BLUE SUN ROOM

Mary Sue - the thread.

POSTED BY: AGENTROUKA
UPDATED: Monday, April 2, 2007 09:42
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 9783
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Saturday, October 7, 2006 6:34 PM

EMPIREX


Quote:

Originally posted by Stormwolfdawn:

Now I come to Firefly and the BSR. Its crawling with MS's, and most don't even knows they are MS's. If you want to create an OC then write an original story not fanfiction.

If you want to create MS like original characters, stick to original stories is what I say. There are nine really good well developed characters to play with in this universe, don't need any MS's to come along to have sex with their author's favorite char.



ITA! I'm pretty much a cannon-loving girl: Wash/Zoe, Kaylee/Simon, Mal/Inara, and I'm a bit of a fanfic snob myself.

It should be obvious. We don't read fanfiction to learn about someone else's OC/MS/Idealized Version of Themselves. We read fanfiction because we want more of the tv or movie characters that we love!
Now that's not to say that there are no good OCs. I've read some great Other Characters in Kaynara's Bed and Wine series (not to mention the only River/Jayne romance that didn't make me queasy!), The Pillow Book of Inara Sera, and various pre-Firefly fics featuring Mal's mother or other friends or family from Mal's past.

But nothing makes me want to more than some thinly veiled version of the author inserted into the story for the sole purpose of doing nasty or (even worse) *romantic* things with our BDHs. Sorry. Don't wanna read it and I really wish I didn't have to wade through all the drivel to find the good stuff.

Is that harsh? Maybe.

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Saturday, October 7, 2006 7:44 PM

STORMWOLFDAWN


Yep, totally with you there. I love all the cannon pairing, but I have to admit I am total Rayne babe. Can't help it. I also happen to love slash if its Jayne/Mal or Jayne/Simon but I did come from a fandom(The Sentinel) where slash was huge so I fell in love with slash there and brought that love with me to this fandom.

But yes, down with the damn MS's!!!



*****************************
"Shiny, Let's be bad guys." -Jayne

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Sunday, October 8, 2006 8:18 PM

JETFLAIR


Wow......every time I think I have my hands full dodging fic pitfalls, along comes something else I've never even heard of to worry about! As if the various fanfics I read that leave me wanting to scrub my eyeballs with brillo pads weren't enough.........

This was interesting to read though, as I think it goes a long way to explaining why I don't usually like original characters.

Now to the uncomfortable question......are my original characters Mary Sues? I only have two contenders in The Losing Side, both of whom started as very minor characters, but are slowly becoming more and more important to the story, especially in the stuff I've written but haven't posted yet.

The one who really worries me is Khiloh. Mary-Sue-ish qualities:

-He's human, but he doesn't have any glaring flaws. He saved Mal's life and has been a lifeline for Wash. He's kind, intelligent, insightful, a loving father, and very loyal to his friends. These facts are amplified by the fact that he's an Alliance prison guard and therefore should NOT be nice, kind, and loyal. He becomes a good and true friend to Mal and Wash. Also, I adore his character personally.

Not Mary-Sue-ish:

-No special powers, freaky hidden ties to the characters, no particular tragedy in his life, not any more talented than any of the characters, not a romantic interest to any of the characters (heck, he's married and has a kid), and I don't go on for pages about how handsome he is! He's not like me in particular, he's not female, and he's not going to die tragically saving Mals's life, either.

On the test, his score is 26 (waves at Mal4Prez). The thing is, I don't want to give him some gaping flaws. The whole reason he's in my story is that said story was in serious danger of devoloving into a sadistic exercise in surrounding Mal with horrible people putting him in miserable situations. In order to keep the feeling of humanity that Firefly had, my story desperately needed a few true good guys.

What's the verdict? :)





"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you when she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home." .......We love you, captain.

"This is the captain. We may experience some slight turbulence and then.....explode"

www.serenityverse.com - Zoe necklace replicas, Serenity dogtags, jewelry, image gallery w/ custom DVD covers, other goodies!

