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1-16-2011 @ 8:13PM
Another thing - I don't know how much it happens in RP but it happens a lot in fanfiction - giving your character a flaw doesn't make it not a Mary Sue if it has all the other characteristics of a Mary Sue. Your beautiful, powerful, perfect character who just happens to be forgetful is no less a Mary Sue than someone else's beautiful, powerful perfect character who has no discernible flaws.
1-16-2011 @ 8:49PM
I gotta say, here, I disagree, and I think your statement misses much of the point of this article.An absolutely beautiful, charming, beloved IDIOT of a dumb-blonde isn't a Mary Sue.That Sorcerer who made a demonic pact for power- and is now ugly as SIN- that's not really a Mary Sue, to me, either.I think the character you describe still CAN be a Mary Sue, but even a single flaw can defuse the whole Mary Sue bit quite well.For me, it's all about sources of potential conflict- a perfect character will always take the right course, always know what to do to beat the bad guy, and will never look bad doing it. That's no fun. It isn't even about the number of flaws- it's about the prominence.Characters just need some balance- in fan-fic and RP- it reminds me of old Live-action role-play games, where different attributes had point values assigned to them. It costs 3 points to be superhumanly strong, for example, but if you take that attribute, you have to balance the score back to 0- by, say, having a colossal weakness in the back of your heel. XD
1-16-2011 @ 8:55PM
I guess to me it just depends on the flaw. Superficial flaws, like being forgetful or, say, clumsy don't really change anything about a character in a real sense, especially if the flaw is just being inserted in an effort to make a character "not a Mary Sue". If being forgetful is something that really affects the character - they're very bothered by the fact that they can't remember things in their life or people's names or whatever - that's a bit different. If someone's ugliness is something they're self-conscious about, it's also quite different than someone creating what is basically a Mary Sue, but then saying "but I have a nasty scar on my face..." and then them ignoring the "scar" completely in that its effect on their appearance doesn't affect their personality at all.
1-16-2011 @ 11:37PM
Agree, completely.Too many people give their characters an over-the-top dramatic flaw and think it saves them completely. Or too often their "big flaw" is 98% of what makes them a Sue (think Wesley Crusher's attempt to enter Starfleet and failing the test).A Sue is a too-perfect character that is some self-inseretion for the author (or designed to be that for the reader). Being an orphan, or a non-magical person in a magical world, or the only part orc-draenei-human (who's rejected for that, mind you!) in no way saves them.Sue is a case-by-case basis. There are no hard and fast rules. And it bothers some people more than others, etc.
1-17-2011 @ 1:33AM
I have written into my lore a crazed, yet beautiful and skilled gnomish mage (A), who is ever jealous of her 'best friend'(B) for winning the attention of an Arcane Arts school, now, my question is; Would (A) be considered a Mary Sue? I mean, she is beautiful and skilled, but she also has the 'flaw' of being crazed, aswell as apparently not being so skilled as to gather the attention of the Arcane school?
1-17-2011 @ 5:52AM
"Crazed" covers a lot of ground, from being a ranting maniac to just acting a little intense sometimes. So "crazed" doesn't really say that much. Jealousy is an excellent trait you can work with though.I think a good example is the classic tragic hero - an amazing person with one character flaw that has the potential to destroy everything they strive to achieve.
1-17-2011 @ 6:36AM
Actually, being clumsy can be a pretty large flaw, if toyed with smartly. Just think of a Jar-Jar-esque clumsiness.Mary Sue isn't terrible in itself, it's just a noticeable sympthom of bad writing, because a Mary Sue almost inevitably invites god-modding canon characters to gravitate around her.My Mary Sue test is "if you are so awesome, what were you doing while the canon characters were saving the world in the canon story?".
1-17-2011 @ 6:59AM
Killik I like how you bring up classic heroes. The more powerful and perfect the person the more damaging their flaws. Narcissus is a good example of a super humanly beautiful person destroyed by a personality flaw. Personally I feel that when you are RPing it is better not to write much of an in game description of your looks. Just stick to some vital statistics such as height, weight, color of their eyes/hair given in a short list. Keep it simple and try to make connections and flesh out your story with others in game while talking.
1-17-2011 @ 11:42AM
The problem with clumsiness as a flaw is that, inevitably, the Mary Sue RPer controls when it 'kicks in' so to speak. In a situation where it wouldn't matter, or would be fortuitous, it will go off all the time, like dropping something during a social RP in town, or tripping and falling during a fight at just the right moment to avoid an otherwise unavoidable attack. In a situation where the clumsiness would mean something, like during a 'fight for life' situation, or a chase scene, the flaw is always completely forgotten. This is, actually, the problem with typical Mary Sue flaws in general; most Mary Sue characters ignore whatever flaws they add in, unless the flaw benefits them in some way at that moment. Mary Sue isn't just in the character itself, it's in the execution of that character.While it is alright if you are attractive, or are among the best in your field at something, or have done work directly with the major canon characters in the world (I mean, if you are level 85 without having taken and performed at least one quest that involves a faction leader, you've been questing in all the wrong zones) the problem arises when those background and cosmetic factors overshadow your character actually having a real personality. If after an RP, the only thing you remember about a character is that they are in the top percentile of Shadow Priests, they have item level 400 epic breasts, and that Sylvanas is their older sister, that is a Mary Sue. That same character is not a Mary Sue if you encounter them, and find that their lisping speech and outrageous conspiracy theories about the Argent Dawn are what you remember after the RP is over.
1-17-2011 @ 12:30PM
@ Haro (sorta)First, I'm going to apply Mary Sue-ism to all major works instead of just limiting it to fanfiction. Those of us who read narrative a lot almost have to in order to better identify bad character design. It's just too juicy a descriptive to pass up.Clumsy can be a good flaw, but adding flaws to a Mary Sue just makes them a Mary Sue with flaws. It's like having a Zoolander character who's only flaw is being ridiculously good looking. Lets take a look at one of the best Mary Sue's in popular literature at this time.Bella Swan. The only (intended) flaw or negative characteristic her author really gave to her was... being clumsy. But she's still a Sue through and through simply because the entire world revolves around her character for no good reason. She just trips once in a while, and it adds nothing to anything. I would like to refer you to here for my favorite tips for avoiding the Sue Blues: http://droemar.deviantart.com/journal/31026231
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