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Writing Mary Sues/Self Insertion?



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What's your opinion on this form of fanfiction?

I really think it's sad and a sign that the writer needs some major psychiatric help. I mean, I [i]totally[/i] understand admiring, um, really well-drawn bishounen :love: :drunk: and I'm a fangirl in almost every sense of the word, but these kind of fanfics just make me cringe.

The best example of it is one that I found on fanfiction.net while looking for fanfics on one of my favorite characters (and if you want to see it, PM me. I can't find the link right now and I never put it in my favorites, for obvious reasons). It's listed as parody, but I've seen similar fics done in all seriousness and it utterly sickens me.

And yes, the attachment is a totally irrelevant picture from the collection on my hard drive. There is no real relevance to the topic at hand. So sue me.
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Being a fanfic writer myself (and with my main story being somewhat of a Mary Sue- the link's in my signature), I'm inclined to say that not all of them are bad. The ones where one of your own characters gets romantically involved with another can be awkward and clunky, not to mention out of sync with the parameters already set by the show. I tried that once and decided to scrap the idea, not least because I could think of an original character much better than the first, heh.

I don't like blowing my own trumpet, but mine only half-involves the main characters from the series, so new characters can be introduced while still retaining the old ones to keep stalwart fans interested (I hope). Having an entirely new cast of characters can be annoying and boring if they're not written in an interesting enough way. But then again you have the problem of being able to get the characters from the series right.

People seem to like mine so far, but the reason I've not put it up on ff.net is because it's a Mary Sue. I'm a little afraid of how people will take it, even though I know my fanfic skills [arrogance] are at least above average [/arrogance]. I just want people to read it without it having the stigma of a Mary Sue, which'll probably damn it for all eternity.
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Frankly, I don't give a crap if people hated a Fan Fiction that I wrote if it just so happens to be a Mary Sue. If people are ignorant enough to take their pre-conceived notions into a story and immediately abandon a potentially good story because it's a Mary Sue, then that's their problem. Of course, the only good Mary Sues that I've read are parodies.

With that said, my most popular fanfic has several characters of my own creation in it. They're all pretty powerful (but then again, it's a DBZ fanfic, so I guess they have to be lol), but they're not invincible. There is some romance in the story, but I've tried to avoid romance with the characters of the show. I'd rather have romance with characters that I've created because I can create personalities that work instead of having to work with a premade character.

Also, my fanfic has a pretty even ratio of made-up characters to characters from the series (with a little more made-up characters than "real" characters). Of course, my story really has little to do with the overall DBZ storyline. I just chose some of their characters as a backdrop because they fit in well with what I wanted to write. And, honestly, that's the way I like it. I don't like to be shackled by the limitations of a series. I'd rather just write what I want to write without having to worry whether I'm being true to the series (which I'm not). This is why I like writing regular fiction more, but that's another story for another thread.

EDIT: I've never done self-insertion, but every character I create has at least [i]some[/i] aspect of my personality in them. If they were nothing like me, then I wouldn't be able to make them a good character, because I wouldn't understand them.
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[size=1] I admit that every time I see a Mary-sue story, I usually leave it. I've read Mary-sue stories before, and they annoy me. Badly.
They're always too perfect and too powerful, I hate them.

But the ones that are made to be weird or not perfect and stuff are sometimes good. Self-made characters can be a great thing if you know what you're doing. Self-insertions are allright, I've some good stories with those. [/size]
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Excuse me... [steps offscreen]

AAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!

Okay, I'm good.

Unlike every self-insert fic out there. Maybe it can be done right, but I have yet to see it.

No, how it usually goes is this:

Character with either the name of the writer or some really grandiose name appears. Turns out she's the daughter of [really important person's name here.] If it's Digimon, my fandom of choice, she's a new Digidestined with a Digimon who's stronger than all the others put together. She's somehow related to one of the Sovereigns, or of the Three Great Angels, or of Gennai, or someone. If it's Animorphs, Tobias gets a twin sister. Or the girl comes from nowhere and Tobias gets a new girlfriend. Naturally, she's a better leader than Jake, a better morpher than Cassie, and knows everything there is to know about the Yeerks, the Ellimist, and what was really going on in "The Familiar."

