It is currently September 22nd, 2018, 12:23 am

All times are UTC-04:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 3 4 Next
Author Message
PostPosted: August 1st, 2007, 5:18 pm 
Offline
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar

Joined: July 26th, 2007, 5:15 pm
Posts: 3105
Location: Indianapolis
Zodiac: Taurus
Another legacy topic:
http://ectozone.proboards31.com/index.c ... 1132846754

Avoiding the Dreaded Mary Sue

The most hated character in all fan fiction is Mary Sue, the annoying, shoe-horned in too perfect character created by the writer usually to either fulfill their fantasies or make the canonical characters look bad. (I think the name Mary Sue was first coined by Star Trek fandom...it was a perky ensign who slept with Kirk and saved the ship as I understand it...)

Well, how do you know if your character concept might be a Mary Sue?

The three biggest Ghostbuster Mary Sue Warning Signs:

1. The Character Is Named After and Based On You. This is bad news. But before all the GBI guys panic the exception to this rule is a whole team of fan fiction characters. It makes it more of a role-playing excercise than Mary Sueism, as long as due respect is given to the canonical characters of the GB Universe. See Warning Sign#2 below. Making a character based on yourself and having him be inducted into the New York team, on the other hand, is a Danger Sign.

2. Your Character Is Good At Everything...Or, At the Very Least, Outdoes one or More Original Ghostbusters In Their Area of Expertise Saying "My theoretical physicist is smarter than Egon" is a Danger Sign. "My theoretical physicist is smarter than Egon, more buff than Winston, and can out-wisecrack Venkman" is Danger Danger Danger. Run Will Robinson, Run!!!

The issue is respect for the continuity of the existing universe...it's generally accepted that the canon characters are to be treated as the Best of the Best, and trying to show them up leaves a bad taste in the mouths of most readers. I'm writing fan fics because I like the Ghostbusters, not because I want to make them look like incompetant weenies.

A subset of this is making your character a relative of an established character. While this can indeed be pulled off successfully (ie Jen Spengler of Nightsquad) it's a tricky thing, and all too often fails. This is a personal thing, but I try to avoid creating new relatives--I'll certainly develop ones that already exist (ie Victor Irwin) and give names to obvious ones that must exist (ie character parents, since everyone has them unless they're a clone) but take pains to avoid the parade of siblings and cousins.

Most new relatives I introduced tend to be the ones the characters create themselves the Old Fashioned Way (ie the Spengler Twins, Eric Stantz, Charlene Zeddemore, ect)

And here's the biggie...
3. Your Character Romances One of the Original Ghostbusters, Especially if They Have A Canonical Love Interest. Granted again, there are some degrees here. Here's the canonnical love interests according to the movies and animation:

Venkman: Dana Barrett. However, she is not in the animation and Venkman behaves like a tomcat both before he meets Dana in the movie and as much as Saturday Morning standards in the 1980's let him in the animation.

Ray: Either dreams about or has an intimate encounter with a female ghost in GB1. Elaine Fuhrman in "Look Homeward, Ray" Some leeway is allowed, however, as Elaine never made an appearance past that early episode

Egon: Janine Melnitz. This is in the first movie, and everywhere else except the second movie and Ghostbusters The Return. And it also seems to be the one most frequently abused. I'm going to go on a soapbox here, but as long and hard as Janine has to fight to get his attention (and does finally get it per "Janine You've Changed" and "Back In The Saddle") it is the height of Mary Suedom for some woman to come out of nowhere and turn his head instantly. Egon should either be alone or with Janine--anything else does not fit the character.

Janine: Egon Spengler. This is in the first movie, and everywhere else except the second movie and Ghostbusters The Return, where she's involved with Louis Tully. She's not totally above occassionally looking for outside attention ("Robo Buster", "The Crawler") but there's often a subtext of "I'm just doing this because I'm tired of Egon ignoring me"--it was explicit in "The Crawler" and read into her dalliances with Tully by the RGB writers.

