Author has written 4 stories for ThunderCats, and Rise of the Guardians.
Old name used to be Resonant Echoes. It's still my dA name.
I decided to change it because I'm 99% unoriginal. c:
I moved to South Korea, and am a full-time teacher. Updates are sporadic, sorry about that.
I just wanted to keep this short and sweet, so thanks for stopping by! Feel free to drop me a PM if you'd like!
MY TERRIBLE DRAWINGS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:
Echo's sketches are here:
What Is The Sue Project?
The Sue Project was started by one xmutedx (is not active, and has not been for some years), with her gorgeous fanfiction, Sanctuary. In it, she started a project, a very simple one: you give Sue traits to a character.
You give a girl a beautiful face, a gorgeous body, an excellent singing voice, a tragic past, a prophecy to fulfill where they are The Chosen One - essentially any classical Mary Sue trait you can think of.
To prove that a character can have Sue traits and not inherently be a Sue!
I've read too many books and fanfics where people cry Mary Sue because a character is strong, or has some defining qualities. Yes, sometimes a red-haired-with-blue-highlights ninja in a regular high school setting is Mary Sue fodder. But I promise you, sometimes, it's not.
And the big secret with Mary Sue traits is that they aren't if they:
a.) fit the rules of the universe
I'm just giving a go at this, please don't mind the kinks as I try to work it out. I didn't make this project, I'm just trying it on for size.
Fall of the Empire / Rise Out Of The Ashes / Ashes of Eden, Echo, Erica, Markata, and what-have-you are largely my first experiment with this project.
Yes, I gave Echo Sue traits on purpose.
. . But even that white hair of hers has an explanation to it. Pinky promise, writer's honor!
But we'll see how the project ends after I'm all done with it!
On Being A Mary Sue and Self Insert Fics:
*for a much more thorough, in-depth explanation (with examples!) check out*
http : / / tvtropes (dot) org / pmwiki / pmwiki(dot) php / Main / SelfInsertFic
http : / / tvtropes (dot) org / pmwiki / pmwiki (dot) php / Main / MarySue
http : / / tvtropes (dot) org / pmwiki / pmwiki (dot) php / Main / CommonMarySueTraits
WAR climbs up onto her little soapbox
I would like to address something I've noticed being said about FOTE/ROOTA, and even more broadly, on other fics and in other works. While I understand that definitions are largely subjective to opinion, I actually believe that there is a baseline for what a term does or does not mean.
Some prime examples of this are the terms "self insert" and "Mary Sue." These are really being thrown around a lot lately, and I feel like the community as a large has really departed from what those terms actually mean.
Before I start, though, if anyone has any questions about the Sue Project, or Echo/Erica's part in it, please PM me. I've already had a few in-depth discussions about these subjects before, and I'm actually totally open for debate/discussion on the topic. Sometimes, a writer gets too close to the forest to see the trees. And that's okay, a new perspective is always a good thing to have.
But onto my soapbox.
A self insert is, essentially, when an author drops themselves into their desired universe. Sometimes it is the author, physically and mentally. Other times it's by proxy - aka "the original character." More often than not, self inserts appear because the author has some sort of wish fulfillment. Most of the time it's because they want a romantic relationship with a main character, a villain, or a tree - whatever. They want to fall mad in love because they love a character.
Self inserts are wish fulfillment at their finest. Rest assured, reader, that FOTE/ROOTA is not one of these. Echo/Erica and I share absolutely nothing in common, besides our love of myths and fairy tales. I don't wish I was my character, and I don't model her after myself. I don't deny that my fic has some wish fulfillment in it, but I dare you to read a single piece of fiction (be it in the library or here on FF) that doesn't.
In terms of characters, Echo/Erica is pretty standard. She has a piece of me inside of her. All authors normally say they give their characters little bits of themselves. Echo's love of mythology is my little bit. But I didn't write FOTE/ROOTA because I wanted myself to be in the TC universe because of a love interest. In fact, just romance in a story is really, really bland.
