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Joined 10-20-03, id: 473517, Profile Updated: 03-29-16
Author has written 8 stories for Yu-Gi-Oh, Rurouni Kenshin, and Naruto.

It's pronounced lahn suh and it is the Mandarin word for my favorite color. Take a guess which one.

If you see one of my stories on another website, it has been posted without my permission.

Five Ways to Tame the Mary Sue

You can thank AngelicaRoses for inspiring this compilation of writing advice.

There are actually a lot of different ways of avoiding the Mary Sue label that depend on the specific genre you are writing in, so I will give you a few tips that seem to transcend all genres because they are actually basic writing techniques that apply at all times no matter what you are writing. I’m going to use my posted story Ryukaze as a reference because it became a great example of writing a character with all the Mary Sue qualities without her becoming a Sue.

1) Prologues and flashbacks are the kiss of death. Prologues are an outdated way of establishing setting and background details intended for plays, not fiction. Establish setting in the first chapter and scatter background details throughout the story. Information you feel needs to be explained in a flashback is better explained through character conversation. (See Ryukaze, chapter 25 and 32). Once you've established the setting and time of your story, never take the reader backwards. It's confusing. Consider if the information is really important to the progression of the plot and if it is, figure out how to consolidate it and casually insert it into a conversation or the character's inner thoughts. A character remembering an already written conversation is not a flashback; write it as a thought in quotations and italics. (see chapter 34)

2) Never start the first scene of the first chapter with an OC. Always use a canon character imperative to the story and use their interaction to introduce the OC. The only time this doesn't apply is if you are writing a sequel of an already loved OC as I did with The Obsession. You see, in fanfiction, people are reading stories because they already love the canon characters, so lead with what they love and as the canon characters come to gradually know and love your OC, so will the readers.

3) Nobody falls in love immediately. Yes, you are writing fanfiction. Yes, it is in a world that doesn’t exist. However, people relate to reality, so make the characters realistic and the reality is no one genuinely falls in real, forever, till death do us part, love immediately.

4) Give the reader information with a spoon, not a shovel. The second biggest mistake amateur writers make is giving all the description and information at once.

Example: She was 5’5’’ with blonde hair down to her waist and blue eyes. She wore a white sundress with yellow flowers and matching sandals.

This isn’t writing. It’s a list. Mingle description with action instead.

Example: A long, golden strand slipped over her shoulder as she leaned down to smooth out the wrinkles in her white sundress.

The reader doesn’t need to see everything you see, only hints of it. They will form a picture of your OC in their own head and it will never be exactly the same as yours. A great example of using the spoon instead of the shovel is spread throughout my story Ryukaze. My OC does in fact meet all the criteria of a Mary Sue, but she didn't appear to be one because I sparingly spread out all of the details across the whole story and I avoided the number one mistake Mary Sue writers make which is:

5) Never, ever describe your OC as beautiful, EVER. Let the canon characters do it for you and they better have a darn good LOGICAL reason for why they would.

If you want to convey your character as beautiful, show it, don’t say it. People speak more through actions than through words. Let your characters do the same. If the canon love interest can’t take his eyes off of her, this conveys that she is pretty. He finds himself obsessed with the way her hair falls about her face, again implies that she is pretty.

In chapter 2 of Ryukaze, Sasuke calls Sorano “pretty in an innocent way” in his thoughts and then immediately decides that she is a “trophy girl, weak, useless.” He basically catalogued her features and made a decision about what kind of person she was, a very Sasuke thing to do since he is used to pretty girls throwing themselves at him.

Neji’s perception of her in the first chapter is completely different. While he noted the same features Sasuke did, he never labeled her as pretty, being more focused on her nature than her looks, a very Neji thing to do. Even though he becomes her love interest, he doesn’t refer to her as pretty until chapter 7 and even then it’s a passing thought about something else. “How much information does she have locked in that pretty head?”

In chapter 5, Lee refers to Sorano’s beauty several times, because he’s Lee and all women are beautiful to him. It was a telling gesture that Sasuke, Neji, or Naruto didn't dispute the label either but knew exactly who Lee was talking about.

In each of these instances, it’s natural for these men to observe, think and act as they do, describing or implying the OC as pretty without making her a Mary Sue because it just makes sense.

There are lots of other ways to avoid the Mary Sue label, but these are the five main ones you should be wary off. Even if you have already read Ryukaze, I suggest you do so again but while looking for how I used these particular techniques to throw people off the scent of Sorano’s Mary Sue-ness. The reality of writing an OC in the Naruto-verse is that she will almost inevitably be a Mary Sue because of the nature of that world. So you have to distract the readers with good writing techniques so that they will fall in love with your OC without preconceived notions about who she is.

