Monday, May 7, 2012

Um...Look, A Mary Sue!

So, writing is going slow right now.  I'm in the middle of a 2 week busy schedule and have something about every night.  I really hate that and try not to have more than 2 scheduled nights out on weekdays.  And writing takes a backseat during those times.

I have however found some helpful info on formatting indents for google docs.  I haven't applied them yet, but when I'm successful, I'll post how I do it.  Would love to hear if anyone else is using google docs as their primary writing storage place.

In other news, I'm reading a free ebook right now and though it' s a fairly good story, there are a few issues.  For one thing, the quotations for dialogue are wonky in many places.  Another, it meanders a lot.  And finally, the main character is a Mary Sue.

What is a Mary Sue?  A too perfect character.  If he/she has any flaws, they are being "too spirited" or "too loyal"  or "too outspoken" or "too" anything that is a good thing.  These types of characters started in the fanfiction world where the writer would write out their fantasy of being in the story.  You can read more about Mary Sue or Gary Stu here in wikipedia and how it originated in Star Trek.

Mary Sues can also be those people who have perfect features or supernatural powers.  I am reminded again of Star Trek the Next Generation's crew - how each of them had a perfect contribution to the group.  I think of Mary Sues mostly as the too perfect character, sort of like Wesley Crusher.

Now, you may be thinking that authors often write some of themselves into books, and that's true.  But there is a line between identifying with your character and writing yourself into a story.   Let your characters be their own people and don't live through them.  Just like in parenting, let them be the people they were meant to be.  It's painful for those watching (and reading) to see a parent (author) trying to live through their children.  Everyone knows that it doesn't work and is unhealthy for everyone.  Let your children (characters) live their lives and just tell us what they're up to to.

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