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Monday, October 9, 2006 3:38 AM

MAL4PREZ


*waves back to Jetflair*

I don't think Khiloh's an MS. He's got the unexepectedness of being a nice regular guy even though he's an Alliance soldier. That gives him depth, and fits Joss's idea that the Alliance isn't all evil.

Also, I don't see Khiloh telling Mal and Wash things that YOU would tell them if you were in the story, which is the thing that would get annoying.

BTW - I'm down with the MS bashing, but take it easy on OC's in general, okay folks? Joss would have brought in new characters, some briefly, some for longer stays. Us fanfic-ers are trying to continue the FF goodness in any way we can, and that has to include new characters. We can't help it if we're not as good as Joss!

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Monday, October 9, 2006 3:54 AM

JETFLAIR


After a night of pondering on Mary Sues and the questions raised in that quiz, a few more random thoughts popped up. I'm still fuzzy on the exact definition of a MS, but it really would seem, as others have said already, that many, many professionally written characters fit that description.

I don't know how well these fit into the MS profile, but a couple of dynamics bug me a lot with how almost inevitable they seem in fiction:

The main characters will always have the worst luck in the world when it comes to getting into trouble, especially violent trouble, repeatedly and more so than any living person most of us will ever meet. But, they also have the best luck in the world when it comes to surviving, getting rescued, never suffering permanent injury (except for pretty scars), and never being particularly traumatized by what happens to them. (Sorry Mal, that's you! I still love you, though:)

Also, most fictional characters seem, well, dumber than the average human. They don't have intelligent conversations or know more than the average lab rat about human nature, nor do they make smart decisions. This, actually, is one of the reasons I love Firefly - it's an exception to that rule. The flip side to this is that the hero will all too often come up with a stroke of complete brilliance out of nowhere to save the day, then often return to being dumb as a rock. Yet, most authors ACT like their lead characters are intelligent.

So, while it's easy writing the existing Firefly characters, it's hard to add OCs and have them not be problematic. Dumb characters with strokes of brilliance are trite and boring; intelligent, insightful characters are Mary Sues. Hmmm.

The more I think about it, the more writing seems to become an exercise in avoiding pitfalls!




"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you when she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home." .......We love you, captain.

"This is the captain. We may experience some slight turbulence and then.....explode"

www.serenityverse.com - Zoe necklace replicas, Serenity dogtags, jewelry, image gallery w/ custom DVD covers, other goodies!

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Monday, October 9, 2006 1:35 PM

LEIASKY


I took a look at that little test to just see how my first attempt at putting two OC's into a story I'm currently working on would rate.

My first thought is that someone has WAYYYYYY too much time on their hands to create such a test.

My second thought was, the characters got an 11, I think I'm fine.


"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006 9:56 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by jetflair:
never being particularly traumatized by what happens to them. (Sorry Mal, that's you! I still love you, though:)



You haven't seen the sequel I'm working on, LOL!!

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006 11:12 AM

FRELLINGBLONDE


*breathes a sigh of relief* I didn't think my OC had the makings of a Mary Sue (something I've been guilty of writing in the past, when I was like 14.) but I took the test anyway. Scored an 8. Just as I thought, she's too much of a lying b*tch to be a Mary Sue.

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Friday, October 20, 2006 2:37 PM

BROWNCOATJIM


ok, now someone is going to think i am an asshole for this, but maysues, to me, are a sign of immaturity in the writer. i never knew the term mary sue before tonight and looking at the wikipedia link ( i love wiki)and always just called them either simple 2 dimensional characters or superman-types. Personally, I have always preerred the dark and terribly conflicted type of character, but even he or she needs to be fleshed out with good traits and even humor and silly qualities. in other words a person, actual and whole ( doesn't that have a nice ring to it?).
How do you craft whole characters? In my opinion, before you can write about life, you need to live life. There is no substitution for experience. You need to know these people in your life, you need to have done these things yourself, before you can be a storyteller about them.
Finally, to me, how do you show the multiple facets of a given character? through dialogue with other characters. Show, don't tell, remember. Make the conversation as rel as your own conversations.





Simon: "Were there any Feds?"
mal: "No, no Feds, just an honest brawl between folk."