A little advice on what to avoid in your summary:

-Anything saying: What if/what happens when (ie: When such-and such or so-and so does "something" what happens if/when yada yada yada) This is seriously cliché.

-Anything telling you exactly what happens in your story. (ie: So-and-so did this and became this..."something" happened and now so-and-so does or is like this, etc.) Tempt readers with a little mystery, not the complete rundown.

-A summary that is 90 percent author note. If you want to tell people about changes you made, do it in the actual author note and use your summary to entice them to come in.

-Anything explicit. FF forbids anything exceeding a G rating from being in the summary and there are a lot of young eyes on this site. Please respect that. If you aren't certain if what you want to write qualifies, consider if you would ever hear or see it in a Disney movie like 101 Dalmatians or Cinderella. Instead of saying your story has "sex", using "mature content" works just as well and is less offensive. This is a community site after all.

-All caps. They only hurt the eyes and make you appear mad or desperate.

-Misspelling and bad grammar. If English isn't your first language, that's understandable. You'll only learn by trying. But remember (everyone) if you really want people to read your work and enjoy it, there is no excuse for spelling simple words like "was" wrong. Taking the time to check your spelling shows you love what you are writing and believe it is worth the attention, thus others will think so too.

-A bunch of garbled sentences thrown together (like pieces of conversation not directly linked). This only creates confusion, not interest.

-What?! (ie: What?! So-and-so did "this"?!) Again, seriously cliché (and annoying in my personal opinion) and falls in line with telling people exactly what happens in the story.

The purpose of a summary is to pique someone's interest so they will take a look at your story. Use a touch of mystery and suspense. Make the reader wonder, "What's the story behind this tidbit?" Writing a summary is like baiting a fishing hook. Use a rubber worm and you might get some lucky bites, but not enough to land the big one.

Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

Morning Light by white raven reviews
Some things fair and noble are revealed in morning light. - Ronon-Keller ship
Stargate: Atlantis - Rated: K - English - Romance - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,586 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 2 - Published: 7/21/2008 - Ronon D., Jennifer K. - Complete
Learning Curve by Nytel reviews
Jen gets some private self defense lessons. RononKeller. Spoilers up to 408. Note: I've decided to continue this story, so just ignore the 'the end' at the bottom of chapter 1.
Stargate: Atlantis - Rated: K+ - English - Friendship/Romance - Chapters: 7 - Words: 27,576 - Reviews: 154 - Favs: 103 - Follows: 60 - Updated: 2/6/2008 - Published: 12/28/2007 - Ronon D., Jennifer K. - Complete
Yours to command by Lialathuveril reviews
Éomer of Rohan has come to Gondor to find a suitable queen: beautiful, elegant, regal and always courteous and polite... Instead he encounters an unusual young princess and a danger that threatens his very life.
Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Romance - Chapters: 34 - Words: 129,022 - Reviews: 1080 - Favs: 652 - Follows: 170 - Updated: 7/2/2007 - Published: 9/27/2006 - Lothíriel, Eomer - Complete
Corresponding With Strangers by eriloca reviews
Who knew you could find love in the mail! AU. SasuHina oneshot.
Naruto - Rated: K+ - English - Romance - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,367 - Reviews: 98 - Favs: 344 - Follows: 39 - Published: 2/27/2007 - Sasuke U., Hinata H. - Complete
Neji Hyuuga: Matchmaker by emilyjm reviews
Slightly AU. SasuHina, NarSak, LeeTen, ShikaIno. The Hyuugas want to ship off Hinata to another village through marriage, and it's up to Neji to see that they don't.
Naruto - Rated: K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 16 - Words: 31,278 - Reviews: 577 - Favs: 610 - Follows: 143 - Updated: 10/4/2006 - Published: 7/10/2006 - Sasuke U., Hinata H. - Complete
Heart of the Horselord by rynogeny reviews
AU, Eomer OC. During the first year of his reign, Eomer discovers the hard won peace of the War of the Ring is not as complete as they'd hoped, and that there's nothing simple about being King. Particularly love. Last chapter up.
Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 38 - Words: 171,259 - Reviews: 637 - Favs: 753 - Follows: 185 - Updated: 3/4/2006 - Published: 7/9/2005 - Eomer - Complete
Sora no Shita ni: Beneath the Sky by The Narrator reviews
There's no point in worrying about things you cannot change. Yuya takes this advice to heart and seeks solitude to forget her cares cough! Kyo! cough, cough! for a while. But she does not count on the source of her worries coming to her...
Samurai Deeper Kyo - Rated: T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 1 - Words: 6,252 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 76 - Follows: 6 - Published: 6/12/2004 - Complete
Jewels Set Within Your Genuine Nature by Nostawen Allesiel reviews
Kaoru's frustration over the lack of attention Kenshin gives her causes her to throw out a challenge the Battousai is more than willing to accept. KK Oneshot
Rurouni Kenshin - Rated: T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 11,034 - Reviews: 86 - Favs: 157 - Follows: 12 - Published: 12/14/2003 - Kaoru, Kenshin - Complete
Medley by the Black Rose reviews
[HYxRP]2003 Nanashi Best Nonyaoi. A friend of a friend sets Relena up on a blind date, but he's not at all the frivolous, justforfun date she had in mind.Set in modern day, Heero is a soldier in the US Army just returned from combat in Iraq.
Gundam Wing/AC - Rated: T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 5,083 - Reviews: 58 - Favs: 83 - Follows: 10 - Published: 12/9/2003 - Heero Y., Relena P. - Complete
Finding Me in You by Kerrie-chan reviews
MalikTea... Tea embarks on a journy, leaving everything she knows and loves behind to find the one thing that means the most to her...her heart.
Yu-Gi-Oh - Rated: K+ - English - Romance - Chapters: 1 - Words: 12,352 - Reviews: 96 - Favs: 89 - Follows: 11 - Published: 6/14/2003 - Marik I., Anzu M./Tea G. - Complete
Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