I wrote FOTE/ROOTA because I loved the 2011 incarnation of the show, and I wanted a second season. So I'm writing one.
Onto the term Mary Sue.
Echo/Erica are part of the Sue project. That means I gave her several classical Sue traits - on purpose - to prove that these traits do not inherently make her a Sue - but shoddy writing will.
Also, I'd like to note that when watching ThunderCats, the main characters themselves are not free of Sue traits. But it's excused because it's their story and it's what the watcher expects. Lion-O must win every fight, or if he doesn't, he will go through a Training Montage, and come back even bigger and better than before. Because he is the Chosen One.
Replace that with an OC and you get people going, "No, that's a Mary Sue."
But it's acceptable and somehow okay for canon characters to be able to possess these traits simply because the show's writer's dictated it. And in the articles linked above, you even get a small passage in there that addresses that.
But that's a different soapbox for another time.
In any case, I've had years to refine my characters. Echo/Erica is not my first character. In fact, I absolutely refuse to make weak characters. It's my trademark to write strong characters - namely because, as I mentioned before, I am a sadist and I enjoy fight scenes and people ripping to shreds. Additionally, weak characters just. . . hold no interest for me. And that's okay.
So, if someone calls your character a Sue, links you to a Sue test, I'd just warn you to be cautious. Sue tests are entirely open for interpretation, AND, as stated above, it is not considered a Sue trait if it fits into the rules of the universe. Let's set up a scenario.
We'll say in SwordLand, everyone can fight with a sword. You're either good or bad at it - it doesn't matter. But everyone from the age of 5 and up is trained in the art of sword fighting. The Main Character is the best, and can even dual wield swords because he's good. Granted, he's flawed in other ways, but he spent 17 years training in the art of sword play.
Somebody makes a character that was born and raised in SwordLand, but their parents (for whatever reason) refused to have them train in the art of swordplay. Instead, this character grew up learning a variety of hand-to-hand styles. Taekwondo, Judo, Karate - let's say they know ~4 martial arts styles, and have been training in them daily for 17 years as well under the tutelage of their master/sensei/father/whatever.
This would make your character a Sue.
This is just a really broad example, actually. But the reasoning behind it is what I want people to look at.
Sue tests should be considered more as a guideline as opposed to a rule. Use it to help refine your character.
Ask yourself: is this trait necessary? What does it add to him/her overall? What purpose does it serve?
Like good writing, every trait must serve a purpose. Don't just add it in because it sounds fun.
For instance, one reader took Echo's name and marked it as masculine on a Sue test (long story for another day).
Echo's name (which is feminine), was actually taken from the myth of Narcissus and Echo. Originally, I'd planned on her being a lot more annoying and more echo-y of everything that was said, much like the fairy in the myth. Thankfully I changed that.
But that leads me to another point. A lot of people are going to read your work and interpret things in different ways. And there's nothing you can do about that. My general rule of thumb is this: if one person hedges/says it's a Sue trait, take it with a grain of salt.
If ~5 people start saying it's a Sue trait, start taking it a little more seriously.
If ~10 people say it's a Sue/that's a Sue trait, I'd sit down and ask why they're thinking that. There's a reason, be it your portrayal of the character, the situation, or the way that trait was used.
I'd also like to add that Sue limitus tests can actually be ridiculous and award no points where points should be due. I once took a very popular (unbiased. . . supposedly) test that had a question tell me, "2 points to your character if you daydream about writing your story anywhere else other than your computer!"
. . . yes. Because you know my writing process so well.
Anyway, I feel like I've started rambling a little too long. But I do stand by what I've said here.
On a final note:
To the "vets" that say that fanfics should only be about the main characters, and OCs are only supposed to take the sidelines. . . you need to wipe the elitism off of your shoulder there, friend.
Good luck trying to change fanfics. You can play in your sandbox and I can play in mine, that's the beauty of it.