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October 11, 2012
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Where Worlds Collide and Galaxies Sing...




Frankly, I ignore most people's craptastic Mary Sue/Gary Stu OC's because they are so badly written/designed it makes me utterly sick as a long time RPer in live action and tabletop RPG's. This crap people are doing on DA and calling it Role Playing, that's childish BS compared to what I've grown up doing. And sorry to burst people's delusional bubble here, but yes, your whatever-its-name-is characters are Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters. Want to know why?  The traits that define all Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters include the following:

:bulletred: Making a character that is a carbon copy clone of a canon character's appearance in an established fiction.
:bulletred: Making a character that is a bastardized, masculinized, or feminized clone of a canon character's appearance in an established fiction.
:bulletred: Making a character that has the exact same physical and/or special abilities as a canon character in an established fiction.
:bulletred: Making a character that is more powerful than a canon character with the same powers/abilities from an established fiction.
:bulletred: Making a character that is more powerful than any canon character from an established fiction.
:bulletred: Making a character that is pivotal or irrevocably important to the story.
:bulletred: Making a character that is perfect or flawless (having no flaws, fears, weaknesses, etc).
:bulletred: Making a character that is unstoppable, unhurtable, and/or unkillable compared to the other characters in the story (canon or otherwise).
:bulletred: Making a character that is the only key to the resolution of the conflict in the story.
:bulletred: Making a character whose actions, marriage, or death have drastic repercussions to both sides of the conflict.
:bulletred: Making a character whose actions, marriage, or death being the cause of the conflict ending in the story.
:bulletyellow: Making a character with a bastardized, masculinized, or feminized name of a canon character from an established fiction.
:bulletyellow: Making a character that is related to, mated to, or otherwise directly connected to a canon character from an established fiction.
:bulletyellow: Making a character that is connected to both sides of the conflict in the story (child of someone from both sides, the child of one side and mated to someone on the other side, etc).
:bulletyellow: Making a character whose strengths and weaknesses are not in balance, are contradictory, or make no comparative sense in the context of the character.
:bulletyellow: Making a character whose strengths and/or weaknesses that are out of context or illogical for the character's background or design.

There is more, but these 16 traits are the main ones that scream "Mary Sue" of any given OC that people have created.  The traits marked with a :bulletred: are glaringly blatant Mary Sue/Gary Stu traits.  If your OC has any one or more of the traits marked :bulletred:, you've got a Mary Sue/Gary Stu character and frankly, the more of these traits your character has, the more disturbingly Mary Sue/Gary Stu the character is.  You need to just scrap the character and start over from scratch.  The traits marked with a :bulletyellow: are common mistakes that young fans make when creating OC's connected to an established fiction and while they are obvious Mary Sue/Gary Stu traits, they are less glaring than the ones marked by a :bulletred:.  If your OC has any two or more of the traits marked :bulletyellow:,  you've got a Mary Sue/Gary Stu character, but while the character may be a Mary Sue/Gary Stu, a little reworking to remove these traits is possible and will improve the character.

However, one flaw often mistaken for a Mary Sue/Gary Stu trait is when writers spend excessive amounts of time describing a character's appearance or certain features repeatedly in the story.  This is a common flaw in young writers and easily fixable by going through the story and editing the work, reducing and/or minimizing subsequent descriptions in the story after the character's initial description is included when said character is introduced into the story.  If someone is describing characters, actions, and physical features excessively, don't cry "Mary Sue/Gary Stu!" at them.  Instead, give them an honest and constructive critique of the story and help them see where they can remove a few redundant and wordy descriptions to greatly improve their writing.

You can find further reading regarding characters and Role Playing in my RP Rules and Etiquette journal.



~>End Transmission<~

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:iconsaina-chan:
saina-chan Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know this is an old entry etc, but I got here just today by jumping from one page to another. Whole article is really nice written and gives a few points to think for people but I've one question about one point:
Making a character that has the exact same physical and/or special abilities as a canon character in an established fiction.

How to play with it if:
In Canon Title X there is a character that is canonically quick with speed of the light- can use it whenever and whatever long they want to use it. And then some fan comes with idea of let say some technology/ science thing (let say a pedant with button to push) invented in their story (of character?) that allows their OC to be like quick like Canon character but let say...just for 5 seconds and then there is 1 hour colldown.

Would it be also counted under this?
( I'm really sorry, sorry for a really bad example (pedant...ugh, idea good like I don't know what ==), last days were a mess and I'm a bit unable to think of anything good right now, but I hope you know what I meant ^^").
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:iconleathurkatt-tftiggy:
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That would fall under "character gadgets" and "limited ability" rather than "having a special ability that's the same as a canon character" to be honest.
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:iconsaina-chan:
saina-chan Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the answer~ :)! I was just curious of what you think about possibility like this :).
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:iconleathurkatt-tftiggy:
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome.
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:iconnovanplz:
Novanplz Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
For me, MS involves meaning your character is God in all but name! Perfect and all-powerful.
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:iconleathurkatt-tftiggy:
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's one extreme, yes. But it does vary a bit too.
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:iconnovanplz:
Novanplz Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
I've only made one of those, but it is locked up under several metaphorical meters of mental blocks.
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:iconleathurkatt-tftiggy:
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
XD
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:iconnovanplz:
Novanplz Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
:) Most of my characters start out perfect, but then I start throwing flaws and stuff at them. Power blocks, sexual orientation, genetic quirks, anything to make them imperfect.
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:iconleathurkatt-tftiggy:
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
**nods** I start with a basic concept and build the character around that concept, being careful to keep things well balanced. We all go about character building and development differently, though. **smiles**
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