Author has written 7 stories for Grim and Evil, Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, and My Little Pony.
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).
Sub-concepts of or relating to "Mary Sue"
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 "Angst 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 romanticizing 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 also be referred to as an act of "canon rape" (also "raping canon," "characterization rape," or "character rape"). The terms are 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.
Canon Sue (in original source)
A "canon Sue" may also refer to a character whose canon portrayal itself is seen as a "Mary Sue," rather than a character who has been altered in fan fiction. Typically, this refers to a character accused of being overly idealized or having other traits traditionally associated with fan fiction "Mary Sues," such as being "special" by having a gratuitously tragic past, unrealistic skills, or a seeming inability for the character to do wrong.
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 Fanfiction dot net.
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.
I keep that there as a reminder to myself and to others viewing this profile of mine of the many writing pitfalls that are out there.
Free Dragonball story idea/outline for anyone who wants it
Dragon Ball: Minus Goku
We all know how Son Goku survived that nasty bonk of the noggin when he was a baby and went on to become one of the strongest and greatest heroes in the universe, but what if he HAD died from that accident? How different would Dragon Ball be without it's main character?
General notes of interest.
Ox King and Gandpa Gohan train Chi Chi further in martial arts than in canon
Chi Chi joins Bulma in the first quest for the dragon balls
Yamcha over hears how Roshi offers to train Chi Chi and decides to track down Korin (figuring that if Roshi, flying clouds, and a wish granting dragon are real, why not Korin?), climbs the tower in a week, and completes his training in three months. Because of this extra boost in speed and reflexes, Yamcha winds up winning the 21st tournament, but still takes Roshi up on his offer to train him to boost his physical powers.
Kirllin develops a small crush on Chi Chi, which may or may not eventually bloom into full on romance between the two
Red Ribbon Saga goes off more or less same as canon, only the whole group gets to join in on the fun, instead of Goku hogging all the action
Ox King is the one killed by the first of King Piccolo's minions when he goes back for the dragon balls like Krillin did in canon
Tien and Chouzu- same as canon?
King Piccolo saga goes same as canon only both Krillin and Chi Chi become the first humans to survive drinking the Ultra Divine Water and defeat King Piccolo together
Nam and purple haired chick return for 23rd World Tournament, eventually whole tournament thing is abandoned at the end when the ring is destroyed and everyone gangs up on Piccolo Jr to beat the ever loving snot out of him, which eventually forces him to make a hasty retreat
Ratizit shows up, is disappointed at first to hear that his brother died as a child but eventually dismisses him as a weakling. Huge battle between all the z fighters happens, at which at one point Chi Chi (who may or may not have turned down Krillin's marriage proposal as she feels she's married to martial arts instead) sacrifices herself like Goku did in canon. Everyone (including Nam and purple haired lady) start training for the Sayians. Nappa and Vegeta come in full years time instead of month early, Chichi Comes back to earth in plenty of time to spare and meets up with everyone before Sayains arrive, Piccolo fuses with Kame after the dragon balls are used, and the Hyperbolic time chamber is used the day before they arrive. Despite all this, Sayains still prove difficult, Sibermen are dispatched easily (no one dies) and Nappa is eventually taken down, though saved by Chichi unlike in canon from Vegeta's wrath (Nappa becomes eventual good guy, Super Sayain, Angst/shame over past actions, ect). Battle with Vegeta is long and hard on everyone, even with Chichi having taught everyone the Kio Ken, Spirit bomb is used and Vegeta slinks away. Everyone decides to then go to Namek to bring the people of East city back to life, Freeza saga then happens and stuff.
Not sure if androids/Cell saga should exist in this universe or not. If Cell does appear, will be mostly human at that point, with a bit of Sayain blood in him, considers itself to be the ultimate fighting lifeform on the planet. If Cell Games happen and Hercule appears, Chichi will call both of them out for not recognizing herself, Tien, and Yamcha as past World Tournament winner (chichi was ultimately given the title in the end for the 23rd as she was the one who fought Piccolo the longest and hardest).
A quick match between Chi Chi and Hercule shatters the afroed man's confidence. Everyone eventually gets their own crack at Cell (the first of which is Nappa, who does a good job of putting Cell through the wringer), wearing him down further and further until he's eventually beaten. All the Z fighters are then proclaimed heroes of the earth as the group who defeated Cell, seven years pass and Chichi has taken Videl on as her personal student and has developed a mother-daughter bond with the teenager.