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Old 01-02-2004, 11:01 PM   #41
Lily Bracegirdle
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Thanks, Kalimac! How could I forget the tortured past? It reminds me of the opening of "Romancing the Stone" where the chesty heroine says something like: "I finally kilt the man that murdered my father, raped me and my mother, shot my dog and stoled my Bible!"

Daisy, if you start with an OC and have her romantically involved with a canon character, all is not lost, but you're definitely in danger of being accused of writing a Mary-Sue and even of doing so. You have to be very careful to check that the canon character acts in a way consistent with his character in the book, and you cannot change *anything* that is written in the book. That means that Boromir must do everything that it says he did, including trying to take the Ring and dying. If the OC directly or indirectly prevents these things from happening, she is a Mary-Sue. If Boromir does something extremely out of character, for example offering to give up inheriting the Stewardship to run away with the OC, failing in his military duties because he rescued the OC instead, or defying his father over the OC, she is a Mary-Sue.

One way to avoid an OC becoming a Sue is to have everything she does happen "off stage" and not affect events in the book at all. (OCs that "join the Fellowship" are pretty much all Mary-Sues.) You can do this by slipping her into the gaps of time the book doesn't cover. We don't know what Boromir did in his youth before he left Minas Tirith, or on his journey to Rivendell via Rohan, so you have some freedom there to introduce an OC. However, in the end he must leave her to go to Rivendell and his fate. (He could also meet someone in Lorien, but his relationship with her would be very short!)

Good luck in your writing, and don't give up!

-Lily [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Disclaimer: The examples presented above were not taken from any specific fic. Anyone who feels insulted by them should have their fics read by an honest beta-reader. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:32 AM   #42
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I have only written one fan-fic but luckily it is not a Mary-Sue.
I hate these kinda stories because eventually they become very much the same.
I have never been a real fan-fic fan because I believe you have to write something original too. If you only write fan-fics, well I believe it kinda slows down the learning process in what a good story truly is about. Not that it is bad, it is just that a mix of writing both is probably best.
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Old 01-03-2004, 04:31 AM   #43
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In answer to your question about fan fiction at the Downs, Morgul Queen - I do not decide what goes there. Those decisions are made by the Barrow-Wight alone. I do know that he has eliminated a lot in order to attempt to reach and keep a higher standard. I also know that he is swamped with offers of stories, so that it takes a long time to wade through them.
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Old 01-03-2004, 04:02 PM   #44
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Well if to talk about Mary-Sues and you just want to have a good laugh I suggest you to visit this site ---> http://www.livejournal.com/community...es/274084.html . It is the realest and the most awfulest ff I have ever read .
Note : the author of this ... "masterpiece" is 15 years old . Mark my words .

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Old 01-03-2004, 04:23 PM   #45
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Silmaril

Ophelia, thanks for that link - I have just collapsed helplessly laughing over that story and especially the wonderful comments!
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Old 01-03-2004, 04:31 PM   #46
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What the Mordor was that supposed to be? I can usually forgive some Mary-Sues if they're written well enough, but that was absolutely horrendous. People, read that, and you know exactly what NOT to do!!!

**Okay, we've spent all this time bashing Mary-Sues. Now, what are your suggestions for fixing them?**

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Old 01-03-2004, 05:43 PM   #47
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Silmaril

Oh my word. Thank you for that, Ophelia, I've actually been reduced to tears. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]

(Esty, I'm having ideas...)

Anyway, being as the only fanfic/rpg I've ever written in is Esty's Mary-Sue parody, it goes without saying that my character is a Mary-Sue (a backseat Mary-Sue, if you will). She's a half-human half-hobbit, her parents were murdered by Orcs while on a picnic (staining the picnic blanket and the potato salad, no less). She was rescued by Elves from the Hidden Vally Ranch (read, Rivendell) and is now the girlfriend of a dopey half-elf from Workmud (read, oh you know). Ha HA! Stop me, why don't you! Mwah ha ha!

PS: Why fix Mary-Sues? Can't we just kill them or something?

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 6:44 PM January 03, 2004: Message edited by: Diamond18 ]
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:52 PM   #48
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1420!

Another good livejournal Sue site is Deleterius:
http://www.livejournal.com/community/deleterius/

It's a mix of Harry Potter and LOTR Sues, quite a number of them every day with convenient checklists for breaking down the stories. Enjoy [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. (And be sure to check out the archives).
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:55 PM   #49
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does n e 1 know merry's real first name?
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:21 PM   #50
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Sting

As a little girl I always made up Mary-Sues before going to sleep cause they were easy and fun.
However now I have had enough of them. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 01-04-2004, 12:59 AM   #51
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Silmaril

I am so sick of reading about some "Beautiful elven maiden" stealing either Legolas or Haldir's hearts. It is making me sick. Even the historical content of the story is almost always wrong, and i have half a mind to write a long letter to the writers.