Winston: Winston has a girlfriend mentioned in "The Devil To Pay", and is seen briefly in RGB#23. However, almost nothing is known about the character other than she's a museum curator--she doesn't even have a canonical name. It is recommended that she be developed to fit the writer's ideas, instead of dragging in a new character wholesale (ie Brian Reilly developed her as Kaila McMillan for the GBOT/Ectozone fan fictions)

That's the longer way of determining whether your character is a Mary Sue. The shorter method is to compare it to this story. The more your story resembles that one, an intentional parody of everything some fan fic writers do wrong, the more danger you're in.

Now, a couple of caveats:

Not every original character is a Mary Sue. Not even characters named after yourself. In addition to the GBI example above, I was approached by one writer on GBN who asked me if a character who appeared in his story, named after him, was a Mary Sue. The answer was no--he only appeared briefly, and certainly didn't get inducted into the Ghostbusters when it was over.

Good writing can triumph over the above rules. But it's rare. Two stories on GBN do, indeed, feature a character based on the writer joining the New York Ghostbusters. But it was framed with a fascinatingly intimate, warts-and-all portrayal of the writer's Real Life, and presented in a matter that made you question what was real and what was going on. But if you're going "MY character isn't a Mary Sue!!! I'm one of the lucky ones!!!' chances are...you aren't.

_________________
Image


Top
   
PostPosted: August 25th, 2007, 1:25 pm 
Offline
Moononite
Moononite
User avatar

Joined: August 24th, 2007, 9:11 pm
Posts: 214
Location: State of Anticipation
Zodiac: Scorpio
Fritz, I got around to reading the 'source material' for your Mary Sue interpretation/parody story: The Legend of Mary Sue. It's eerily accurate. I thought you were exaggerating, but was I proved wrong. I don't have a problem w/ff, I have a problem w/poorly written ff which gives all ff a bad rap. I have a huge hatred of poor writing period, which is what the source material epitomizes. It's no more than juvenile wish fulfillment. I made a running tally of all the errors/problems with the original story; I stopped counting at double digits for fear of a bout of depression. :roll:

_________________
Code:
Tonight you will be visited by 3 ghostbusters.


Top
   
PostPosted: September 4th, 2007, 12:42 am 
Offline
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
User avatar

Joined: September 4th, 2007, 12:00 am
Posts: 4
Im not above Mary sueing on occassion... but I try not to create overly near perfect characters... if I do base a character on myself its mostly to drive the story forward... I know this is a Ghostbuster board but the one characters I made based on me, I think I did a good job on balancing him to the rest of the cast, even creating a similiar character interaction to one present in the series later on with an earlier character (to clarify I had him develop a younger brother-esque relationship with Gohan similiar to the relationship that Goten and Trunks had, which I liked, since it was more of a partnership than one flagship character who would just miraculously save the day, and yes if anyone is curious Im talking about a Dragon Ball Z fanfic series I wrote).

Though I know some people are prone to the mary sueing you described, and hopefully I will never be a victim of it... =)

On a side note : BlackMaria, is that an actual image? I dont recall the 4th Doctor being on the Simpsons, if he was, could you tell me the episode? I think I missed that one. XD

_________________
~ Who am I gonna call? Heh I dont need to call, I AM a Ghostbuster ~


Top
   
PostPosted: September 4th, 2007, 9:11 am 
Offline
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar

Joined: July 26th, 2007, 5:15 pm
Posts: 3105
Location: Indianapolis
Zodiac: Taurus
Like I said above: "Not every original character is a Mary Sue"

And welcome to the Ectozone. Always good to see a new face around here (assuming you're new, not someone who signed up under a different name :lol: )

_________________
Image


Top
   
PostPosted: September 4th, 2007, 7:05 pm 
Offline
I Have No Life
I Have No Life
User avatar

Joined: August 24th, 2007, 2:20 pm
Posts: 753
Zodiac: Gemini
Time to strut my stuff


Shiirow wrote:

On a side note : BlackMaria, is that an actual image? I dont recall the 4th Doctor being on the Simpsons, if he was, could you tell me the episode? I think I missed that one. XD


It's form the episode were Sid Show Bob threatens the town with a bomb to git rid of TV .

