I’ve been collecting a fair amount of outfits that I wanted to stick my fashion-conscious (though slightly retro, kinda backwards) character Michael/The Cat in and I’m committing to finishing these sketches up tonight. I’m thinking though maybe my OTHER artists friends might like to join in. So who else wants to fashion parade tonight with their characters? Reblog and join in the fun!
I’m so bad at fashion. Which signals to me that maybe I should be doing this. Dapper old man??
Looks like this essay was needed, so I went ahead and did it. Not sure I said everything I wanted to say, but I tried
So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet….
I understand the point of this, but I have to disagree: a Mary Sue is a character that is so overpowered and revered by everyone in her story that she’s essentially the only important thing. She has no flaws, no weaknesses, and can defeat everything in her path without any fault.
There’s a difference between a powerful character—male or female—and one that’s ridiculously overpowered and thus not anywhere near three-dimensional. I believe that’s where the problem with Mary Sues/Gary Stus lies: they are not well-rounded. They are not good characters. They are just there to be loved by everyone, and while fantasizing is completely fine, if you want to have a book with well-done characters, avoiding the creation of a Mary Sue is quite advisable.
I agree. To me, the problem with Mary Sues is not what their abilities are, it’s how they’re treated in the story. You don’t become a Mary Sue just by being powerful or cool. Most of the online Mary Sue litmus tests are just tagging positive qualities to make sure you don’t have “too many.” And yet you’ll get false positives on characters like Batman. He’s got a lot going for him, but he’s not necessarily a Mary Sue.
Like I said above, what makes a character a Mary Sue is how the story treats them. Do people fall at her feet after knowing them for a few minutes? Does reality warp itself so impossible situations resolve themselves for him? A Mary Sue can be the most boring person in the whole world with no special abilities or privileges, but they’re still a Mary Sue if they never have to work for their happy ending.
This has nothing to do with sexism and people being afraid of women being strong. Male characters are equally in danger. The problem with a Mary Sue or Gary Stu is simply that they make the story boring. They always get what they want, everyone loves them, and there’s never any tension. And tension is what drives stories. Wish fulfillment is fine, but not when it’s simply some power fantasy where everything goes right. That stuff is only fun for the author.
(This is why I don’t care for perfect runthroughs when I watch video game Let’s Plays. Perfection is boring. Pass the entertaining failure, please!)