BTW. I did read the Fanfic on 'Time and Space' mentioned ont he first page, and you know, i really enjoyed it, it was a good little story.
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Old 01-04-2004, 01:19 AM   #52
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Silmaril

I actually going to count how many Mary-Sues i come across on that site now.

Or has someone else already done that?
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Old 01-04-2004, 07:14 AM   #53
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Why thank you , thank you . I really bursted into tears while reading it for the first time [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
I am truley glad you enjoyed it as much as I did .
And as for the wish to change these Sues - it is more like fighting the wind-mill . It`s a plague [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

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Old 01-04-2004, 10:57 AM   #54
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How on earth can a 15 year old write something as terrible as that? I'm only 16, but I like to think that I could do a *little* better... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] It really makes you think though. How can someone be genuinley that awful?
Thanks for the PM Kalimac (I'd have replied, but your inbox was full). It helped clear things up, and now I know for sure that my characters not a Mary Sue. Lily, Boromir still dies (poo!) and I'd stay that she's pretty off-stage. She stays in Minas Tirith when Boromir goes off on his journey.
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Old 01-04-2004, 02:41 PM   #55
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1420!

This story is just too funny. The Mary-Sues I thought of as a little girl are even better than this one.
The story is put together with the words "and then this, and then that, etc."
I just had to burst out lauging because it is so illogical! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
I never knew a fifteen year old could write so badly considering i am sixteen! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] Just a year older!!!!!!
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Old 01-04-2004, 02:53 PM   #56
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The Eye

sounds like you pretty much nailed the mary-sue thing
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Old 01-04-2004, 03:06 PM   #57
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Hi
i'm kinda new so if you've no idea who I am then don't worry.
I just wanted to say thank you to the person who posted that link to the story because it was the funniest thing I have read in ages.
So thanks.
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:44 PM   #58
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The Eye

Someone didn't get my question.

**If you're writing a character that looks to be becoming a Mary-Sue, how can you prevent this?**

Maybe we need to start a self-help thread for that...

Abedithon le,

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Old 01-05-2004, 02:10 PM   #59
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Sting

This information is posted in The Shire, in a thread called READ THIS BEFORE YOU POST: The Red Book of Westmarch . I think Pio wrote it or most of it. Anyway there are some good basic guidelines that will help avoid Mary-Sue-isms, and here are some of them:

WEAPONS (No magical, super-hero, mithril weapons, implements, or jewelry. Just good solid Middle-earth weapons and armor only that is appropriate to the race of the character and the time period.):

PERSONALITY/STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES: (No half-Elven characters. No mixed-type characters. No super-heroes. No assassins. No one all powerful, martial arts proficient, or having any magical traits. Just regular characters with normal abilities for their races only)
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:52 PM   #60
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Sounds like you're all set, Daisy! Good writing to you!

Sapphire_Flame, if your character has already violated most of the "do not" rules above, there are only three ways to escape:

1) Scrap her and start over, changing all the Sue qualities to non-sue qualities. If she's a beautiful ash-blonde half-elf assassin with one blue eye and one green eye, change her into a plump brown-haired, brown-eyed human woman who does something useful for a living like farming or trading. If she's in the fellowship, get her out of there! If she has special talents (like the ever-popular ability to communicate telepathically with animals), remove it.

2) Become such a skilled writer that no one cares that your story is a Mary-Sue. This is really difficult to do.

3) Write original fiction about your character. If it's your world, you call the shots. It's fine for the heroine to be beautiful, deadly and adored as long as she's in her own surroundings associating with other original characters. Many successful fantasy writers write stories about characters that reek of Mary-Sue, but it's acceptable because it's not fanfiction. Who needs Legolas? Create your own handsome elf-prince to fall madly in love with your character.

Cheers!
-Lily
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Old 01-05-2004, 09:04 PM   #61
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Good one Ophelia, that one's almost on par with AW's MSTs. I swear, when I first read those I snorted sherbert out of my nose, listen to the warnings, they're there for a reason!

Another good site is Miss Cam's site. there are 3 stories in particular that need checking out; OFUM, The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth, which is where bad Fanfic authors are sent to learn how to write good-fic, Suedom, which is about the antics of two unwilling Mary-Sues who are dragged into Middle-earth, and PPC, The Protecters of the Plot Continuum, where 'Sues meet their proper end [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Enjoy!