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006 4:19 PM

RIVERTHRACE


Knowing that
1. I'm not a persistent writer
and
2. Naturally immature (being a teenage girl who saw Firefly and all)
I prefer to imagine my personal time on board.I swear, I can do this for two hours before I sleep. Of course I'm much better looking and have a few cool skills.
Not to sound like an Anne Shirley or anything.
My point is, I too believe MSing should be kept private, to preserve dignity on all sides.

I am new. Feed Me.

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Monday, November 27, 2006 1:53 PM

JAMESTHEDARK


This test is sort of bottom-heavy. In order to get anything near a low score, you're character has to be positively drab. When I put in Jacob Greyson (the main character of the Legacy series, which follows another crew in the same 'Verse), I ended up getting a score of 30 on check-box test.

MS traits being:
He's covered in brutal scars from a fire during his youth.
He ran away from home after losing sister in said fire. Worse, he's guilty about it.
He becomes involved in a love-triangle.
He sires a son.
He violates another MS trait about lovers, but I can't say it because it'd ruin the dramatic potential.
He's about as competant as other characters, and more observant than many.
He doesn't die from somebody looking at him sideways.
He actually impacts the progression of the story.
He got snatched by the bad guy, and tortured, to make it worse.
He has an altruistic bone in his body.
He can speak two languages in a 'Verse where everybody else is expected to.
He's as agnostic and centrist as I am.
*gasp* He's a white male.

Non-MS traits:
He's not described at all for a long while, and he's not even the third character introduced at the beginning of the story.
He's not pretty. He's not hideous, either.
He's not in particularly good shape, nor is he very young. He starts the story at the edge of turning thirty.
He is in a committed relationship, and indeed, married.
While he is fairly perceptive, sometimes, he can be quite blind to things which are obvious to others, like his wife's borderline-sociopathy.
He is tough, but Zane (another character) is tougher, he's strong, but both Sylvia (who scored much higher on the test), and Casher (ditto with Sylvia) are stronger.
The renown he accumulates leads to embarrassing and compromising situations more often than it helps.
He screws up. Often. The love-triangle is a perfect example of this.

...
That test is rigged, I tell's ya'. Rigged!

EDIT: Just did the other test. Jacob scored a 28, which is better. I guess the other test wasn't as Sue loaded as the first one.

--------------
I ain't lookin' for help from on high. That's a damn long wait for a train don't come.

98% of teens have smoked pot, if you are one of the 2% that haven't, copy this into your signature.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006 7:43 AM

MISSKITTEN


LOL, I decided to put my character "Leilah" (from my one-shot "Am I pretty?" where I wrote a story from the POV of one of Simon and Kaylee's two kids at age 6)

Mostly the questions I had to click "yes" for were questions like if the character was close to a Canon character, if a Canon character would die for your character etc... and I just though... well of course they would, it a child of two of the canon characters, so duh... lol

I ended up with the score 24 because of it... lol

*~*~*

"Joss, if you kill him now I'll stuff a compression coil up your ass sideways!"
~ Kaylee, "Serenity in 2000 words or less"

Kaylee's the perfect woman!

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Sunday, December 17, 2006 1:26 AM

ANNUETTE


I don't like Mary Sues, i try to avoid them which if why i avoid fanfiction.net when the specific search engine is down. Saying that I like well written OC's who intergrate into 'verse and plot alike, I just think there are enough good characters in Firefly not to need Mary Sue's and I enjoy reading about them.

Admitedly I mainly read slash and gen so I don't see all that many of them, but when i do unless it becomes clear it isn't aMary Sue I hit the back button. I 'd enjoy reading about the crew meeting/talking/whatever with an OC but I don't want to read about a MS throing the crew off balance and making them OOC.

That's just my opinion. When i was younger i did write one and thankfully scrapped it but MS were one of the reasons i left one of my fandonms when it became so damn heavy with them, so when i can avoid I will.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006 9:06 AM

TAMSIBLING


Okay - I didn't read everyone's post word for word, so forgive me if my comments seem slightly misguided, however ...

