mary Sueism. The fact that everything revolves around the central character doesn't do anything for Mary Sueism because that's just how most stories work you know :P Yes, plot points can be poorly handled but I think it's more that people mistake them for things being related to Mary Sueism. For example, the classic 'chosen one' plot line. Just because it happens to be that character doesn't make them more or less a Sue since that is just the point of the story and the author could really sub in any character they wanted. Plot points need to be looked at different than character traits when trying to see if a character is a Mary Sue or not.

I'm sure some people are intolerant of OCs in fanfiction because they only want to read about the canon characters. - Very True. It's just that when these people yell out Mary Sue rather than just saying they don't like OC's is when it becomes an issue.

Umm don't all stories have a N/A when it comes to pairings? Meaning there aren't any? That's how I've always seen it lol as not all stories are romance related.

The fervor some people have against Mary Sues and the pettifogging over trying to uphold canon can get ridiculous. - Yes it can.
EasyParadox's avatar
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The reason why I broke it up into categories is to see how many of the "Sue Traits" go toward a certain category. I selected about every self-insert questions and features that would be incongruous with the character's universe and scored low 20s and I can come up with situations that would make some scream "MARY SUE!" while scoring under 20. If this were put in to a radar chart it would give a better idea on what to work on. Still it's better to ask someone who knows how to review objectively.



See Part 3 questions 4 and 26 (3 and 29 on current version) for what I mean by clone of a canon character.

Have you tried looking at so called "Sue Traits" and inverting them to see if Anti-Sue comes to mind?

I was referring to how not all fanfiction have parings (shipping), romance is non existent in certain types of fanfiction.

I also saw the "I'm not a slave to canon." Is it just me or to people have different attitudes toward fanart than fanfiction on being true to canon? I see a lot more fanfiction that says :iconmingplz: to canon. No one seems to discuss the act of breaking canon or having characters go out of character for humor's sake. I have some fanart examples if you're curious.


Looking at the other side, saying "Awesome character!" is just buttering up without explaining why they like a character.
Novadestin's avatar
Putting things into categories is a useful and common practice, and I like the ones you've chosen, however I don't necessarily agree with everything the way you have laid it out. To each their own of course :) A radar chart would be useful but, since this is somewhat subjective, it would still be biased, just like these tests. I still think the best thing to do is have an actual chat with several different people; like you said just in multiples.

I know what you meant by clone of canon but, for me, I have come to switch my opinion on that and don't see it as Mary Sue anymore, just being a copycat. Just another reminder of why I am updating.

I personally don't give a rat's bottom about 'Anti-Sues' lol going from one extreme to another doesn't somehow invert what you end up with. I should probably do a little write up on that...

I was referring to how not all fanfiction have parings (shipping) - I know exactly what you meant.

"I'm not a slave to canon." - what did you see now? I know what that means obviously but I don't know what you're referring too. As for fanart vs fanfiction I think the fact that they're two different mediums, meaning two different sort of social groups, plays a role in that. Personally, I would think it's a tad harder to say piss off to canon in fanart because then people might have to actually read the description to a piece of art to see what fandom it's for and that doesn't always happen haha

No one seems to discuss the act of breaking canon or having characters go out of character for humor's sake. - I am not a part of the fanart world so I wouldn't know. I see crackfics all the time though so I'm used to it in the fanfic world.

saying "Awesome character!" is just buttering up without explaining why they like a character. - true, but this can also be laziness and is the same as people just saying "great story!" :P
EasyParadox's avatar
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I kind of rushed on the categories and was split on the cliches and plot points, as you said they can play a role but are not equal to a Sue.

In your new criticism of the test are you still keeping quantitative values of "Sueness"? Think points have a purpose?

The inverting is more for the cliches that people confuse with Sue Traits such as a tragic past. I don't think anyone would call a happy one an Anti-Sue trait?

Think people are missing the point when they go "BAM a flaw! So they are not a Sue!"?

My advice is to "Keep it reasonable." Even things that seem outlandish can have reasons.

I wonder how many people actually looked up "A Trekkie's Tale" and see what a Mary Sue (and her origin) really is?
Novadestin's avatar
In your new criticism of the test are you still keeping quantitative values of "Sueness"? Think points have a purpose? - I certainly don't feel the numbered points have a purpose ("2 points if you do this") and never will, however part of discovering a Sue is seeing how things add up so there will always be some form of quantitative value. It's about how everything fits together, not how many points you get.

I don't think anyone would call a happy one an Anti-Sue trait? - You'd be surprised what some of these so-called "Sue-hunters" try and get away with. Really their just flamers and bullies looking for a victim.

Think people are missing the point when they go "BAM a flaw! So they are not a Sue!"? - Do I think that? If they end with the second statement then yes. Flaws can be looked at differently by different people. I am a very humble person who doesn't like talking about myself which is great to some but really a weakness when it comes to interviewing and all that. You can't just throw in some random weakness and think it will all be peachy... especially if that weakness later becomes a strength.

My advice is to "Keep it reasonable." Even things that seem outlandish can have reasons. - Exactly. We don't know everything, besides who are we to say what is reasonable in someone else's fantasy world? (That is if the setting is fantasy lol but you know what I mean)

I wonder how many people actually looked up "A Trekkie's Tale" and see what a Mary Sue (and her origin) really is? - I doubt many even know anything about the original tale other than that's the title of the story that the term came from. Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain an actual copy of the story just yet but I have come across a few articles talking with the author about it. If I ever do get a copy, you can bet it will be scanned and displayed right at the top of the essay page :P
Novadestin's avatar
I have read it before btw, a long arse time ago, just saying I couldn't find a copy to post xD
Novadestin's avatar
nevermind my last comment, it would appear the link to the story which had been a 404 for so long is now working again! Stupid internet :P
EasyParadox's avatar
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Excellent criticism you did there! :clap: I have a further dissection of the test but the site isn't loading properly on my computer. Also did you see the Mary Sue Race test on the original test site? Do you think it is unfair for those writing utopian fiction or about characters from heaven-like realms in their stories?
Novadestin's avatar
Thanks hun :) Would love to see your "further dissection" too hehe

As for the other tests, no I was unaware of them. They were probably added after I first started all this... I admit that I haven't really looked around her site in a number of years hehe so I will have to get back with you about it! Based just on the subtext though, I do think it's completely unfair for the simple fact that a Mary Sue is ALWAYS a singular character based on the original definition (which is the only true definition of a Mary Sue). However, Syera is an intelligent woman so I know her intentions are good even if we don't always agree on the topic :)
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