I Love You, Mary Sue – History of Fanfic 6

Hi my name is Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way and I have a video about why Mary Sues aren’t all that bad.

Even Ebony.

Ok, maybe not counting Ebony.

In this episode we discuss the history of the Mary Sue, that Star Trek parody fic, and why really, they aren’t all bad.

About Sursum Ursa

Ursa presents Stuff You Like, where fangirls + analysis + awesome examples of media = good times for all.

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22 Comments on "I Love You, Mary Sue – History of Fanfic 6"

Crossover Princess
Guest

In my early days I have written Mary Sue, my most embarrassing was called “My Life in Anime” which due to various reasons don’t exist on the net and the only remnant is the Magical Girl Mascot Kinky, I occasionally still write due to how crazy awesome she is (A talking, insane, immortal gun toting rabbit that no one in universe likes… yep!). In the years since I’ve written it I’ve gotten better at writing OCs and am now a rather popular writer…

happymel
Guest

I always thought that a Mary Sue was just a bland character so that the reader or viewer could relate to them easier. However, I never thought of it as just a lady thing. Mary Sues (or Smith Does maybe?) don’t bother me. I know that when I used to write fan-fiction I never focused on my character’s personality but mostly on how she fit into a book or movie that was already established in a Lion King ½ kind of way.

Rezro
Guest
Well.. there are two kind of bland characters.. Mery Sues and pieces of wood without personality. Both are usually result of inability to write proper character but only the second is protected by “made so that the reader or viewer could relate to them easier” (if they lack personality themselves because how can you relate to a plank?). And well.. technically it is not just a lady thing, just mostly. Either result of idealized version of female writer or perfect woman archetype if writer is male. Still in common use Mary Sue is used also to address similar issue with… Read more »
Sijo
Guest

I’ve been writing self-insert stories since I was a little boy; I still do it today (I’m 50! 😛 ) It’s just something that’s fun to do, “meeting” your favorite characters. Curiously, never have my characters overshadowed the protagonists; I always respect the canon.

Cursedbythedicegods
Guest
Nice examination of this subject! It seems most everyone who has done any amount of writing or character building runs into this issue. It’s hard not to project at least a little of ourselves into our favorite creations when we write, and, like you said, the less experience one has in writing the more obvious the Mary Sue. I like what you said about not being afraid to be unrealistic as long as the character is INTERESTING. A character with no flaws that everyone just inexplicably adores (Bella from Twilight comes to mind) is usually either a blank slate the… Read more »
karkashan
Guest
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve actually grown to like and cherish well-written self-insert fanfics like Silver Queen’s Dreaming of Sunshine. And less well-written ones. I’ve never written them, myself, but there is a kind of fun to imagining what would (semi-realistically) happen if one were to be thrown into one’s favorite fandom-canons. I think the only type of fic I really cannot stand is character bashing or ship bashing fics. I’m big into giving characters the benefit of the doubt, and the holier-than-thou hate mongering that spews clunkily from canon characters’ mouths in these types of fics always just makes… Read more »
Tyrant-Den
Guest

so much for my OC: Yurigami the Black-Sun Crusher.

Tyrant-Den
Guest

My definition says that in addition to being a self-insert-y character, they must also face no real struggles. That is why Sailor Moon and One Punch Man don’t count, but but Sora (No Game No Life) does.

Anubissan
Guest
I don’t really agree with your definition of Marry Sue. It’s not a subjective judgment on the viewer if the given skill set it “too-perfect” it’s if the skill set possessed by the character has a believable or plausible justification in-story or in the character background. Lets look at the most hotly debate Marry sue right now Rei. Many point to her fixing the Millennium Falcon in the middle of a flight as a Marry Sue moment, which isn’t true. Ir is established early on that she spend her whole life up to this point scavenging imperial starships for parts.… Read more »
Fran Ohmsford
Guest
Luke is a normal guy really in Star Wars, there’s no Mary-Sue qualities to him whatsoever, His abilities – Flying, shooting womp rats are things we can assume are pretty common for kids on Tatooine, He learns about the force from Obi-Wan, goes on to make a one in a million shot thanks to listening to Obi-Wan’s voice in his head then we move forward 4 years and Luke’s a much different character in Empire and Jedi – first due to experience of 4 years in the rebellion and then due to his training under Yoda and his first battle… Read more »
Snorgatch Pandalume
Guest

Legolas was not a Mary Sue character in LOTR (I haven’t seen TH:BOFA, so I can’t comment on that). He’s a member of an immortal, magical race with superhuman abilities, and he’s got centuries of experience under his belt. You could argue that Tolkien elves are obnoxiously OP, and there is some validity to that, but that doesn’t make Legolas a Mary Sue–it just means he’s an elf, like Superman is a Kryptonian.

