|Reviews for The Official Mary Sue Manual|
| ebonyflame chapter 1 . 7/27/2005
i didn't know i could write a review. anyways, i really enjoyed reading your advice, but i find the balancing of the characters to be a bit confusing. it might be benifical to others if you replaced that piece with something simpler. well, keep up the great work! ;)
| Blu Iris chapter 1 . 7/19/2005
Thank you very much for writing this. I know it's been, like, a year and a half, but I'll still review, cos I can.
I'm starting a story recently and asked a friend for some advice on a "Mary Sue". She led me here and I'm glad she did, cos I think I've changed a lot of things about my character that would've otherwise resulted in a Mary Sue character. I think I’d already known the obvious ones, like making her gorgeous, perfect, powerful, and having the "writer’s desired love/lust object" immediately fall in love with her and I think I've avoided those. (I'm not even a fan of the character I'm EXTREMELY gradually pairing her up with.) So those areas didn't make much of a difference to me.
But there was one area that I did find EXTREMEMLY helpful, the Pity-Beggar Mary Sue. As much as I hate to admit it, thinking it over, I think I did make her a bit of a pity beggar. Though not nearly as bad as your example (though I would guess that's a bit of an exaggeration...though I haven't read many OC stories, so I could be wrong if someone actually wrote it like that...*shudders*). So thank you. I haven't changed it all, since it's a small part of the plot (which does revolves around a canon character), but I've made it a lot different. So, once again, thank you.
And here's a note to RainDreamer: I suggest that YOU get a life. What this author is trying to do is HELP us and others from writing bad fanfiction, which is the point of reviews. NOT just for number or statistics, but to help us WRITE BETTER. And he is not saying that everyone who writes a Mary Sue story sucks or their story sucks. That'd be like a flame. I view this as constructive critisism, targeting no particular author but a good number of people. So if you wanna just completely pass over this and label it off the way you did and keep writing a Mary Sue, then go ahead. But don't flame those out there who are KIND AND THOUGHTFUL enough to help people with a bone of common sense (that's such an ironic term nowadays) who wanna be better authors and learn from their mistakes.
| MockingbirdDreams chapter 1 . 7/19/2005
Marry me? Okay, just kidding. But I found your (pastiche? essay?) extremely useful, thank you so much.
| Vandagirl chapter 1 . 7/18/2005
Dude, I love it. Love it, love it, love it. And here's why:
I'm a registered member on as well, and I see way too many Mary Sue fics in the Teen Titans fandom (yes, I'm 16 and I watch Teen Titans, and if you have a problem with that then GO ROT IN A HOLE! Ahem, sorry...), and quite frankly, it sickens me. Of course, I've come close to writing a Mary Sue fic, but before I posted it, I decided to change some things about my OC. She'll probably seem like a Mary Sue at first, but only I know what's going to happen with her later on... teehee... _
This is a wonderful manual for the first-time authors out there. It's really a shame that most of them aren't gonna read this... hey, would you mind if I put a link to your story in my fanfiction profile? I didn't think you would. Thank you! _
I'm sure it's ok to revolve mainly around one character if s/he is the protagonist and it's narrated in the first person. If it's in the third person and it's so revolved around the main character, or worse, if the person's not supposed to be the main character but s/he's being revolved around anyways, then it bugs me. It bugs me a lot. And I've heard that not all Mary Sues are bad, but it's just that most are because they're not very well-developed, if you know what I mean. And I have a character on this website, and if she were any kind of Mary Sue, she'd be the pity-begger one. Of course, the story is about her and this guy she likes but won't choose her, and blah blah blah... sounds like a bad story at first, but people seem to like it. Besides, people say they have empathy for her, not just pity, so her pain is realistic. She's not even very Mary Sue-ish. But hey, now I'm just babbling. _ Actually, that's what I've been doing since the beginning of this review. Oh well.
Anyhoo... that's enough of my extremely long rant. So again, thank you for this essay, and... yeah!
By the way, this would go better in the essay section. But that's just me. *adds story to favorites*
| Need 'n' Know chapter 1 . 7/5/2005
Yeah, most people don't know what it's like to go though a tragedy. They think it'll just pass by quick and nobody's minds wonders to what'll happen if it didn't.
Ahah! I thought "Lucille" was a guy. And when she was pushed down - whoops.
Oh, come on! Sauron is evil, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Gandalf would NEVER tell Legolas such a thing, unless he is hypnotized, or someone is there to replace him!
Savannah has long hair, doesn't she? That's a bit scary. Lol. A Veela. Ugh! Aren't they, like, fakes?
Gwen hates pirates and she's hanging around a pirate wannabe? Hmm, he's a friend, so I guess it evens out.