I think we need to make the distinction between Mary-Sue and OC. Not all OCs are Mary-Sues and vice versa. I agree with Mal4Prez - had the show gone on longer, Joss would have brought in new characters. Just look at Doyle from S1 of Angel, Dawn from S5 of Buffy, Riley from S4 & 5, Anya from S3, etc.

And he actually did introduce some OCs in the movie. Can you imagine the kind of story arcs Mr. Universe could have had if he'd been a regular on the series? There is no limit to the types of jams he could have helped our BDHs out of.

In my opinion an OC is brought on board to act as a foil for one or more of the canon characters. I agree, they are flawed, they wouldn't be any fun to write, nor would they have the kind of staying power or instill the type of loyalty us browncoats give them if they were cardboard cut-outs. However, our BDHs have known each other and been friends/family for years - after a time, the people who know you best may miss the signs that you are changing and/or struggling. Has anyone not found this with a best friend? Someone who you used to be so close to you couldn't tell you were two people and then one day grew apart?

It's a big 'verse and OCs are necessary to bring out some emotions in our characters, some other previously undiscovered character flaw, etc.

Now, Mary-Sues, for the purpose of being much too trite and "easy," are another matter, I agree. I have never created a Mary/Marty Sue for the express purpose of "fixing" a current BDH, however I do think there are examples on the site of some good ones. I absolutely adore the character of Freya that Jane0904 has written and I think part of the reason is that Freya does not have all the answers. She is as flawed, if not more so than Mal. Do I think it's a stretch that they're married? Yes, especially considering that Inara is still around, but if Freya were just an OC, I would still read about her.

I also think AWindsor's Pirate Children are inspired. They are the perfect amalgam of their BDH parents and always make me smile/laugh. I don't know if they're technically Mary/Marty Sues, but they are great characters.

I guess that's all ... rant done. Thanks for opening up this topic of discussion.

***
So ... explain to me your obsession with all things evil?

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Monday, February 19, 2007 8:21 PM

STORMWOLFDAWN


This hasn't been posted on in awhile but since then the unseemly amount of stories being posted in the BSR with Mary Sues make me want to come back to this thread.

These writers need to realize that they are writing Mary Sues and not OCs that drive the plot. I don't want to read about some stupid girl who was in the Academy, who is all tough and not-perfect and doesn't have all the answers but still manages to be annoying because she is a Mary Sue. Re-read the Mary Sue test, Mary Sues arent perfect, just perfectly flawed. An author wants to write a Mary Sue then write an original novel with her original characters and post it on an original fiction archive. there are lots of those on the web, but the only OCs I want to read about are the ones that the crew end up killing in the end.

Mary Sues in an original novel are cool, because they become real character...ie Anita Blake, Ayla, Jane Eyre...hell I think Mal is a Marty Stu, but in fanfic Mary Sues are just annoying and not part of the scenery I and probably alot of people do not want to see.

The stuff in the BSR has gone downhill, I haven't read a good story on it in so long. Thank god for the Livejournals!

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Monday, February 19, 2007 8:32 PM

STORMWOLFDAWN


Its true that in alot of original fiction the main characters can be considered Mary Sues but that's original fiction. Its their own universe and their own characters and it works especially if that 'proffesional writer' is really good.

But this is fanfiction and while there are some really good writers in fanfiction who can take the characters from the show, book, movie etc and create some really good stories, you still have people who come in and create OCs in an already created world and they become detested Mary Sues. It really only applies in fanfiction, though i will admit there are some original stories that the Mary Sues are really bad but that's just an indication of how horrible that writer really is. Mary Sue is a big indication of lack of talent in an author when it comes to fanfiction.

Yes Mal is probably a male version of a Mary Sue, he's the kind of tragic hero that a geeky guy like Joss would probably daydream he could be. But Joss is a hell of a writer who can create an original character and make him believable while us amateurs could only hope do justice to his characters and when amateurs bring in their own version of the person they wish they could be they fall short.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 10:45 AM

LEIASKY


>Thank god for the Livejournals!

I agree about most of the stuff being posted in the BSR not being good anymore.

How about some links to those LJ's? I'm always looking for something good to read!

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:36 PM

STORMWOLFDAWN


Here you go...

