Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login

** ART COMMISSIONS OPEN! :D See info here: **

Would you join a fun Rolamaton contest for its fans and my friends?

You see, Italian law makes it impossible for me to run contests, but I CAN run events (like contests, only without winners)!
You're still in time to join the Rolamaton Spring Event 2017 - there are plenty of special gifts (instead of 'prizes') for all who enter and join the event activities/games :D
Nobody joined since I opened the Event on May 14, so I'd love to see you there!
Just follow the rules in the journal entry linked above.

Remember you can also help support my fiction via Ko-Fi: For every $10 I receive, I will donate $2 to my local library, which is Rolamaton in real life ;) Thanks!

WIN 20170604 13 09 13 Pro by RoboMommy
It's an 8-year old myself there in the sketch, hugging Aquila Skies from Rolamaton.
This is one of the illustrations for the Foundation Tales of Rolamaton, set in 1993.

Those of you who followed my work over the past 12 years know how I always refused to consider my self-insertion into the Berter Family (previously 'Prime Family'), Rolamaton The Robocity (previous 'Robocity World') and Planet Electronia (previously a sort of 'edited' Transformers universe) worlds as a Mary Sue.

There is nothing perfect about myself. There is nothing perfect about the fantasy/imaginary version of myself either!

The Luana you read about in the Berter Family, Rolamaton and Planet Electronia is still me, only with more opportunities in life, more mental energy and a major inner strength. Because these are things I continually seek to create and achieve in real life, too.

There is nothing wrong with wish fulfilling. Dreaming of living a better life is what makes the world go round. We have imagination to inspire real life, so why not?

Wikipedia states:

Author surrogacy is a frequently observed phenomenon in hobbyist and amateur writing, so much so that fan fiction critics have evolved the term Mary Sue to refer to an idealized author surrogate. The term 'Mary Sue' is thought to evoke the cliché of the adolescent author who uses writing as a vehicle for the indulgence of self-idealization rather than entertaining others. For male author surrogates, similar names such as 'Marty Stu' or 'Gary Stu' are occasionally used.

This is about fanfiction, but original fiction is the same. Who ever said the author surrogate must be a cliché? Who ever said self-idealization is wrong and our work only has to serve others?

Fiction has to serve both: author and readers. If the author is suffering and isn't finding relief in their writing - or writes just for the money - something's missing: heart.

That doesn't mean you need a self-insertion for a work to have heart, of course, but if the author is present in the form of a character, whether that character carries the same name and appearance of the author in real life, or not, it doesn't mean the work is going to suffer from that presence.

Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy: one of the biggest Gary Stus of all times?

Think about it: Dante Alighieri's main work - the Divine Comedy - is built around himself (his own self-insertion) journeying from Hell through Purgatory to Heaven, a wonderful discovery journey that also contains much of his wish fulfilling (meeting his beloved Beatrice in Heaven)

Sure, there's a religious allegory underlying the whole work (the journey of a soul toward God), but we really can't ignore the personal side of it, and the author's dreams and feelings incorporated in the work.

And hey, Dante had the Roman poet Virgil be his guide in the first two books!

Imagine if one of us had Stephen King be their guide through a fictional journey in a novel, and have a (platonic or romantic) relationship with the person or character they love - what would people say? Oh, I know they'd be accused to be a Mary Sue/Gary Stu. I just know it.

So, is Dante Alighieri the biggest Gary Stu in the history of literature?

Let's see:

- He self-inserted into his work
- He is the protagonist of his work, and has a prominent role through it all
- He has other authors and characters as his guides/friends/people he interacts with in the work, and they all benefit him somehow
- He fulfills his impossible dream to be (at least platonically, in a faith-based context) with the woman he loves

Yet, he's not only accepted as an author and his work almost venerated worldwide, people find nothing wrong with all the above!

But oh, heaven forbid that one of us common mortals does the same! Then our work is junk. :/

And then you wonder why I'm so upset about these matters...