Anyway, this ultra-brilliant, ultra-beautiful vision of splendiferosity proceeds to waltz in from some extrenely-unlikely-given-series-fact origin that makes her the most important being in the universe since whoever invented pizza. Naturally, everyone just :love:LOVES!!!:love: her from day one, with the possible exception of one of the other girls. There's tension for a while, but that girl eventually comes to learn the wonder of wonders that is Miss 3000% Perfect here. Whoever the most-loved male character falls madly and instantly in love with her, and she with him. The boy's series love interest or most common pairing choice for him, often the one who has the tension with Miss 3000% Perfect, eventually accepts that Miss 3000% Perfect is right for the guy and it's time to stop trying to keep him all to herself. She promptly falls into the arms of one of the other guys on the team. That, or she doesn't accept it but conveniently falls off of a cliff before she can cause too much trouble. Naturally, Miss 3000% Perfect is there to comfort poor whatshisname, and their perfect love blossoms.

Miss 3000% Perfect, natch, is the strongest on the team, better in every area than whatever character usually owns it. Stronger than Juggernaut, faster than Quicksilver, smarter than Beast and Forge combined, more gorgeous than M. Always says the right things whenever anyone's having trouble, is always just sassy enough to be cute but never enough to be mean. You name it, she exceeds the heights of perfection in it. She can do no wrong. If she's one of the rare Mary-Sues with a weakness, she falls sobbing into the arms of her whatever-the-love-interest's-name-is and he makes it All Better and she's back to being Miss 3000% Perfect by the next scene.

Maybe there's one or two out there that are not barf-inducing, but enough are that if the plot's a new mystery girl, I don't read it. The human lifespan's only so long, and I'd rather miss out on the three good ones in existence than waste all that time on the bad ones that make up the overwhelming majority of them. *Maybe* someone dropped a quarter in the sewage. Are you reaching in there to find out? Not me.
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[size=1]Now, don't get me wrong. I hate Mary Sues as much as any other fanfiction writer. [i]However[/i], in my fandom, we define Mary Sues as two things; the image that Devidramon showed us, and secondly, the self-insertion of the writer.

Meaning, of course, the said Author lives out her fantasies, and assumes that everyone else in the fanfiction world is interested in reading it.

As such -- there is no good Mary Sue.

But I've lately found that the entire fanfiction world have become paranoid about Mary Sues, and quite a few of them don't know what it is. As such, many good [i]well placed[/i] Original Characters are ignored, because many of the fandom assume that "Original" means "Mary Sue." And this is where my argument stems from.

I jsut wish that, once in a while, people could accept good Original Characters, without accusing them of Mary Sues. [/size]
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Lady Asphyxia [/i]
[B][size=1]But I've lately found that the entire fanfiction world have become paranoid about Mary Sues, and quite a few of them don't know what it is. As such, many good [i]well placed[/i] Original Characters are ignored, because many of the fandom assume that "Original" means "Mary Sue." And this is where my argument stems from.

I jsut wish that, once in a while, people could accept good Original Characters, without accusing them of Mary Sues. [/size] [/B][/QUOTE]

If I had a quarter for everytime I saw this sentiment on Fan Fiction, I'd be a rich man (not to mention retired). I wish people would realize that not all original characters are Mary Sues. I mean, just look at the shows that people are basing their fan fictions on; there are several ultra-powerful characters that fit the description that Devidramon showed us, yet nobody accuses them of being Mary Sues.

This sort of thinking just annoys me to no end.
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[size=1] All OCs aren't Mary-sue's, but most of them are. I absolutely hate it when I see fanfiction with an OC in them, usually if they have a love relationship with one of the characters from the anime/book/etc.

