What constitutes a Mary Sue?

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IRLDragon

Member

07-08-2014

I'm writing a character that reflects myself and my own behaviors, with some beneficial differences, but also with plenty of flaws. He gets into trouble, a lot, vomiting and blood n shit, and it's usually 100% his fault. Not sure if it's still a Mary Sue/bad. =/


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NobSaiboot

Senior Member

07-08-2014

1) Don't make him like you. Always a bad thing.
2) Don't cut yourself on that edge.


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PhysicsMoneyWeed

Senior Member

07-08-2014

If he kills everybody/is a total badass who wins every fight no matter what, he's a Mary Sue.

If he does that and has a troubled past, then he's a Mary Sue AND an anti-hero cliche.


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Gespens

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Senior Member

07-08-2014

When the plot is only capable of moving with him/her.


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PhysicsMoneyWeed

Senior Member

07-08-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gespens View Post
When the plot is only capable of moving with him/her.
That seems a little vague, doesn't it? By that criteria, Cercei Lannister is a Mary Sue. Without her affair, none of the events in Game of Thrones could have occurred.


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IRLDragon

Member

07-08-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by NobSaiboot View Post
1) Don't make him like you. Always a bad thing.
2) Don't cut yourself on that edge.
He started out as a fragment of my personality. I moved him away a little, deliberately, but that's still where he came from.

And he's not profoundly good or bad; he's not "chosen" for anything, he's not some epic hero (at least not until a long, long way into the story). He's actually the most profoundly average person I can imagine.


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PhysicsMoneyWeed

Senior Member

07-08-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRLDragon View Post
He started out as a fragment of my personality. I moved him away a little, deliberately, but that's still where he came from.

And he's not profoundly good or bad; he's not "chosen" for anything, he's not some epic hero (at least not until a long, long way into the story). He's actually the most profoundly average person I can imagine.
Then what's the point in writing about him? He has to be special in some sort of way or the story is boring.


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IRLDragon

Member

07-08-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gespens View Post
When the plot is only capable of moving with him/her.

There are plenty of other important characters. In fact, there will be whole chapters where this guy doesn't even appear.


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IRLDragon

Member

07-08-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysicsMoneyWeed View Post
Then what's the point in writing about him? He has to be special in some sort of way or the story is boring.
That's what I'm trying to disprove. I hate rules, so I'm deliberately trying to break every storytelling rule in the book.


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Icraig33

Senior Member

07-08-2014

I've always had it explained to me that a mary sue has no flaws and will always win no matter what

so I guess as long as your character is able to lose it should be fine


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