Hoshi from Neo-Poke: Mary-Sue?

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Thread: Hoshi from Neo-Poke: Mary-Sue?

  1. #1
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    Default Hoshi from Neo-Poke: Mary-Sue?

    Maybe I should've just posted this within Neo-Poke, but I wasn't sure if anyone would read it there. Maybe I shouldn't even be upset with the allegations of someone I don't even know. Maybe I shouldn't even *write* anymore Neo-Poke.

    I don't know.

    Recently, as you may know, I started 'The Official Fanfiction University of Kanto'. One of my reviews for the first chapter was from someone named 'Fama'. Here's her review:

    Fama 2004-05-23 1 Signed
    Funny to see a sue-author writing something like this.


    So I asked her quite calmly at the end of the 2nd OFUK chapter which character of mine was Mary-Sue and how I could improve this character. I didn't get any suggestions on improvement, but she did tell me who she found Sue-ish at least:

    Fama 2004-05-31 2 Signed
    Which character? Perhaps your emerald-eyed, crimson-haired, late starting trainer named Hoshi with her talking meowth. Who's the daughter of Jesse and James, has the standard attitude problem, and orders around Ash and Misty's son.

    It's the story filled with random and often incorrect Japanese, if you still don't remember.


    Now, before I get to the self-bashing part of this, I must say a few words in my own defense:

    Late starting? No, Hoshi isn't late starting. She's 12, and in the time I'm writing about, 10-13 yrs. when starting is the standard norm. Jessie and James know that Hoshi is...well, not the most mature person out there, so they sent her off at 12 as opposed to 10, but she's still not qualified as 'late starting'.

    Secondly, I'm not entirely sure what's wrong with her being the daughter of Jessie and James - I'm certainly not the first person to do it.

    ...The talking Meowth makes HER Sue-ish? It was explained fairly early that J&J had sent Meowth along because they still don't think that Hoshi could make it on her own - she's far too rash and hot-headed. It's not like Meowth said 'My goodness! This trainer art so wonderful that I think it'd be my pleasure to accompany her on ye olde Road to Greatness!' In fact, if Nyasu had it her way, she'd never have left home.

    Wow. I didn't know they made 'standard attitude problems' nowadays. What an amazing world we live in. *Looks around in wonder*.

    'Bosses around Ash and Misty's son'? Well of course! Since she's got this 'standard attitude problem' obviously she's not just going to be a nice, polite young girl.

    Hmmmm...my story's littered with random and incorrect Japanese. Wow. I think this is something I actually got chided for here as well, but I believe I remedied the problem to everyone's satisfaction. But God forbid that it isn't remedied to the great Fama's satisfaction! Maybe I should iron the hands that typed this foul and incorrect Japanese and vow to never use said language again.

    Alright, that was more than a few words in my defense...*sweatdrop* I got a bit carried away, though I guess you could probably tell. Now, about the defenition of a Mary-Sue...here's mine:

    Mary-Sue (Mair-ee Soo): 1. A character who is annoyingly perfect in every way and usually ends a story by:
    A. Dying, which is followed by great mourning from the rest of the cast, of course.
    B. Winning the affections of her preferred character and getting married to the backdrop of a beautiful sunset.
    C. Leaving - to the other characters' sorrow - and vowing to one day return in the sequel with less plot and more smut - to the readers' sorrow.

    2. A character who is literally supposed to BE the author (see also: Self-Insert). 3. A person who embodies every single trait that the author would like to have and does everything the author would like to do.


    Hmmmm...as far as I know, Hoshi doesn't fall into any of those categories. But perhaps Almighty Fama could explain that one for me, if I asked her very nicely.

    Now to the part you've all been waiting for...THE SELF-BASHING!

    Ok, ok, I'm not the best author. Sometimes I make stupid mistakes and other people have to point them out to me before I even realize I've done something wrong. I get terribly upset when a story of mine doesn't get reviews, even though I know that such a thing shouldn't even cross the mind of any author worth their salt.

    Neo-Poke is no work of Shakespeare, that's for sure. Heck, it's not even MY best work. The characters don't have the depth of those found in Harry Potter or probably any other published work. But until now...I liked it. I thought it was just fine, and it was one of those stories where you should just have fun and write, not check obsessively for every stupid little error or character trait under the sun that might provoke some 'Holier-than-thou' person's wrath.

    But maybe I'm wrong.

    And now I'm mad at myself because, as an author, I know I shouldn't get easily upset or discouraged like this - especially over something so small. If everything makes me this upset, I shouldn't even write.

