The Evil Old Woman
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Joined 03-04-02, id: 179940
You’re probably wondering why I post fan-fiction at my age.

It’s because I’m a huge nerd. Duh. Well, enough about me.

RANT THAT WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO STAY UP FOR ALL TIME: How many times do I have to tell you kids – ALL females that join the Fellowship and ALL girls (even the very occasional guy) that travel from modern-earth to Middle-Earth ARE Mary-Sues! End of story!

And don’t tell me that your characters aren’t self-insert-Sues because they’re “not perfect” or “not like me at all”, the mere fact that they’re in one of those over-used plotlines is enough to make them Sues! All such stories are written because their authors want to either hang out with the Fellowship or go to Middle-Earth, all such characters live out such author’s fantasies, and therefore all such characters ARE Mary-Sues. Period.

And if you think you can de-Sue a character in such a story by trying to making her an “interesting” or “original” person you're dead wrong. Huge mistake! Don’t even try! First, if you were able to write characters anywhere near as interesting as Prof. Tolkien’s immortal creations, you wouldn’t here, you'd be published. Second, even trying to make your character interesting or original will inevitably make your Sue guilty of Upstaging The Fellowship, because it takes a lot of story-time to establish an OC’s personality; you won't be able to avoid neglecting the Canon characters your readers love and want to read about.

So if you have an "interesting" or "original" OC put her in an interesting or original plot! For of such is GOOD fan-fiction made!

Besides, both plots have been absolutely, completely Done To Death. Have some creative pride, don't post the 10,000th damn version of the same damn story.

RANT OF THE MOMENT: It has recently become obvious that a few people on this board do not understand the difference between flames, constructive criticism, and mere opinion. As I’m in a helpful mood, let me start by defining each.

Mere opinion: When a reader tells the world whether a given story is good or bad, or why it was good or bad. Also known as “literary criticism”, whether it’s critical of the story or not.

Constructive criticism: Also known as helpful advice. This is when an author is told how they might best improve their story or writing skills, and is something all good authors appreciate.

Flames: Personal attacks that have nothing to do with stories.

Now that we’ve got that straight, there will be a pop quiz.

Q: “This story sucks!”
A: Opinion. If you said “flame”, you need remediation so re-read the above.

Q: “You suck!!!!11”
A: Flame, duh. Has nothing to do with the merits of a story.

Q: “This story is so full of spelling mistakes it’s unreadable. Use the spell-checker for God’s sake!”
A: Constructive criticism. Tells the author exactly what is wrong with a story and how to improve it.

Q: “Use the spell-checker, idiot!”
A: Flame. Includes a personal attack, so it’s a flame even if the story actually needs spell-checking.

Q: “This is the worst story I ever read in my life.”
A: Opinion. Again, if you said “flame” re-read the above.

Q: “You’re the worst writer in the whole world!”
A: Flame, for even if it’s true it includes that personal attack.

Q: “Your heroine is a Mary-Sue, your plot has been done a thousand times, you have no clue about the source material, and your grammar is pitiful. Don’t post any new chapters, just take it down and deny you ever wrote it.”
A: A toughie, but still constructive criticism. It contains no personal attacks and does let the author know exactly what’s wrong with the story; and if it doesn’t tell the author how to improve it – well, some stories are beyond redemption.

Q: “You need to repeat the 3rd grade!!!!”
A: Trick question! Usually a flame, but if an author has failed to learn the sort of writing skills they teach in the 3rd grade (such as putting capital letters on the front of sentences and periods on the end) then this statement qualifies as constructive criticism.