Rayne Shippers
http://community.livejournal.com/rayne_shippers/

Firefly Fanfic
http://community.livejournal.com/ff_fanfic/

Here's a big list of livejournals some have fanfic some are just anything dealing with Firefly or Joss.

http://www.livejournal.com/interests.bml?int=firefly

And I have found a few good stories at Fanfiction.net. Mostly Rayne being as I am a huge Rayne fan. The cool thing about fanfiction.net is that you can do a character and pairing search.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:41 PM

LEIASKY


Eh, not into reading River/Jayne fic. And I check the other link you posted frequently but rarely find anything interesting there either.

fanfiction.net is hit and miss really. Most of it is terrible but at least it has a halfway decent search function.

I'm just real picky about what I read so its hard to find anything I like.

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:54 PM

STORMWOLFDAWN


Its too bad you don't like Rayne but then I am against Jaylee myself and I know lots of people like it. Right now the best series I've read in a long time is a Rayne series by Dyce being posted on Rayne_Shippers and in fanfiction.net. Its absolutly wonderful and its slowly bringing River and Jayne together not tossing them into bed the first paragraph.

I also happen to love slash, and my favorite in slash is Mal/Jayne.
http://community.livejournal.com/shiny_hats/

A good link for a bunch of Firefly stories is here

http://firefly.populli.org/


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Wednesday, February 21, 2007 11:29 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


There are a few OCs that I appreciate, I can admit that. Mostly, though, not so much.
I find it hard enough to do the original crew real justice, which is why I've only got three fanfics written. They're not very long, but I'm proud of them. If I were to write a longer story and have an OC, it would probably be a villain rather than a new member of the crew. They've gotta have someone giving them a hard time, don't they?
But really I prefer to explore the people and how they relate to each other. The most recent thing I wrote was a 'fill in the blank' in Zoe's relationship with Wash. That kind of thing is what really interests me.
I will never, ever, ever write a character of a pretty little ass-kicker who sleeps with Simon. Even if I had the skill to pull it off (which I don't think I do) the characteristics themselves would scream 'Mary Sue' and it wouldn't matter how well it was written.


Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007 12:06 AM

SPACEANJL


Stormwolfdawn, I can't quite get my head around your posts. You don't like OC's and want a 'verse consistent with Joss' writing. And then you want Rayne and slash?

No.

Rayne Is Not Canon. But I know the futility of arguing with folks on this.

If all you want is turnabout pairings within the same small group, then all you have is 'Friends'-in-Space, and Joss' vision deserves to be served better than that.

An OC should serve a purpose within a plot-line, and if you are in a post-BDM 'Verse, then that purpose would be one originally served by Wash, Book or even Mr Universe. The voice of faith, reason or the McGuffin to drive the plot. They can be well-rounded individuals, or a quickly sketched cameo. But anything that just consists of folks as brief cannon-fodder for our BDH's, while they bunk-hop their way across the Black, doesn't appeal to me. Not everyone they ever meet wants to bed/kill them.



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Thursday, February 22, 2007 10:01 AM

STORMWOLFDAWN


Your mistaking my posts. One of the best stories in the BSR is Hotpoints series. His/Her OCs do drive the plot and they are enjoyable, but they aren't there to take relieve his/her fantasy to boff one of the crew which is what MS usually do.

Consistent with Joss's writings means when you create a OC you don't take away from the main chars. I happen to love AUs, and have written many of them in both this fandom and in my earlier fandom The Sentinel. What I don't like is Mary Sues and people who can't get it through their thick skulls that the OCs they are writing are Mary Sues and are just a waste of space.

I like villains OCs and some OCs like in Hotpoints who flow the plot along but not some female who happens to be from the Academy/ or a kick everyone's ass female who is married to Mal, or Jayne.

As for Rayne...hey all I say was if you had given Joss a few more seasons it would have happened....look at Buffy/Spike! LOL

-----------------------------
"I was aiming for his head." -Jayne

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Thursday, February 22, 2007 10:54 PM

SPACEANJL


Okay. Point taken. Haven't read Hotpoint.

Maybe I'm just a little sensitive on the subject, having written an OC crew member myself.