Zeke04
Guest

Except then you watch Two Towers, and while most of the elves are busy fighting and dying to arrows, swords and explosions, Legolas is busy surfing down stairs on a shield to get some sweet headshots.

Rocketboy1313
Guest

Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true. This sort of “reasoning” typically has the following form.

Snorgatch Pandalume
Guest

Plagiarism is copying something verbatim without attributing the source (in this case, nizkor.org). Seriously, you didn’t even include the diagram the last sentence references, making its inclusion nonsensical.
How, exactly, is Fran’s comment in any way begging the question? What part of the premise contains a conclusion that is assumed to be true? He/she states his/her opinion and then presents facts to back it up. That is not begging the question, that is simply making a reasoned argument. You may not agree with it, but that doesn’t make it invalid, illogical, or unreasonable.

Rocketboy1313
Guest
You don’t cite definitions. However I should have ended it with a “…” to indicate I was pointing to the comment I was replying to as an example of begging the question. This comment is begging the question because the things listed as making the character, Rey unbelieveable are the moments of the film meant to establish the skills the commentator, Fran claims are unbelievable. Rey can pilot a ship. You know how I know? Cause she did. Rey can do it well, you know why? The Force. You know how I know it is the Force? Because later on… Read more »
Snorgatch Pandalume
Guest

Fran’s objection was that there is no lead-up to Rey’s *conscious and deliberate* use of the Force, as opposed to Luke, who doesn’t start using it consciously until after he meets Obi-Wan. As for Anakin , he’s sort of a special case, being The Chosen One and having only one parent–somehow, but even he doesn’t start using it consciously until after being trained.

zenfrodo
Guest
Awesome, awesome, AWESOME. I loved this vid & found it fun, informational & entertaining. You’ve won a new viewer! *trots off to watch more of your vids & sub to your YT channel* You bring up the biggest point about Mary Sues that I’ve been harping on myself to my fellow writer friends — that Mary Sue is always, by definition, a canon invader, not a canon character in her own ‘verse. Rey is not a Mary Sue; she’s a canonical part of the SW ‘verse (and, consequentially, I *loved* Rey as much as I loved Luke from the original… Read more »
Rastrelly
Guest

Horrible and damaging promotion of writing plain bad. Thanks to this video we’ve quite possibly lost several fine writers. Disgusting.

Dechha1981
Guest
I would not call Rey a Mary Sue. If she was a nerdy guy with dark hair and glasses that liked to shake cameras and was a huge fan of oth the Blare Witch Project and Godzilla, AND, if she wasn’t so easily captured and nearly provolked a stormtrooper to *tighten* her binds, then yeah I’d say she was a Mary Sue. But she’s nothing like J.J. Abrams and she does fuck up here and there. Maybe that’s the wrong definition of Mary Sue (which seems pretty vague anyway) but that’s mine. A Mary Sue has to be a combination… Read more »
somebody1993
Guest
I never personally identified mary sues with just female characters. It’s probably because when I first heard the term gary stu the male equivalent was brought up as an interchangeable replacement for it. It’s more than just an unrealistic skill set for me. It’s when a character is just so great or so wonderful that they kill all (I don’t know the right word but the best I can think of is meaning) in the story robbing it of tension of any kind. It’s one thing if your character is talented but if they are so good that even the… Read more »
Zeke04
Guest
The issue with the Mary Sue is that it often has very little to do with the character themselves, and rather the way the world reacts to them. Fiction has no shortage of oddly adept, beautiful young exemplars with little in the way of flaws, especially if we don’t get a chance to see into their thoughts. What makes a character transition from being that to a Mary Sue is that the world and secondary cast break to beat the audience over the head with the idea that the Mary Sue is just that much cooler. This is why My… Read more »
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