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1-16-2011 @ 8:33PM
Anne, while I do understand your distinction between characters written by official authors and characters written by the rest of us, there unfortunately ARE times when a character written by an official author comes off as so ridiculous and so over-the-top that the best thing to call them is a Mary Sue.Exhibit A - Bella Swan.But thank you for this lovely and informative article? Now to go figure out where that disgruntled Dwarf Hunter went with the skin of Dargonarth...
1-16-2011 @ 8:53PM
I have to agree there. That character is the biggest Mary Sue out there, official author or not. The woman writes like a fifteen year old with her first fan fiction.
1-16-2011 @ 9:01PM
Shh. We do not speak of the T-word here.
1-16-2011 @ 9:22PM
Although all I have to say about that particular 'novel' is that it isn't that the characters are Mary Sues so much as the whole horrendous piece of tripe is just one woman's masturbatory self-insertion fantasy. :D
1-16-2011 @ 9:35PM
Anne, I just fell in love with you.
1-16-2011 @ 10:14PM
I have to say, it's very possible for a professional author to write a Mary Sue.Just because you are getting paid for it, and you have the authorization of the original company, does NOT mean you can't write a Mary Sue.We all know who is being referenced here. To have a character written, who steps on lore written 15 years ago, go back in time and suddenly pop up and be the teacher to one lore figure, an inspiration to another, and fighting along side others, no, that's a Mary Sue. Especially considering the description of his perfect figure, and perfect hair. And how he scores a chick who normally wouldn't even look at one of his kind as a mate, and not only that, but has twins with her, something that is extremely rare with her race.Then to have that character placed in-game, where before you could ignore him by not reading the books, now he's facing you, literally, as you turn in quests to him.That's a Mary Sue. Paid for the work or not. Imagine someone went back, and rewrote Star Trek, so they somehow all magically fell into place, and were united as a crew ten years before they were supposed to. And they all fell into their roles, with no training beyond academy training. And they somehow were kept on as the crew, despite their age.Oh, wait.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IptbC3p2lCk(Note, I am not calling anything in Star Trek a Mary Sue, but just how changing lore can piss people off.)
1-16-2011 @ 10:40PM
As a wannabe-author, gotta agree. My own summary and complete go-to rule for deciding a Sue is this one line-"If the character bends the spoken and/or unspoken rules of the universe their inhabit for their own benefit on a consistent basis, they are a Sue."Too-perfect? No human creature (and by the logical flow, humanOID creature) is perfect. It's impossible. Grats, your character is bending the laws. The is more obvious when a character is placed into a world full of characters with flaws. Attracts everyone around them? Um, just from the description I'm not attracted, and every human creature has their own tastes with some lines of similarity. So yeah, not everyone is gonna be bowled over by your sparkling beauty.A half-fay/Artha's child/Tyrande's child hybrid? Shouldn't exist according to the rules of the universe, so you are breaking the unviverses' rules every time you log on.Bella is a great example of this for a book Sue. She exists in a world that for all intents and purposes, is ours. The only exceptions are that vampires and werewolves exist. Yet, she attracts every man, is the envy of every woman, and by the end of the novels breaks a boatload of previously declared absolutes within the novel itself. (Has a half-vampire child naturally, does not have the newborn hunter crazy blood-lust, etc.) Ergo, Sue.When a author seeks to bend or break the rules of the universe the character is in, whether a previously made universe or a new one made by that author, then it's a Sue. Because the only reason you do it is because that character is your author's darling/self-insert/ego-stroking tool, which is what most Sue's are. I have never seen a person consistently bend or break the rules for a character who wasn't fulfilling one of these roles, and that wasn't a Sue.
1-16-2011 @ 11:50PM
Talking of official. There are also quite a few arguable Mary-Sues in WoW. Tirion Fordring anyone?
1-17-2011 @ 12:36AM
@ jimbobfredsamuelI actually don't think tirion is a mary sue. Blizzard purposefully made many paladins have seemingly perfect attributes, etc. As each "Mary sue" of a paladin is explained by lore and fit into the story the way they are, they are not Mary sues.Like was said in the article, if the characters are part of the world, they are not Mary sues. This is why tirion is not a mary sue, and yet, like people said earlier in the comments, Bella in the twilight series is - she is put by the author into our world, in Which those attributes are impossible.If you want a good understanding of how paladins such as bolvar and tirion can be so selfless, read the wow insider lore article on the light.Hope I provide some new insight! :)
1-17-2011 @ 2:30AM
Going to Saeadame's above comment on whether a flaw could unmake a Mary Sue, I believe that that would put Tirion solidly out of the Sue realm. If you look at Tirion's story in Vanilla WoW, the very traits that he displays in Wrath (treating races equally, his stubborn belief in what is 'right', faith that the Light would favor the just, and so forth) not only affected him, they came close to destroying him! Tirion was a Lord in Hearthglen before he chose to save an orc's life. That act cost him him his lordship, his family, his friends, EVERYTHING but his life. He was living alone as a hermit when we first met him in Vanilla. His decision to reunite with his son led directly to Taelan's death. If you want to extend that a bit, his decision to obey the terms of his exile and not help defend the towns and villages of Lordaeron probably caused many helpless civilians to die for lack of protection. While his fortunes in Wrath have taken a turn for the better, he's still very much the same man. (And I'll remind you that his predictability very nearly got all of us killed when Arthas decided to let Tirion do the recruit training for a change. Aka: the end of the LK fight when we discover Arthas' master plan.) The only difference is that Tirion's bullheadedness and his faith in the Light have attracted followers, followers who wanted the LK dead, but didn't know how to recruit and prepare a fighting force.
1-17-2011 @ 8:39AM
I'm more inclined to agree with Anne's original statement. If the author writes in the character, they're not a "mary sue" by the definition of the word. But that does not mean authors are immune from writing bad characters. Like she mentioned with the T-word book, some books just come across as horrible pieces of literature with little to no character depth. It's unfortunate when books like that become popular, but it happens.Just because author-created characters have what we consider to be Mary-Sue qualities doesn't make the character a Mary Sue. It might just be a badly written character. I often feel like the term Mary Sue is used much too frequently in situations that it doesn't fit.
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