Ikigai reviews
What could the darkness ever give to the light but a place to shine? SasuHina, some NejiTen.
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 31 - Words: 148,800 - Reviews: 2552 - Favs: 2,558 - Follows: 756 - Updated: 1/15/2010 - Published: 11/14/2008 - Sasuke U., Hinata H. - Complete
Hero reviews
Save the world, save the village, save the pretty woman cutting off the circulation in his arm. All in a day’s work for the legendary copy-nin. Kaka/Saku
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Friendship/Romance - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,054 - Reviews: 74 - Favs: 250 - Follows: 25 - Published: 12/14/2008 - Kakashi H., Sakura H. - Complete
Ryukaze: Dragon Wind reviews
The moment she met him, she knew she wanted nothing to do with him. She knew those eyes could see everything that shouldn't be seen. NejiOC, hints of NaruHina, SasuSaku.
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 42 - Words: 127,227 - Reviews: 1202 - Favs: 1,643 - Follows: 494 - Updated: 10/13/2007 - Published: 12/9/2006 - Neji H., OC - Complete
À La Mode reviews
Naruto and Hinata go for ice cream. Companion oneshot to ch 21 of Ryukaze: Dragon Wind but don't need to read to enjoy. NaruHina fluff.
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Romance - Chapters: 1 - Words: 3,359 - Reviews: 51 - Favs: 128 - Follows: 12 - Published: 4/16/2007 - Naruto U., Hinata H. - Complete
The Chill of Winter reviews
Warmth can be found in the most unexpected places. SasuHina Oneshot.
Naruto - Rated: K+ - English - Romance - Chapters: 1 - Words: 12,483 - Reviews: 301 - Favs: 1,181 - Follows: 145 - Published: 12/27/2006 - Sasuke U., Hinata H. - Complete
Oni reviews
Legends speak of a fearsome creature living on the forbidden mountain. Escaping to its domain, one woman will discover just how real a legend can be. 2005 RKRC romanceWAFF runner up.
Rurouni Kenshin - Rated: T - English - Romance/Fantasy - Chapters: 15 - Words: 45,003 - Reviews: 872 - Favs: 1,278 - Follows: 209 - Updated: 8/18/2005 - Published: 4/14/2005 - Kenshin, Kaoru - Complete
The Obsession reviews
Sequel to The Possession: Having failed too many times to protect the one he loves this time he may lose her forever. Kaiba/OC
Yu-Gi-Oh - Rated: T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 25 - Words: 71,385 - Reviews: 764 - Favs: 439 - Follows: 82 - Updated: 4/12/2005 - Published: 10/22/2004 - S. Kaiba, OC - Complete
The Possession reviews
All she wants is her freedom. She'll do anything to keep it, and he will do anything to keep her. Kaiba&OC
Yu-Gi-Oh - Rated: T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 25 - Words: 51,347 - Reviews: 665 - Favs: 690 - Follows: 141 - Updated: 10/8/2004 - Published: 3/8/2004 - S. Kaiba, OC - Complete