Okay, I'll be sure to keep all this in mind!
| Scarab Dynasty chapter 1 . 6/14/2005
This is an extremely useful manual, and will be helpful for anyone trying to avoiud the dreaded sues(don'tcha just hate her?) You must have done research. The painful thing is I am relating this to quite a few characters I created in my younger, less knowledgable years *cringe*. Well I suppose we alkl have them tucked away somewhere. And they are a valid part of our learning experience as writers... I suppose. Congratulations on writing a thoughtful study. -Scarab
| Just a Person chapter 1 . 5/22/2005
I APPLUAD YOU!You just hit the nail on the head with that reading this,I rememberd a certail Johnny the Homicidal Maniac fanfic that had a mix between the Pity Sue and the Man-Hunter wa was extremly OOC and they fell in love after two ended up Johnny dies(Grr..) and the Sue is left to wallow in self was also one of those Mary Sues that just drops into another was decent in the first chapter (I'm a patient person!) but it deteriorated into crap...I like the part where he smashed her foot with a hammer sad thing?It healed in about an hour!...Yeah,I got a little off track with that job anyways!
| Xtreme Nuisance chapter 1 . 4/24/2005
:O I was looking for this... I think. : ) If it was on fanfiction before, then yes, yes I was. I love it. At first I hated it and was all... "what the hell?" and then I read a BUTTLOAD of Mary Sues today and was all... "what the hell?" and yeah. Haha. goin on my favorites list. Peace. 0
| Belphegor chapter 1 . 3/19/2005
Well, TA, thanks for this thorough explanation - I wish I had read something like this the first time I happened upon a story and couldn't help but read on, appalled by the perfect-ness, bad-ass-ness and basically everything-ness of one particular character, as much as the canon characters' reactions to her/him (instant love, or instant dislike which, of course, will be love/respect by the end of the story).
However, there are a few tiny points on which I'd like to comment, in particularly in regard to death; some fandoms have literary tools (if I may say so) that can be used to bring dead people back. I'm especially thinking of the The Mummy fandom, with the Book of the Dead. This is why, even if I really enjoy/appreciate reading a good general guide like yours, I also like to read specific guides, that take into account the particularities of this or that specific fandom. In the case of The Mummy, an OC who would be brought back to life without the use of the Book of the Dead would have a Mary Sue/Gary Stu "quality". But that's just a wee quibble.
The technique you suggest for the "evaluation" of OCs seems very interesting, but I guess it would take a little time to get used to it for someone like me, who isn't into RPG; then again, I'm glad you suggest an exemple, if only to shut up those who would cry scandal because you would only point out a problem without proposing any answer.
Oh, and to answer Rain Dreamer: yes, maybe people who like *good* stories, well-written with interesting plots and characters tend to beat Mary Sues perhaps a little more than necessary when they meet one. So what? If you claim that everyone have the right to write whatever they want, then let them, too - it's only logic. I don't mean to be mean, but it's like that. And of course, everyone who has ever written anything involving OC (or not) *has* written something resembling Mary Sues - only, they don't post it. I have about half a dozen stories on my hard disk that I'll never, ever post, simply because I like quality, and those are just scribbles that I'm not ashamed of, but just deem them not good enough (and not interesting enough) for people that don't know me to read. Think about it. When you post a story, the entire world (and I mean it, being French) can and probably will read it. Some will probably not like it. Well, live with it - or learn to. It's the risk Net fanficiton writers are prepared to take when they publish.
Sorry for the rant... I hope nobody will feel offended, because frankly, I don't mean to offend anyone. Just think before you post. Or read essays like TA Maxwell's.
Much of love,Belphegor :o]
Oh, and... "Oh, no! Not the land-mermaids!" Teehee :P
| Etiquette-Darling chapter 1 . 3/14/2005
hey thanks for that I was wondering what a mary sue is! I knew they were always perfect and stuff but thanks for narrowing it down. I'm just happy I don't have any mary sue's! most of my female charectors don't fall in love and stuff and if they have "phenominal cosmic powers" it takes a hell of a long time for them to work! thanx again!
| Desert Bloom chapter 1 . 3/2/2005
Awesome. Just...awesome. Some other reviews have seemed pretty angry, but honestly, you're just pointing out the difference between horrible writing and otherwise. I love it! Congratulations!
| Zabbie Q chapter 1 . 2/26/2005
Another thing I think you should add is about weaknesses, immunities, fears, habits, flaws, and quirks.
When I do a character sheet, I think of who and what the character is before I write out the physical features. What do you think?
| Aristaes chapter 1 . 1/9/2005
Haha, I must say that your manual is very helpful and I plan to follow it (or not follow it hehe)
| Lurking Shadows chapter 1 . 1/8/2005
Very good, Mr. Maxwell. Very good indeed. I should send this page to my friend. But I'm not because I might get in trouble. But, this "manual" is very imformative and I do think I too can use it as well. Do you know of the PPCs? Perhaps you can join them...
| pomegranate sky chapter 1 . 12/20/2004
Haha. Liked this. Especially liked your examples and your "guide to how to not create a mary sue." And yes, we've all been there.