Rayne worries me on so many levels. I just can't see those two characters forming that kind of relationship, I really can't. It isn't an age thing, or even a culture thing, particularly, just an absolute personality thing. But, as I said, you can't argue with someone else's view of it.

As for the Spike/Buffy thing...given the choice between Mr-Billowy-Coat-of-Pain and his poofy hair, or some quality snark with those cheekbones...hehehe. (Look, I like bad boys. It's a character flaw.)

...er, bum. Just realised that I should run away from this thread very fast. Female OC crew member is Mrs Cobb. In my defence, she IS the cook. And physically, I doubt she could even take Kaylee.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:25 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


I had to laugh when I first started reading this thread. I had no idea what Mary Sue was and I thought it was a woman here at FFF that wrote fan-fics. Here I was thinking that you all were some of the meanest critics I've ever seen and then I find out it's a just burn about shoddily written characters that are just too perfect. (loose translation at best) I was thinking, "Gee, what will Mary Sue think when she reads this thread?"


I had a few questions though from one of the posts that I saw. I'm not arguing the point, by any means. I'm just curious what your opinion is...

Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
I agree with SpaceAngl - there definitely are hints of MS-ness in any original character, because the people we create contain little pieces of us.



Does this pertain simply to any character that is written in a fan-fic of a particular show, comic book, [insert media here].... or are you even refering any original work as well?

If this is true of all stories, and not limited only to fan-fics, are there MS tendancies in Joss's characters as well, or is Joss somehow above MS-ness? I just ask this, because using the logic above I would think that Joss's characters all contain little pieces of him, therefore taking on the MS-ness in themselves as well.

Are there any examples of any good characters in literature that have ever been written in which the author just couldn't relate to them at all and the character did not share a single trait with it's author?

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." http://www.myspace.com/6ixstringjack

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Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:40 PM

SPACEANJL


Going to be a bit wanky on this one...

I think a good character has to be understood by the writer, even if that character is very different from the writer. The key elements are imagination and empathy.

Just writing yourself as you are now and slapping that into the middle of an alien scenario will jar horribly. And that is one Mary-Sue element.

Oh, good characters very different from author? Richard Adams, 'Watership Down'.

Good characters that are drawn from author, but avoid MS-ness? Arthur Dent.

Horrendous MS-ness that people have paid money to read? Catherine Cookson.

Horrendous MS-ness in the BSR...no, that way lies trolldom.

I used to work as a bookseller, and was continually amazed by some of the sheer rubbish that gets published. (Of course, now I am trying to write professionally myself, I bless it.)


An Original Character does not have to be a Mary-Sue. I certainly hope mine isn't. But it is a pitfall, unless the writer is prepared to stretch themselves to try and attain a different perspective, and maybe come to a decision or an outcome that is different to what they might do in that situation.

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Friday, February 23, 2007 12:50 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Ha!... I could just imagine me in any alien scenario. I'd be the the annoying guy that talks about conspiracy theories all day. In Firefly, I think every conversation I was involved in would pertain to Reavers, PAX or the meddling of the Alliance.... or any combination of the three. Or telling people "I told you so".

I never read any Richard Adams, but I did see the old cartoon Watership Down earlier because of a freind at work and I thought it was great.

Unfortunately, I've never read Arthur Dent or Catherine Cookson (not unfortunatly about her I guess), so I really can't relate.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is the BSR? I'm assuming that was in answer to my question of any characters of Joss and MS-isms.

Has anybody read Hunter Thompson? Particularly Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Although the situations were outrageous, I think that was pretty much Hunter in the story playing himself. I think that was an example of somebody who could write himself into a fictional setting and it worked very well, but he has an excellent writing talent and is no doubt the exception to the rule.

As far as bestsellers, I've read a lot of Michael Chriton before. I think most of his movies are crap, but the books are great. Am I a victim of bad taste or does anybody feel that his work is exceptional as well?

Good luck with your writing SpaceAnJL. Thanks for responding.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." http://www.myspace.com/6ixstringjack

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Friday, February 23, 2007 2:11 AM

SPACEANJL


Arthur Dent was the everyman 'hero' of Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

BSR is the Blue Sun Room.