The seen is in the wore room

_________________
Image

Image

pleas parden my speling but I'm a littel dislexik and can't tipe whel


Top
   
PostPosted: September 4th, 2007, 9:48 pm 
Offline
Moononite
Moononite
User avatar

Joined: August 24th, 2007, 9:11 pm
Posts: 214
Location: State of Anticipation
Zodiac: Scorpio
Shiirow wrote:

On a side note : BlackMaria, is that an actual image? I dont recall the 4th Doctor being on the Simpsons, if he was, could you tell me the episode? I think I missed that one. XD


It's was a Treehouse of Horror in which Comic Book Guy was portrayed as an enemy called The Collector who imprisoned his favorite characters in a protective plastic sleeve. Among his prized possessions Doctor Who, Xena, Batman, etc. Good ep. Peanut Gallery: am I nearly right or am I nearly right?

_________________
Code:
Tonight you will be visited by 3 ghostbusters.


Top
   
PostPosted: September 5th, 2007, 2:19 am 
Offline
Doberman
Doberman
User avatar

Joined: August 25th, 2007, 6:20 am
Posts: 81
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
Zodiac: Capricorn
No, Jason's right. If your image was from that Tree house of horrors, The good Doctor would be in a Giant Mylar Bag to keep him in mint condition, and you'd be able to see the wrinkles in the mylar where he kept moving. That and the wall they were hung on was one color. You can clearly see multiple colors, that and he's smiling. In the THOH, he'd have a look of terror on his face.

_________________
Wow, it's all nice and shiny.
Image

I haz deviantArt.


Top
   
PostPosted: September 5th, 2007, 2:57 am 
Offline
I Have No Life
I Have No Life
User avatar

Joined: August 24th, 2007, 2:20 pm
Posts: 753
Zodiac: Gemini
BlackMaria wrote:
Shiirow wrote:

On a side note : BlackMaria, is that an actual image? I dont recall the 4th Doctor being on the Simpsons, if he was, could you tell me the episode? I think I missed that one. XD


It's was a Treehouse of Horror in which Comic Book Guy was portrayed as an enemy called The Collector who imprisoned his favorite characters in a protective plastic sleeve. Among his prized possessions Doctor Who, Xena, Batman, etc. Good ep. Peanut Gallery: am I nearly right or am I nearly right?



D'oh!



egon901 wrote:
No, Jason's right. If your image was from that Tree house of horrors, The good Doctor would be in a Giant Mylar Bag to keep him in mint condition, and you'd be able to see the wrinkles in the mylar where he kept moving. That and the wall they were hung on was one color. You can clearly see multiple colors, that and he's smiling. In the THOH, he'd have a look of terror on his face.


WOO HOO !

_________________
Image

Image

pleas parden my speling but I'm a littel dislexik and can't tipe whel


Top
   
PostPosted: September 5th, 2007, 8:05 pm 
Offline
Moononite
Moononite
User avatar

Joined: August 24th, 2007, 9:11 pm
Posts: 214
Location: State of Anticipation
Zodiac: Scorpio
It's from the SSB ep, but the the good Doctor has made 5 appearances through the years. From Wikipedia:

The Simpsons (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2007)

The Simpsons has briefly referred to Doctor Who at least five times. The Fourth Doctor (or Tom Baker in costume) made cameo appearances in the episodes "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming" (as one of the "esteemed representatives of television"), "Mayored to the Mob" (at a science fiction convention), and "Treehouse of Horror X" (in which he is kidnapped by the Comic Book Guy, along with Lucy Lawless and Yasmine Bleeth). Tables resembling the TARDIS console appear briefly in "The Homer They Fall", and in "Bart the Fink" the Comic Book Guy is seen wheeling a wheelbarrow full of tacos and saying, "100 tacos should provide sufficient sustenance for the Doctor Who marathon." In "Springfield Up", Homer calls the British narrator Declan Desmond (voiced by Eric Idle) "Doctor Who"; Idle was among a long list of actors considered for the role of the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television movie.

_________________
Code:
Tonight you will be visited by 3 ghostbusters.


Top
   
PostPosted: September 6th, 2007, 3:24 am 
Offline
Doberman
Doberman
User avatar

Joined: August 25th, 2007, 6:20 am
Posts: 81
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
Zodiac: Capricorn
Yeah, I remember the ep with the hundred tacos because that was the first mention of Doctor Who I heard in New mexico after we moved here. And as of yet, the local PBS station has only shown the "key to time" saga from the Tom Baker years.