    But I want to.

    So write I shall, though I would really appreciate anyone's input on this subject. Is Hoshi a Sue? Would I do better to just let Neo-Poke drop dead? What's YOUR definition of a Mary-Sue? How much truth is there in what Fama is saying to me? How can I improve what I've written?

    Heh, maybe we should just turn this into the 'Author's Venting Thread' or something...

  2. #2
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    The way most people define Sue is as "characters who shares notable traits with the writer or his embodiment of a perfect individual and who happens to come out of the blue and join the main group, generally based on a relation with the main character".

    I don't think that kind of Sue is necessarily bad however. Yes, one of my stories has a character named Damian (although in my defense it must be said I hadn't started using the name Damian for myself back then - on pokémon sites I still went by Big Bad Pokémon back in those days) whose physical and mental dispositions rather well match my own, who is a relative of the mains (Misty's un-sensational twin brother, even less popular with the older trio than Misty herself), and whose story arc as a member of the group ended up in a tragic moment of death.

    Yet I think to this date, I'm the only one (except IIRC Kaz once after I had brought the topic up) who has ever called this character a Gary Sue. None of the many, many, many people who reviewed the story ever mentioned Sue-ishness.

    My general conclusion is that people don't MIND Sues - as long as the Sue isn't stealing the spotlight from the people who should have it. (In Fama's case, I think she could be one of the "anime fundies" who are dead set against any stories not centering around the anime established character).

    In the case above, yes Damian was there, but he never really received the spotlight of the story : the story was still that of Ash and co and their actions, Damian always remaining a secondary cast member to Ash - it was Ash who took the initiative most of the time when both were there, and Ash for that matter who wielded the most firepower out of the two. Similarly, sure Damian had his death scene - but so did Ash a mere ten page or so later, and a bigger one at that.

    So as I was saying - I think most people don't mind Mary Sue per se, they mind the Black Hole effects many Mary Sues have on plot, drawing all of it to themselves, warping events for their own sake. When the story becomes about telling people how great your character is (even if he's not really you), THAT is when people start to mind - they want a good story of suffering, failure THEN ultimate success, not a poor story of success, success and success because your character is so great he or she couldn't ever fail.
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    Thanks, Dami ^^'.

    That post made me feel a lot better - The 'black hole' effect and all that...perhaps I'm blind to an extent about what I've done in my own stories, but I don't think Hoshi's taken the spotlight from anyone more than she should, being one of the central characters in a Journey fic, and I'll be damned if she has had much success at ANYTHING thus far.

    True, Fama could be a fundie, which I'm blushing slightly about because I never stopped to consider that. Also, I guess she could just have a different opinion on what sort of characters are 'good' characters. I can certainly identify with the feeling of not liking a character but not being able to put your finger on what exactly you dislike, and therefore coming out with a bit of bull (if that made any sense whatsoever).

  4. #4
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    Hoshi-san is definitely NOT a Mary-Sue! I *wish* I could write a well developed character such as she! If you drop Neo-Poke, I will have to come and murder you, because I do know where you live. [/trying to not do leet speak] {j/k} But I do think it would be against your better judgment to discontinue it. I really, really enjoyed reading Neo-Poke. They felt like real episodes, the way you introduced the characters/aspects and even the length, I could feel at intense points (is forest fire) like I was actually watching TV. And plus Japanese is a very difficult language, especially honorifics, and it was good that you corrected yourself instead of blowing up about it. I admire you as an author! (and as a person in general *nods*)

    I usually want reviews too, but even when someone critizes one little detail that I thought made the story good, I get a upset. if someone did something to me like Fama did to you...I'd probably like...kill myself. XD So, you handled the issue in a very mature way and defended yourself very well and convincingly. Fama probably made those comments only because his/her own works suck and he/she thought that they could raise themselves by picking on poeple with good stories. Fama's a jerk, don't let them bother you.

    Oh, my definition of a Mary-Sue? The girl in the Pokémon Cliché catalouge.

    It was Columbus instead.

  5. #5
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    Ah yes, the girl...or girls, I suppose in the Pokemon Cliche Catalogue. Definately eeeeeeviiiiiil little 'Sues are they. *Stabs them all*

    Anyway, thanks Hitchi. Your post made me feel more reassured about my writing - especially since I just uploaded Neo-Poke on mediaminer.org a few hours ago and I was apprehensive that another Fama-like person could show up. But now even if they do, I feel better.

    Oh, and you wouldn't kill yourself if Fama did something like that to you.

    I'd kill Fama.

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