As for the great gonzo himself...I just wrote a chapter set in New Vegas, has a loon flailing at bats and blabbering about the lizards in the casinos...

If you like Michael Crichton, try Lincoln Preston. (Wrote 'the Relic', which is better than the film version of it.)


"You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug. Especially when it's waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye."

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Saturday, February 24, 2007 4:45 PM

EMPIREX


Quote:

Originally posted by Stormwolfdawn:
Its too bad you don't like Rayne but then I am against Jaylee myself and I know lots of people like it. Right now the best series I've read in a long time is a Rayne series by Dyce being posted on Rayne_Shippers and in fanfiction.net. Its absolutly wonderful and its slowly bringing River and Jayne together not tossing them into bed the first paragraph.




The mark of an excellent author is one that can make you like something (a pairing or character) that you don't *want* to like. For instance, in the X-Files community, I'm a die-hard Mulder/Scully 'shipper. I wouldn't go *near* a Mulder/Other or Scully/Other fic if my life had depended on it. However, people kept rec'ing this one fic - I think it was called "Seven Stages of Human Madness" - a largely "pre-X-Files" casefile fic where Mulder is married to a woman named Deborah and has a child with her. Their child is abducted and murdered and the marriage does not survive: infidelity on his part, a nervous break-down on hers. Flash forward years later, the murderer is arrested, Deborah has become an assistant district attorney, and Mulder works with Scully on the X-Files. Even though it ended in Mulder/Scully, my heart broke over the breakup of Mulder and Deborah's marriage. The point is, she was no Mary-Sue. She was an extremely sympathetic and compelling character. The whole thing just made me cry my eyes out. I had to read it with a box of tissues!

I'm not a Rayne fan, but I want to rec you one really great post-BDM fic, Stormwolfdawn. It's primarily a Mal/Inara, but there's some truly lovely Rayne towards the end. Beautifully written River and Jayne - what each might have become if both characters had been given the chance to grow more: Kaynara's "Strange Bedfellows/Bedlam/Bed and Wine" series. It's a slow build to Rayne, which is what made it so plausible. One of the best fics I've ever read. Very Exciting. But it's a tear-jerker, I warn you.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007 9:39 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
I was thinking, "Gee, what will Mary Sue think when she reads this thread?"

Ha! Too funny!! I want to register as MarySue so I can post a stingy reply LOL!

Quote:


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
I agree with SpaceAngl - there definitely are hints of MS-ness in any original character, because the people we create contain little pieces of us.



Does this pertain simply to any character that is written in a fan-fic of a particular show, comic book, [insert media here].... or are you even refering any original work as well?



Sorry I never responded - I just saw this post today!

First, the reason I said what you quoted was because I sensed a kind of witch hunt paranoia getting started here. Some writers were getting this tone like "OMG my OC is a bit like me it's an MS I must kill it now!!" and other folks were suggesting that all OCs are bad because they are reflections of the writer.

My point is - of course all characters are, in at least some degree, reflections of the writer. Any character created in any media is made out of what's in the creator's head!

The writer has to feel for the character, be passionate about him/her, in order to inspire passion in the reader. (And I mean passion as like or dislike.) So, the best characters we write will have our traits or the opposite of our traits because that's what we know, and that's what we're inspired by.

The problem with a true MS is - the writer doesn't know when to let go...

Perhaps I was off in saying this is a hint of MS in every OC. I was trying to say that there is a hint of author surrogate - which, by some definitions, by the definition in that test, is the same thing as a Mary Sue.

I guess the two could be differentiated like this: MS's have the unfortunate habit of not fitting. In fanfic, they take over the canon characters, imposing the will and personality of the writer on an already created `verse, whether it makes sense or not. Often, the cannon characters and tone of the fictional world are greatly changed.

In orginal fic, an MS can do the same thing if the writer's primary focus is self-aggrandizement and fantasy fulfillment, rather than creating a believable and self-consistent world. A good writer can do both at the same time - which is why some characters who score so high on the MS test don't bother us. When we read them, we see them fitting into their world, and we don't see the hand of the writer.