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 10:50 PM January 05, 2004: Message edited by: Morgul Queen ]
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:14 PM   #62
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Sting

Belated reply to dark elf
I guess i do
But hey when you don't have a T.V for the first 10 years of you life, what can you do?
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Old 01-06-2004, 11:58 AM   #63
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Thank 'ee much, Lily. *bows*

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Old 01-08-2004, 04:30 PM   #64
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Newest shocking info about that Mary Sue thing`s author - she lives in the UK !!! If you noticed that fine grammer this girl of most interesting writing skills and really developed fantasy , you shall know the shocking moment it needs to give you [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

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Old 01-09-2004, 04:53 PM   #65
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You know, having read all these excellent definitions, it just struck me - Luthien is the ultimate Mary Sue.
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Old 01-10-2004, 06:16 PM   #66
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All bets are off when the character is in her own world. Luthien would have been a Mary-Sue if Tolkien had inserted her into a King Arthur fanfic, but since she's in her own world, she's absolutely legitimate.

Behold the freedom of writing original fiction. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

You're welcome, Sapphire_Flame. Good writing to you! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] I'm sorry if my advice seems harsh -- just remember that reviewers are harsher.

Cheers!
-Lily

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 7:19 PM January 10, 2004: Message edited by: Lily Bracegirdle ]
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Old 01-11-2004, 03:21 PM   #67
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I disagree with the definition of "Mary-Sue" as stated here. Or maybe I don't think Mary-Sues are necessarily a bad thing. Lily said that all bets are off when the character is in its original world- that's true, but also, the authors of books about which fanfics are written are much better authors than 99.99999999999% of fanfic authors. They are better able to make their characters realistic.
My advice to a fanfic writer would be to write whatever you want, as long as A) it fits the fandom (no droids in Middle-earth unless you have a logical way of getting them there) and B) you can make it believable. If you want to have Aragorn act totally out of character, you better have a reason. Perhaps the Ring corrupted him, for example.
If measured by fanfic standards, many characters in ME would be MSs or GLs. But Tolkien makes them believable, which is the whole key to any good writing.
That said, I realize that that is very hard for a writer to do. The guidelines that everybody's posted look very helpful to the 99% of us who can't make our stories and characters believable enough to have red-haired, violet-eyed telepathic half-elven mages!

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 4:22 PM January 11, 2004: Message edited by: symestreem ]
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Old 01-12-2004, 10:13 AM   #68
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A good definition. A plague of good fanfiction. An enemy to destroy before it covers all the web with a cloud of darkness
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Old 01-12-2004, 12:10 PM   #69
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Quote:
I'm sorry if my advice seems harsh -- just remember that reviewers are harsher.
It's okay. I appriciate it anyway; I knew my character was something of a Sue (litmus tests usually give me "Borderline Sue" when I test this character), and I'm just looking for tips to improve her. Some things I just refuse point-blank to change (her connexions to the Fellowship), but plenty of things are negotiable, so outside opinions are always helpful.

Also, symestreem, that's a very good definition of MSs. That's the one I tend to go by. If I can't believe the character, I can't believe the story, and so I leave. Thank you for posting that! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

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Old 01-17-2004, 05:07 PM   #70
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And also, why the injunction against half-elven? There were several of them.
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Old 01-19-2004, 06:55 PM   #71
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Sting

Yes I know that there were several Half-elves in Middle-earth, however, almost every 'Sue is Half-elven.

Example: The 'Sue I am working on now is the Grandaughter of Gandalf (who apparently married a mortal and had a baby daughter, who then married the son of Galadriel [or perhaps I should say Galadrial] and Celeborn, whose name is, apparently, Halnar).

This is implausable, it would never happen, and there, right *there* is the problem! And then of course, she up and joins Thorin and Co. in their quest. *sigh* At least the Hobbit is my domain...the 'Sue will not remain unsmitten for long... [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:49 PM   #72
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Silmaril

Quote:
How on earth can a 15 year old write something as terrible as that? I'm only 16, but I like to think that I could do a *little* better... It really makes you think though. How can someone be genuinley that awful?
Well im 16 and i wrote this Play for Drama in which one guy was tortured by his enemy( it was really as graphic as we could get it), Everyone in my drama class thought it was famtastic, so did the Arts dept. Teachers, but when it was performed, the teacher in the rest of the school were pretty uneasy about it knowing id written it. So it just goes to show, even the most perky dumb-blonde can have a horrible imagination. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

>>Anyway
I thought Luthien was a bit of a mary sue when i first read about her and Beren, and you know what. I still think she is.