No, I'm not saying fanfiction writers are all horribly uncreative and stupid, but fanfiction is much easier to write than your own story with your own plot and characters. Most fanfiction writers on ff.net aren't exactly author-material, and they choose fanfiction because the characters and plots have already been established. So if you take that into fact, I guess you could safely say that if these authors were to create an OC, they wouldn't be so interesting. With that, the Mary-Sue's pop up.[/size]
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[size=1][QUOTE][i]Originally posted by mirai_torankusu [/i]
[B] I mean, just look at the shows that people are basing their fan fictions on; there are several ultra-powerful characters that fit the description that Devidramon showed us, yet nobody accuses them of being Mary Sues.[/B][/QUOTE]

The reason for that is because people [b]like[/b] those types of characters in original writing. A Mary Sue is reviled because she eclipses the main characters in the fandom -- which is not a good thing to do.

I suppose, to draw a comparison, it's like when everyone is in a group and joking around, then someone -- who isn't in the group -- comes in and pushes the joke too far. If that makes sense.[/size]
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Lady Asphyxia [/i]
[B][size=1]

The reason for that is because people [b]like[/b] those types of characters in original writing. A Mary Sue is reviled because she eclipses the main characters in the fandom -- which is not a good thing to do.

I suppose, to draw a comparison, it's like when everyone is in a group and joking around, then someone -- who isn't in the group -- comes in and pushes the joke too far. If that makes sense.[/size] [/B][/QUOTE]

Thanks for clearing that up for me. My understanding of the Mary Sue has now increased.

Bleh, that gets real annoying after a while. I have an original character as the focal point of my fan fiction, but I also try to keep the focus on the other characters as well. Don't know how good a job I've done so far, but I'm trying, at least.
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[size=1][QUOTE][i]Originally posted by mirai_torankusu [/i]
[B]Thanks for clearing that up for me. My understanding of the Mary Sue has now increased.

Bleh, that gets real annoying after a while. I have an original character as the focal point of my fan fiction, but I also try to keep the focus on the other characters as well. Don't know how good a job I've done so far, but I'm trying, at least. [/B][/QUOTE]

Well, that's really all anyone can expect. Using new characters means you're branching out as a writer [a good thing, because if you want to be an authot you can't write fanfiction all your life] but you don't want to take the big step into the original world.

And lets face it. We're just beginning to write, we don't yet need to be brilliant.[/size]
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[size=1] . . . I'm kinda [b]iffy[/b] about the ideas of Mary Sue's. Because I do write fanfiction occasionally (although it is rare nowadays), and when I do, I normally have one of my characters inserted into the plot line.

But, however, once upon a time, I was working on one of my original works of fiction, and my sister walked by and claimed me to be a Mary Sue.

And also, I have to disagree with the first part of what Devidramon said. Sometimes, yes, a feminine character may have this out-of-this-world name, and she may come from some well-to-do family, but that does not automatically make her a Mary Sue. Because one of my characters has an unusual name (I think that Serenity Bliss Tuscumbia is a bit weirder than most people accept), and she comes from a wealthy background, but Serenity isn't a Mary Sue.

Most people are going to have some element of a Mary Sue in their story (whether they be male or female. Male Mary Sue's do exist) but that doesn't mean that they are indeed MS's. It depends on the elements of the story/plotline/whatever, and how well thought out the character is. Your character may be stronger than most, but as long as you have a plausible back-story (think Wolverine) and your character is still a very human character (they have their faults, weaknesses, etc.) then I don't believe that makes them MS's.

And that's my two cents (although I think that most of it made no sense)

--Sere[/size]
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It made sense to me.

Some very good points in there. I've got an example quite similar to what you were talking about. I have lots of strong characters in one of my fanfics, but that strength is mostly [i]physical[/i] strength. I like characters that are physically strong, but are riddled with psychological and emotional flaws. Very interesting, to say the least.

And, yeah, male Mary Sue's do exist. Believe me, I've seen my fair share of them.
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