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  1. #181
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a Sue to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuglord
    Which is why I simply presented my doubts, and didn't assert that Lugion was wrong. If I actually read the book, it could be entirely possible that he is completely right - that the character really is as contrived as he mentions. But I can't simply take his word for it.
    Then why use the words "wrong" and "right"? You make it seem like, if you didn't feel the same way as him after reading the source material, then he was wrong, and if you did feel the same way, then he would be right. I was merely pointing out that there is no objective right and wrong when it comes to personal interpretation of such concepts as "what defines contrived?" and "what defines a sue?" I.e. if you didn't feel the same way as him after reading the source, he wouldn't be "wrong" per se, you would just have conflicting opinions, he can still perceive the character as contrived, even if you do not feel that way at all. Also, in the end, you might be as prone to selective bias as him.

    I see what you're intending to say though, I'm just not quite sure I agree ;)
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuglord
    I wouldn't word it so ominously. Your wording there makes it seem like you're trying to explicitly avoid giving credit to people who use traits in Sue-ish manners, to show that you are not "sympathetic to Sues".

    "A single trait, or a lot of traits, does not automatically make a Sue. Only when the traits are developed in contrived, unbelievable ways does the character become a Sue." It means the same thing, and is not as foreboding.
    That's a very lofty interpretation, I did not mean such a thing at all.

    And that sentence you suggested doesn't imply the exact same thing the way I read it. I originally worded it like I did merely to make a point out of the fact that a character can in fact be a Sue even if there are only one or a few traits, to contrast with the previous sentence where I said that one or a few traits does not automatically make a sue. I.e. it was meant as a clarification to avoid a potential misunderstanding of that sentence along the lines of "I don't think a few traits make a sue at all". naturally I didn't say it, but it can be misunderstood that way, hence my clarification.


    But now we're really straying off-topic. I'm always open to continue this via PM if you have any further objections to what I'm saying ;)
    Last edited by TheLlama; 2nd May 2012 at 11:49 AM.
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  2. #182
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a Sue to you?

    To me a Mary Sue is a main character that is just too perfect and cliche.

  3. #183
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: What makes a Sue to you?

    Not only is it a cliché to hate Mary Sues, but it also very quickly coming to be a cliché for people to hate people who hate Mary Sues.

    I don't generally use the term myself, because, as Smuglord rightly pointed out, it's a little vague and unhelpful. However, I think often what people object to in Mary Sues is not just their idealism and perfection, but the fact that they are very often thinly veiled authorial self inserts. This isn't inherently the case, but it is often the case. I think what people generally object to is that Mary Sues are synonymous with stories where a character based on the author has superficial struggles, is "destined" to achieve something awesome, and ends up being the only one who can overcome an unrealistic evil. Personally, I find these stories a little boring, and in a lot of ways predictable in general, but that's not to say that a writer couldn't use these tropes in a way that is interesting.

    I don't think Mary Sues are inherently bad, but I do think they tend to be, which is why reviewers who aren't brilliant at expressing themselves often use that term to object to a character.

    I also object to the notion of an "Anti-Sue". Adding superficial weaknesses etc. is something that writers who are worried that they have a Mary Sue do. The issue is that this does not stop them being a Mary Sue, because through their irrational fears and misfortune in being unfairly hated, they can still be a Mary Sue. An Anti-Sue is ultimately just a self-conscious Mary Sue.

  4. #184
    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    To me, a Mary Sue is a character that dominates the story and has everything fall their way perfectly.

    But here is the interesting part a Mary Sue does not totally ruin the story. Dirk Pitt of the eponymous novels by Clive Cussler is a major league Gary Stu but most of the novels are decent (not on par with some of the fan fics I have read but not shit either). Granted, the fact that he writes high-octane thrillers probably helps.
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  5. #185
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    I disagree with this idea that a Sue can be a good thing. A Sue by connotation if not denotation is a character that is inherently negative due to being written so poorly. If a character is genuinely mended or their Sueish traits ameliorated, they are no longer a Sue.

    Of course, analysing Sues is difficult indeed. I've known people who automatically cast as Sues any character, in whatever role, who was good at something or in any way attractive. This, I think, is absurd. What makes the Sue so is less their merits of talent or beauty, and more the way in which they are treated in the story. A Sue, whether classic or 'anti', fits into the narrative by breaking it, for Sues will always have the narrative conform to them, whether to make them mysteriously popular, or mysteriously hated, or mysteriously lucky, without justification or realism. It's more or less just poor writing.

    My point is that if you have a 'flawless' character, who doesn't ruin the story, they probably aren't actually a Sue.