But above all, i love it when you get a fanfic where there is this unbelieveable beautiful maiden, who happend to be the most talanted singer in the world and the most skilled sword fighter/archer/(both) and they "pay her out"... (or as it is know in England "Taking the mickey."
Only works in Comedy though, fantastic. Im trying ot find a good one like that but cant seem to. Anyone know of one?
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Old 01-20-2004, 04:00 AM   #73
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Everdawn, we do have a Mary Sue parody RPG right here on the Downs - [shameless plug] you can find the first part, The Revenge of the Entish Bow, on the Elvenhome forum, and the second part, The Reunification of the Entish Bow is in progress on the Gondor forum [/shameless plug].
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:17 PM   #74
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Silmaril

Thanks Estelyn!

Guys i found this LOTR Mary-sue one, ok i dont know if anyone has posted it, but it's funn as!
http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?s...6892&chapter=1

Enjoy.
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:48 PM   #75
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Quote:
And also, why the injunction against half-elven? There were several of them.
Pio, I think, said something to this effect: Tolkien needed them for the story. If your only purpose of making your character Half-Elven is to make her stand out, or give her abilities from both races, then kick your her all the way to the Encircling Seas. And beyond.

Surefire cures for Merisus(or is it Mary-Sues?): Wake them up. Or unplug them from the Matrix. They live in a perfect world - could it be a dream? Or a prison for their minds?

Later days! [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
->Elenrod-lou

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 12:52 AM January 21, 2004: Message edited by: Nilpaurion Felagund ]
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:33 PM   #76
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Everdawn , I thank you eternaly for you posting the link . It was so truley true `till the bone [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Ophe
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:41 PM   #77
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I just wanted to thow my personal definition/opinion on Mary Sues. I can rarely stand Mary-Sues at all. One, because often the author leaves our any good info on the character, making her the same as any other run of the mill, standoffish protaganist female. Half-Elven Mary-Sues are crazy most of the time. The real half-Elven(of course I mean in LOTR) serve some purpose to the plot, most mary-sues don't. I admit that I wrote quite a few Mary-Sues in my early teens, but I didn't write fanfics back then so all my characters were exchange students with red hair and the attention of everyone surrounding her. I guess my dislike of everybody else's mary-sues stems from the fact that I can see alot of my early writting in them. My definition of a Mary-Sue is that she gets everything she wants in the end.

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A) it fits the fandom (no droids in Middle-earth unless you have a logical way of getting them there)
Hear Hear, I'll drink to that. I once read a crossover Inuyasha/LOTR, it was crazy how the author got them to interact AND STAY TRUE TO THE STORIES! That's talent. I have quite a soft spot for a good crossover fic.
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:56 PM   #78
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I'd like to change gears a little bit and present the other side of the Mary-Sue phenomenon. Have any of you read any Mary-Sues that you would actually recommend as good reading? At the risk of seriously p*ssing off the author, I'd like to share one with you.

In the interests of discretion, I won't post the title or author's name here, but you can read the story here:

The Best Written Mary-Sue I've Ever Read

This author has chosen the #2 option: "Become such a good writer no one cares your story is a Mary-Sue." By some of your definitions, you may not consider it a 'Sue at all. I think it's a good model of what to do if you feel your story is becoming a 'Sue.

Why this story is a Mary-Sue:
1) The heroine has a tragic past.
2) The heroine has a distinctive appearance.
3) She is a long-lost heir of a noble house.
4) She communicates with animals.
5) All right-thinking characters like her.
6) She is romantically entangled with three canon characters.
7) She fights.
8) She has two nicknames that are nouns.

Why you won't care:
1) Interesting plot.
2) Good writing that is beta-read.
3) Canon characters for the most part stay in character.
4) After receiving "Great story, but it's a Mary-Sue" reviews, the author took pains to make the heroine less 'Sue-ish by having characters dislike her, having her act b*tchy and human sometimes and having her *not* end up with one of the canon characters that we know ends up with someone else.

One word of warning: this story is very long. However, you don't need to read the etire thing to get a feel for it.

Any other readable Sues out there? Or comments on this one?

Cheers!
-Lily

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 4:00 PM January 21, 2004: Message edited by: Lily Bracegirdle ]
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Old 01-21-2004, 07:52 PM   #79
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Could someone please tell me what OC means?
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Old 01-21-2004, 09:34 PM   #80
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Sting

Either it means "Original Character", or, I'm confused too.
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