Quote:

If this is true of all stories, and not limited only to fan-fics, are there MS tendancies in Joss's characters as well, or is Joss somehow above MS-ness? I just ask this, because using the logic above I would think that Joss's characters all contain little pieces of him, therefore taking on the MS-ness in themselves as well.


I sort of got to this above...

But of course Joss's characters have MS tendencies! Kaylee and River are definitely half way there, which is why so many fic writers have an easy time turning them into KayleeSue and RiverSue. But Joss is so creative in how he uses them, and he gives them such deep interaction with other characters and puts them in such a vivid world, that it works.

Which is why we should take the Mary Sue thing with a big bunch of salt, and think though any character ere we judge and dismiss...

Quote:

Are there any examples of any good characters in literature that have ever been written in which the author just couldn't relate to them at all and the character did not share a single trait with it's author?
I'm not sure about that, haven't studied much literature, just read it for fun.

It would certainly be an interesting challenge to try...

My feeling is that I couldn't make a character who I found fully despicable. To create an OC, I have to know everything about them, even the things they hide and, perhaps, don't even know about themselves. Anybody you know at this level, you begin to feel for. Because we're all human (at least, I try to make characters who are.)

I have only one character I made wholly and completely bad - really (and don't tell anyone LOL!) he's unrealistic and one dimensional in his badness. But I enjoy him greatly. I don't like him at all, but I have fun with him, so I do sort of like him. Odd huh?

EDIT: I just noticed what you said about Michael Crichton a few posts back... and I ran down here to edit because on my first version of this post I ripped on dear Micheal a bit. Really - without knowing that you'd just proclaimed your love for his stuff!

I don't want to start a fight or insult you, but I find his main characters totally Marty Stu... okay, I must rip anyway, I'm just a bad person - they're such male fantasies: strong, smart and virile, with contrived plots built to let them strut their stuff, IMO.

Now you hate me LOL!

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007 10:29 AM

TINADOLL


Most Mary-Sues annoy me. MOST. Unless well written...By me...Like Scorpion..


So whats wrong with a little Jaylee?

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:59 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Hey thanks for the thought out reply. No worries about Michael Chriton. I've never considered myself cultured, and I kinda figured that just admiting that I actually find enjoyment in one thing that the masses seem to enjoy kinda sets me up to take a few jabs. I usually run from anything that the proles tend to enjoy.

Maybe the MartySueness of Chriton's work is what attracts me to his stories. When all this bad crap is happening in the world and you feel completley impotent when it comes to doing anything about it, I must admit that it's nice reading a story and putting myself in a position where I can actually make a difference. At least, that's how I read his work. I nearly always imagine myself as the main character that I associate my own tendancies the most with.

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." http://www.myspace.com/6ixstringjack

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007 4:01 PM

ALLIETHORN7


Oh, Christ... how I would LOVE to say I hate them- if I hadn't already wrote one! Though, I'm glad to say, she was gone after a few chaps...

-Danny

I wanna take the Bullet,
The one aimed straight for your Heart;
I wanna meet the wolves halfway,
And let them Tear me APART,
But that's not the way they do it here...

THRICE RULES!!!!!!!!!

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Monday, April 2, 2007 9:42 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
I usually run from anything that the proles tend to enjoy.

Yeah, I get horrified by liking things the crowd goes for. I resisted Matt Damon for years cause of all the Matt and Ben are the best crap, then when I finally saw Good Will Hunting... *crush* LOL! I still don't like Ben though. So there - I maintain some individuality!

Quote:

Maybe the MartySueness of Chriton's work is what attracts me to his stories.
If I were a guy, I probably would go for this stuff too! But I'm a little sensitive to how characters are portrayed as far as gender, and can't get past it with him...

So what's my guilty pleasure? Oh yes, the writing is *abominable* and the extras are chosen for good looks rather than acting ability, but I did sit in for several seasons of Charmed. Most definitely there was identification with the main characters, despite all the shortcomings of the show.

I just never got why they whinged so much about wanting to be normal. As if it's better to work 8 hours days and pay taxes and change diapers for a living. Yick.


-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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