|Reviews for love is hard sometimes|
| GreenVanilla chapter 1 . 8/26/2007
| PhantomWriter2.0 chapter 5 . 7/30/2007
How sweet. Is he ever gonna tell her how he got his scar?
| PhantomWriter2.0 chapter 4 . 7/30/2007
This is getting interesting.
| PhantomWriter2.0 chapter 3 . 7/30/2007
I liked the description of the fight. It was quite good.
| PhantomWriter2.0 chapter 2 . 7/30/2007
It's Zhoa isn't it? Ya know I named a bubble-cheeked goldfish after him just to make fun of him. Anyway, I like the story so far, there are a few spelling mistakes though.
| PhantomWriter2.0 chapter 1 . 7/30/2007
There's no way he would warm up to her that quickly and the first-person thing was a little wierd. I like the plot though. I think I'll keep reading.
| Wikicritter chapter 1 . 7/6/2007
Mary Sue (sometimes shortened simply to Sue) is a pejorative term for a fictional character who is portrayed in an idealized way and who is generally lacking in any truly noteworthy flaws (or having her flaws romanticized, as is sometimes the case with stories about characters with eating disorders,depression, or other psychological conditions). Characters labeled Mary Sues, as well as the stories they appear in, are generally seen as wish fulfillment fantasies on the part of the author.
Characters most commonly labeled Mary Sues are often characterized by their unusual and dramatic traits and experiences, their similarity to their author or their author's ideal person, and, most especially, the trait of extreme superiority in comparison to other characters.
Those labeled Mary Sues normally have exceptional physical and personal characteristics, including unusual and (typically) tragic backgrounds. They may have uncommon eye or hair colors or come from a race or species which is uncommon or unknown in the story’s setting. They may have exotic names, pets, or possessions, often ones with great perceived mystical or magical significance. As children, they often will have experienced abuse or other hardships that were substantially worse than the abuse or hardship experienced by other characters and often, by many of the people in the real world — though they are often said to seldom if ever display any evidence in personality or behavior of having been traumatized. In adulthood, they are generally portrayed as misunderstood or unfairly persecuted. They are often abandoned as infants or young children, from a famous or infamous family, or related somehow to the author’s favorite character.
They frequently share hobbies, likes and dislikes, and opinions with the author, and may be of the same nationality or age as the author and have similar but more dramatic physical appearances or backgrounds; other times, they may merely have hobbies or features that the author finds exotic, high-class or somehow admirable.
In fan fiction, they often cause things to happen that the author wishes would happen in canon. They usually mock and humiliate characters the author dislikes; if these characters are well-liked in canon they sometimes reveal to the other characters that they are secretly evil. If a character is disliked by most canon characters but liked by the author, the Mary Sue realizes that they are not really bad but merely misunderstood and either explains this to the other characters or becomes the character's sole confidant and friend, if not their redeemer. Mary Sues may bring together characters the author thinks should be romantically involved with one another or become romantically involved with characters to whom the author is attracted.
Characters perceived as Mary Sues almost always have more and better skills than other characters in the story and easily solve problems that stump other characters. Young Mary Sues often have skills or accomplishments that are substantially greater than those of other characters their age and of the majority of people their age in the real world. They are usually presented as more moral than other characters and frequently sacrifice their lives or happiness for the sake of other characters. They often have moral ideas or follow norms that are common in the Western world today but unusual for the setting or perceived setting of the story. They are nearly always exceptionally attractive, with said attractiveness often being described in great detail and typically noticed frequently by the other characters.
Characters said to be Mary Sues are generally heavily praised by the author and especially other characters. If the Mary Sue has flaws or limitations, they are either minor and/or endearing, or yet another hardship for the Sue to overcome (e.g., paraplegia, depression, an eating disorder, or a "passionate" temperament).
This subconcept of the "Mary Sue" comes in two common variations. The first is a character who is constantly depressed and has an unnecessarily tragic past, frequently involving such things as child abuse, rape, or abandonment of some sort. She often feels guilt for something that happened in the past, even though it is usually not her fault, which gives her the ability to feel bad about something without doing anything wrong. Generally, if she doesn't commit romanticized suicide, then only the love or close friendship of one or more canon characters can convince her that she is not responsible for a tragic or horrific childhood or event that was not truly of her making.