  6. #186
    #YEEZUS Ultra Pidgeot's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a Sue to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuglord View Post
    You seem to be picking the specific "Sue-like" parts in an attempt to make me think that this character is such. May I see the original story? (Not that I'm really interested in the subject matter, but just to evaluate this for myself.)
    Me and @RaccoonGooncan actually vouch for Khal in this case. The character starts the novel by killing 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) of this "Soul Eater" enemy, and it is constantly brought up that it's an accomplishment to manage to fell even one of them. Then, in the space of approximately like 3 days or some such nonsense, proceeds to walk across countries to stop the assassination of a king he claims to hate. He then of course saves all his friends by grabbing them while flipping through the air and out a window. Later, even though he is supposedly on his deathbed, he gets up and kicks some more people's asses TWICE, despite supposedly being almost dead due to an unknown sickness that was tossed in to try and ad drama to the novella. He also has such perfect balance that he can stand a scythe straight up, place the tip of his sword on the blade of the scythe, and proceeds to spin rapidly while balanced in this impossible way. He gets stabbed in the chest and ignores it entirely, it apparently does not faze him. He's also super humble but at the same time likes to flip off people who save his life (the doctor after he was healed from his sickness).

    Not only is he a terrible, terrible sue, but he is also just a generally awfully written character.

  7. #187
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    It is now clear that the protagonist of this story breaks the established 'rules' of his narrative to a hyperbolic extent. To kill ten thousand of a foe deemed to be an impressive opponent is to be a Sue. To kick ass while suppossedly near death is to be a Sue. To break the laws of physics by spinning a balanced (!) scythe is to be a Sue. If nothing else, it destroys the suspension of disbelief utterly and makes the character more laughably overpowered than Chuck Norris.

  8. #188
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    I'm not really sure on the details as to what Khal is referring to (I haven't read that book or even all of his posts in this thread so I can't really put it in context), but those things don't necessarily make the story bad or even the character bad. That sort of stuff could fit perfectly in an anime (except it wasn't an anime...), and there are numerous examples of overpowered unrealistic characters who aren't considered "Mary Sues". Take Hercules for example. He was cursed by Hera or whatever (I really forget how the story goes)... other than that he was this overpowered guy going around completing tasks and killing monsters like it was nothing and doing impossible stuff.

  9. #189
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Yes but Heracles is not abnormal within the narrative. He is surrounded by godly beings! Nor does he complete his tasks entirely without help, or effortlessly.

  10. #190
    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    I disagree with this idea that a Sue can be a good thing. A Sue by connotation if not denotation is a character that is inherently negative due to being written so poorly. If a character is genuinely mended or their Sueish traits ameliorated, they are no longer a Sue.
    In that case, if your definition of Sue is that it's inherently negative toward the story, the word Sue isn't really much useful in itself, is it.

    Characters do not exist in vacuums. If a Sue is simply a character that breaks a story, then the "Sue-ish" traits are exactly the ones that break a story, in which case they have another label. You could simply label it as inconsistent, arbitrary, or boring storywriting that just happens to depend on a single character. Mary Sue becomes a post facto, retroactive label that a person applies to a character once it's broken a story.

    My point is that if you have a 'flawless' character, who doesn't ruin the story, they probably aren't actually a Sue.
    I sense a bit of No True Scotsman here, if not a redefinition of Sue that defeats the whole purpose of the Sue definition in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra Pidgeot View Post
    Me and RaccoonGoon can [...] awfully written character.
    Seems like it would make a good comedy. Send me a copy sometime. :P

    But yes, thanks for the more detailed description. It seems more like the phrase "awfully written character" is the more general, and thus more applicable here. The "Mary Sue" label isn't even needed to denounce the character.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

  11. #191
    #YEEZUS Ultra Pidgeot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuglord View Post

    Seems like it would make a good comedy. Send me a copy sometime. :P

    But yes, thanks for the more detailed description. It seems more like the phrase "awfully written character" is the more general, and thus more applicable here. The "Mary Sue" label isn't even needed to denounce the character.
    Again, it is copyrighted. You'll need to purchase your own for 15$ if you want to read it.

  12. #192
    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra Pidgeot View Post
    Again, it is copyrighted. You'll need to purchase your own for 15$ if you want to read it.
    You're awful uptight about that. At least send me a link where I can buy it?
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

  13. #193
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    To be fair, there are real 10 year old kids that are smarter than the average 10 year old. You know, proteges. And considering the Pokemon world is NOT our world, we could say that kids in that world mature emotionally (though not sexual) so they can leave home at an early age. Maybe the school system in that world is different like it's more like homeschooling and tutoring than actual school building. Of course, you have to make sure this is explained in a way the readers can believe. It's a whole new world they live and we can take advantage of that.

  14. #194
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Proteges? ("You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.") You mean prodigies. And by their nature, they cannot be common.

  15. #195
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    Proteges? ("You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.") You mean prodigies. And by their nature, they cannot be common.
    Strange. I was told it was spelt that way. And what do you mean by "common?" Are you talking about our world or the Pokemon world?

    And prodigy mean "someone who is good at something at an early age or someone who catches on faster than others," I believe.

    In the case of the Pokemon World, it's possible that kids around 10 are capable of maturing faster than we would in this world of ours. Maybe not too much like sexually and whatnot but enough that they're able to manage well in the world. Again, the Pokemon world is NOT like our world because of... Pokemon.
    Last edited by matt0044; 5th May 2012 at 08:33 AM.

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