I found this nifty little site for doing a tick the box quiz to see if a character is a Mary Sue. They’re popular in fanfic – you know, the character who is desperately unusual, and they’re usually Eric’s ex-girlfriend (read the writer). They’re the sorts of character that enters a room and instantly Eric is enthralled, forgets all about Sookie or she teaches Sookie how to suck eggs, telling Sookie how to make Eric happy, like he was with her. Mary Sue usually puts Bill, Sam and Alcide in their place, and Pam adores her. She basically upstages Sookie at every turn, and does everything perfectly, and the story bends around the character. Mary Sues are self-insertions by the author of the author, but usually they’re idealised insertions of the author’s aspirations and live out the dreams of the author. Bella from Twilight is a Mary Sue.
I tested Book Sookie on the score – obviously, I could tick any of the boxes about what she shares with CH excepting religion – which I know for sure. But she tested 14, and is: The Non-Sue. Your character is a well-developed, balanced person, and is almost certainly not a Mary Sue. Congratulations! So even if she shares a few more things in common with CH, she still wouldn’t be a Mary Sue.
But most hilariously, I tested fanfic Eric. Not Book Eric, but fanfic Eric. There were some boxes I wanted to tick extra hard:
Is the character rich or well-to-do, although she/he doesn’t work?
Does the character manage to avoid learning from major mistakes?
Does the character ever easily learn a difficult skill (e.g. learn to play guitar in a matter of weeks)?
Is the character astonishingly good at something that is not her/his profession?
Does the character effect a major change in her/his love interest to make said love interest a more appropriate partner?
Fanfic Eric scored 136 and is: Irredeemable-Sue. You’re going to have to start over, my friend. I know you want to keep writing, but no. Just no.
And while I’m here, these are the Mary Sue Erics that have yet to appear: A model? A rock star? A stage actress/actor? A film actress/actor? A dancer? A cop? A ninja? A pirate? An alchemist? A bounty hunter? A mercenary? An assassin? A thief or pickpocket? An outlaw or member of organized crime? A diviner? A hero? A starving artist? A freelance writer? A freelance reporter? An explorer? A pro-athlete? A gymnast?
Fuck writing more teachers and actors, let’s get on board with Ninja Eric! I’m sure he’s magically picked up katana skills or something. He’s fanfic Eric. He can do EVERYTHING.
Here, go, fuck around – nice resource for the writers amongst you to check romanticised traits in your own original characters, if you’re writing them. I’m looking at you elbly, you troublemaker, leading AoifeNZ to the dark side.