_________________
Wow, it's all nice and shiny.
Image

I haz deviantArt.


Top
   
PostPosted: September 6th, 2007, 5:00 am 
Offline
I Have No Life
I Have No Life
User avatar

Joined: August 24th, 2007, 2:20 pm
Posts: 753
Zodiac: Gemini
well that's what DVDs aor for

_________________
Image

Image

pleas parden my speling but I'm a littel dislexik and can't tipe whel


Top
   
PostPosted: September 25th, 2007, 5:02 am 
Offline
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
User avatar

Joined: September 19th, 2007, 9:45 pm
Posts: 184
Location: New York, New York. Manhattan Island (SoHo district)
Zodiac: Scorpio
Fritz wrote:
Another legacy topic:
http://ectozone.proboards31.com/index.c ... 1132846754

1. The Character Is Named After and Based On You.


I think this is the only one I don't break, other than Vincent bears a resemblance to the real me.

Quote:
2. Your Character Is Good At Everything...Or, At the Very Least, Outdoes one or More Original Ghostbusters In Their Area of Expertise


Broken. Wizard, check. Master of Martial Arts, check. Sardonic sense of humor...kinda check. Supergenius....check...I think. genius of the paranormal world more like it. I hate physics and I suck at math.

Quote:
and trying to show them up leaves a bad taste in the mouths of most readers.


I don't even WRITE half of the stories I'm in, and it STILL leaves a bad taste in a few readers' mouths...

Quote:
3. Your Character Romances One of the Original Ghostbusters, Especially if They Have A Canonical Love Interest.


Definitely not...Okay. Yeah, there's another one.


Quote:
[b]Not every original character is a Mary Sue.


According to Fritz, I'm not. I'm not going to speak for myself.

Jeff Chrismer likes to call me the "Wolverine of Ghostbusters." You put me on the cover, and you're sure to increase sales. Every major franchise has to have a "Belmont" story. Strangely enough...this has actually held up true.

Quote:
certainly didn't get inducted into the Ghostbusters when it was over.


Broken. Ever read "Hearts in Eclipse?" Yeah. That one got a few boos. Oh well. It's not like we stayed there.

Quote:
Good writing can triumph over the above rules. But it's rare. Two stories on GBN do, indeed, feature a character based on the writer joining the New York Ghostbusters.


Who were they, out of curiosity?



Oh, oh...I especially liked this list...I'll highlight my offenses: :mrgreen:

Quote:
For another perspective, from Anne Labidolemur's web stie

1. The character has an unusual name or appearance
---The character is named after you (first, middle, nick and net names all count.)
---The character is stunningly attractive or handsome. (Damn straight I am! It certainly does it for Jill! :D
---The character has an unusual hair/eye/skin color for no apparent reason

2. The character knows more about the supernatural than any of the guys.
---has magical or supernatural powers
---The character is non human
---The character is a member of secret society concerned with the occult


I had to post #2. I actually got a laugh out of it.


Top
   
PostPosted: September 25th, 2007, 8:52 am 
Offline
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar

Joined: July 26th, 2007, 5:15 pm
Posts: 3105
Location: Indianapolis
Zodiac: Taurus
DrVincentBelmont wrote:
Quote:
2. Your Character Is Good At Everything...Or, At the Very Least, Outdoes one or More Original Ghostbusters In Their Area of Expertise


Broken. Wizard, check. Master of Martial Arts, check. Sardonic sense of humor...kinda check. Supergenius....check...I think. genius of the paranormal world more like it. I hate physics and I suck at math.


But again, you're not showing up the founders in their own areas. None of them are wizards (Ray and even Egon may know a couple of hedge magic tricks, but that's it). And you didn't quite hit the Egon-level prodigy (Vincent was, what, about 15 when he got his degree?) and, as you point out, your knowledge specialties are very different than his.


Quote:
Quote:
3. Your Character Romances One of the Original Ghostbusters, Especially if They Have A Canonical Love Interest.


Definitely not...Okay. Yeah, there's another one.


JIll Valentine is not a Ghostbusters character. And as you pointed out on the old board, you don't even technically break Resident Evil canon, as her "real" boyfriend was undefined and off screen.


Quote:
According to Fritz, I'm not. I'm not going to speak for myself.