Self-insertions in original work and fanfiction all deserve respect

I (very) strongly disagree with this author here when they say self-insertions should be kept in sketchbooks and notebooks because people want to read about their favorite characters in different contexts/AUs and not people's personal fantasies.

I know for sure I want to read people's hearts in fanfiction as much as I do in original fiction, because that's what makes them authentic, credible, alive - and unique.

Canon-based fanfiction is awesome, just as original fiction without self-insertions, but I honestly feel fandoms would lose so much if people stopped sharing their dreams.

People are not machines - they have feelings, and those feelings can fuel wonderful worlds that may lead them far away from the canon universe of a given book, movie, cartoon... but to what beauty!

As long as the work is credible and portrays human situations without clichés (unless they make sense in the context), self-insertions are just as wonderful as any other character.

To sum it up...

Please, respect self-insertions in original and fan work.

Please. It won't cost you a dime to be kind.

If the self-insertion is handled poorly, by all means tell the author - dream fulfilling doesn't equal sloppy work, and both the author and readers deserve something of high quality that's worth bookmarking and being proud of, not something to forget quickly!

Then, if you really can't stomach self-insertions... go read something else. That work is clearly not for you.

(So no, I will not remove myself from my own works - if they're not your thing, I strongly encourage you to search for other works out there - not every work has self-insertions. I definitely won't change my work for you.)

Thanks for reading. :hug:

P.S. Keep it civil in comments - I have little no tolerance for drama.
A journal entry that took me months to write (actually, gather up the courage to finish and post it LOL)
Add a Comment:
PrincessofDreams123 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for saying this. :)
RoboMommy Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2017  Professional General Artist
Thank you for reading, dear :hug:

I had to let this out, after such a long time. I really feel self-insertions deserve way more respect than they get.
PrincessofDreams123 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome. :)

I agree. :huggle:
Kagehahen Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2017
All stories are some form of self insertion, but it became a bigger deal when women started writing fan fiction; I've been there since the beginning and I remember guys calling girls out for doing in. I would remind them that male writers had been doing it since the beginning  All I had to do was say James T. Kirk and that pretty much proved my point.  It didn't really irritate me much until the little bastards would call me out for what I wrote and - that shit wasn't Mary Sue - that was my freaking LIFE.  But because I was a woman those experiences were called into question (I got this a lot in the beginning when I went to Cons - somehow - I was an older Doctor Who fan who was watching them since the 70s but I could never be as right as some twenty year old dude about it).

There's nothing wrong with it.  That's why people read them - to be or be somewhere different.  And if you don't like it, don't read it.  But the thing is, at the core of each story and the person IN it is a different experience -  a real core experience that is worthy of a voice. And really - do you want the same voice on everything? It would be boring.  Like going to an all white boy convention (Silicon Valley); they're dull and creepy and ostracising.  We need to get outside our own heads and the stories of other people is the best way. Different people- not like you.
RoboMommy Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2017  Professional General Artist
When I read the history of the "Mary Sue" figure on Wikipedia, I had a glimpse of the sexist outcomes of something that was born initially as a form of parody of fanfiction clichés (that makes sense in original fiction as well). I guess sexism is one of the other faces of the medal, but there's generalization, too: if one self-insertion is bad and filled with clichés, then all self-insertions are bad. That's the same line of thought of people who say all Muslims (or all Christians, or all vegans) are bad because a few are extremists.

Real life is not a Mary Sue/Gary Stu - then what about autobiographies? In addition to being sexist, those guys were pretty stupid, too. ;)

The beauty of fiction is indeed the possibility to live a different life, another person's life, in a safe environment. Stories are wonderfully powerful like that. Then we can always read about people like us (feels safe like home), but if it stops there, we'd be missing out on so much human life it's crazy (and super boring, too).

Thanks for commenting, dear. :aww:
Add a Comment:

:iconrobomommy: More from RoboMommy

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
June 4, 2017
Submitted with Writer


4 (who?)