The other version of "Angsty Sue" has a tragic past, but rather than crying about it seeks revenge for what's been done to her family/home village/civilization, etc. She is thrust into the spotlight of the story while doing so. The writer uses her past not merely as a device to gain sympathy, but also to claim moral superiority and justification for her actions; as such, this type of "Angsty Sue" rarely has unnecessary guilt.
Some authors make an extreme effort to avoid their character being a "Mary Sue." Such attempts are often referred to as trying to create an "Anti-Sue"; the key difference between a well-developed character and an "Anti-Sue" is that the deficiencies of an "Anti-Sue" are similarly over-the-top as the positive qualities of a "Mary Sue."
"Anti-Sue" traits include physical unattractiveness, mental illness (including sociopathy and psychopathy), noticeably lacking in power relative to other characters (if even competent at all), being generally disliked by others or never interacting with them, cowardice, and other unflattering characteristics or personality traits. While characters who can arguably be described as "Anti-Sues" have proved popular in some fiction, especially in modern times (see anti-hero), at other times they may be perceived to be as bad as, or even worse than, "Mary Sues." The "Anti-Sue" is often viewed as merely another cliché stock character, especially if he or she still manages to take the spotlight away from the canon heroes.
Canon-Sue (in fan fiction)
The term "canon-Sue" (also written as canon!Sue) or "Possession Sue" is used to describe canon characters who are changed significantly from their original canon characterization and sometimes even divorced from their original context completely. Such characters are seen as having been heavily idealized to the point of being more of a stand-in for the author's wish fulfillment than being the original canon character.
Characters most frequently labeled "canon-Sues" often develop the typical traits of a "Mary Sue" with little precedent or explanation, a process sometimes called "sueification." Some examples are the discoveries of tragic pasts and abilities superior to other canon characters, the elimination or romanticization of flaws, and being antagonized by characters disliked by the fan-author while befriended by canon characters liked by the author, or by an original character created by the author.
If the "canon-Sue" deviates enough from the original, it can be referred to as an act of "canon rape." The term is also used when a significant (and disliked) change has been made to the canon world or characters, such as when a former hero is vilified or a usually-chaste canon character is easily seduced by a fan-created "Mary Sue" character.
One way fan-authors excuse "canon-Sues" is by claiming that the story takes place in an alternate universe (AU) - for example, in the fan-author's "What If" interpretation of the world, the heroes are villains. However, the premise of AU is that each character's basic personality remains the same, even though the circumstances, setting or alignment may have changed.
Gary Stu/Marty Stu
A male "Mary Sue" may be referred to as a "Gary Stu", or a "Marty Stu". References to male characters being a "Gary Stu" (or similar masculinized term) are less common than those to female Mary Sues; this is probably due in part to the variety of masculinized permutations of the term (as opposed to the single feminine form), though it may be due to other reasons as well, such as the feminine dominance of many fiction sites, a history of male writers' focus on plot elements rather than character development, or simply the zeitgeist of recent years; little if any statistical research seems to have been done regarding this.
This "Mary Sue" is intentionally created for a parody. Her vast repertoire of skills and lack of personality are emphasized in a humorous way and generally, one of two things happens in the story:
She succeeds and everyone in the canon universe falls under her buxom charms.
She fails, either because there are too many other "Mary Sues" fighting her, because an original character (whom she has failed to instantly befriend or defeat) interferes, or because the canon characters see how uninteresting she really is.
Self-insertion is used to describe clear (and usually seen as indisputable) cases where the author has directly inserted a version of themselves into the story in lieu of a wholly or even partly original character, generally going so far as to use the same name or pseudonym for character and author. Though some author surrogates have sometimes been thought to "work" in fiction, self-inserts, as a rule, are frequently seen as the most blatant "Mary Sues," especially when heavily idealized. Some online fan fiction archives have a ban on any story which involves self-insertion, especially sites which disallow any fan fiction involving a nonfictional person, such as
Traits of the "Villain-Sue" include replacing, befriending, or being romantically involved with the canon villain, defeating canon characters with ease, having frequent suicidal thoughts (but despite these, not killing herself), being secretly redeemable, having a tragic past that somehow excuses her adult transgressions, and letting the canon characters live when she could kill them—not out of bad qualities such as wanting to see them suffer or taking all of them as prisoners, but because she really isn't that bad.
Sometimes a "Villain-Sue" becomes a hero (usually close to the end of a story), saving the characters from a much worse menace. Once she is a hero, the canon characters rarely question her motives and accept her a member of the group.