Jeff Chrismer likes to call me the "Wolverine of Ghostbusters." You put me on the cover, and you're sure to increase sales. Every major franchise has to have a "Belmont" story. Strangely enough...this has actually held up true.


Well, you're a popular guy. And within the context of the GBOT universe, it makes some sense, as you are the leading wizard of GBI. Though Will Ketcham is the one who seems to be trying to join every franchise :lol: But more important, I think, is to point out that you don't "make" anyone put you in stories--they do it of their own volition, because they want you in those stories. The Classic Mary Sue is generally hated by everyone except their creator--if Vincent was really a Mary Sue, nobody would use him.

Quote:
Broken. Ever read "Hearts in Eclipse?" Yeah. That one got a few boos. Oh well. It's not like we stayed there.


I'll admit, I inherited that situation from some of your stories (ie "Mito-Conundrum", "All Roads Lead To Raccoon City") which, when written, didn't take EGB into account. Just like with Nightsquad's backstory, I thought it would be fun to take the continuity issues, smack them into each other, and see what happens.

In my defense, I tried to stay away from Mary Sueism in that story in the following ways:

--Vincent and Gabe weren't the main focus of the story. The main focus was Louis's return and the big blowup when Venkman found out about certain events in the six year gap.

--The Classic Mary Sue is beloved by all the other characters (except maybe ones the writer doesn't like). I played most of the EGBs, especially Roland, as a bit bitter and resentful at you and Gabe "intruding" onto their team. (I liked the angle of Roland's jealousy, which provided some meat to this often dull character) And the only possible "love interest" in the scenario was teased about but essentially shot down at the end. (And most of the teasing was more Eduardo's overactive imagination). And I like Roland and Eduardo, by the way.

Quote:
Quote:
Good writing can triumph over the above rules. But it's rare. Two stories on GBN do, indeed, feature a character based on the writer joining the New York Ghostbusters.


Who were they, out of curiosity?


I forget their titles, but Vego wrote them.



Quote:
Oh, oh...I especially liked this list...I'll highlight my offenses: :mrgreen:

Quote:
For another perspective, from Anne Labidolemur's web stie

1. The character has an unusual name or appearance
---The character is named after you (first, middle, nick and net names all count.)
---The character is stunningly attractive or handsome. (Damn straight I am! It certainly does it for Jill! :D
---The character has an unusual hair/eye/skin color for no apparent reason

2. The character knows more about the supernatural than any of the guys.
---has magical or supernatural powers
---The character is non human
---The character is a member of secret society concerned with the occult


I had to post #2. I actually got a laugh out of it.


Eh...again, I view that more as a knock against people who make stuff like that up just to show up the canon characters and make their Mary Sue the *important* one. And it's not like you went and made up your own supersecrety mystic society: you tied it in with the best magic fantasy RPG ever, so I can't complain about that :)

_________________
Image


Top
   
PostPosted: November 19th, 2007, 3:45 pm 
Offline
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar

Joined: July 26th, 2007, 5:15 pm
Posts: 3105
Location: Indianapolis
Zodiac: Taurus
It's technically about Harry Potter Mary Sues, but it was too good to not share...

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2217444/1/A ... e_Alphabet

_________________
Image


Top
   
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2009, 8:29 pm 
Offline
I Have No Life
I Have No Life
User avatar

Joined: August 24th, 2007, 7:07 pm
Posts: 705
Zodiac: Virgo
Read at your own risk!
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5187286/7/Stay_Puft

Oh dear God the inhumanity of the mary sueism! :puke:

This should be the definition, the fic to end all mary sue fics, I only got through this chapter (landed on it by random google search) , I wish I could burn my eyes out!

And to mock something so dear to me is just soooooooooooooo wrong!

AAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

_________________
Peter: "Huh. Guess we're not welcome."
Winston: "Not welcome, there's a first. We should all get nametags that say, 'Hello, I'm not welcome'. Or maybe Tshirts or mugs or something."
--Ghostbusters the video game


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 3 4 Next

All times are UTC-04:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron

EctoGreen © 2008, 2014 Fritz Baugh

Imageset from ClassyDark by ayasha : ASDesignz Themes : Black-Fusion.com © 2007
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited