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'Mary Sue' says nothing. by LillianBell 'Mary Sue' says nothing. by LillianBell
I'm not much of a stamp person, but this one needed to be made.

Before people ask, here is my problem: Everyone has a different definition of 'Mary Sue'. Some will say it's a flat or boring character, some will say it's an overly-perfect character, some will say it's a character who draws too much attention to themselves, or any combination of those. I'm sick of seeing people critique someone else's work by blurting out "MARY SUE" without justifying their answer. Simply disliking a character doesn't make them bad.

Instead, people should try to use words you can actually find in the dictionary- words that mean something consistent. Critique is for helping, not insulting

And no, I'm not saying people should stop using the word altogether. I'm mainly talking about literary criticism here.

Also! Every time you link an unsuspecting writer to the Mary Sue Litmus Test, a puppy dies. So stop it.

Oh yeah! Template comes from: [link] :salute:
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LOz-Lola123 Featured By Owner Edited Mar 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Agreed, as much as I think Kun or even Chun from Big fish and Begonia are kind of bland and flat in terms of character I still don't really call them "Gary Stu Mary Sue" for formal criticism.
Wish-I-Was-Finnish Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree. Though I may use "Mary Sue" to describe the entire category of flat characters, if you think a specific character is a Mary Sue, it's best to describe what parts of it need work. Make it more of a critique than an insult.
BunnyAdrienne Featured By Owner May 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree, besides, my oc is not that much of a powerful Mary Sue. That's not cool.
mlpfan212 Featured By Owner May 11, 2016  Student Artisan Crafter
when some says mary sue in a video i skip a part
mlpfan212 Featured By Owner Edited Apr 21, 2016  Student Artisan Crafter
yup the term mary sue needs to be thrown out like a broken computer
9fanforever9909 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly! I was recently told in a nice way that my OC is a Mary Sue. My OC is not perfect, do you hear?!?!?!
Akhnaton-II Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Otterwillow Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
the big problem with Mary sues, is these days the only requirement is to be female,

And may of them are created by young artist and writers who need kindness and help to improve, not hate:) (Smile) 
MarioSonicPeace Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014
So true. I totally agree. 
GraniteCheese Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Japan emote Agreeable.
ufd Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
I agree.
QueenNympth Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I may sound like a hypocrite, since I use the term 'Mary-Sue' alot, but I totally agree with you on this.
EasyParadox Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I go by the definition of "An overidealized fan character that is solely for gratifying the author's imagination/fantasies."

I’ve seen Mary Sue used attributively to define a character (fan and original) that are in no particular order:

Having powers.
Having exotic features that may or may not be incompatible with the story’s setting.
Being overly cliched.
A reflection of the author or self insert.
A romance magnet.
Wins over others with little to no effort.
Being very fortunate.
Being very unfortunate .
Having unusual eye or hair color.
Illogical hybrids or “chimera” type characters.
Distorts their surroundings or other characters.
Breaks suspension of disbelief.
Steals the spotlight.
Upstages canon characters.
Copycat of canon character.
Being a mouthpiece for the author's beliefs.
For fan character only: being paired with a canon character.
Being a “Swiss Army Knife” of talents.
A character they don't like.
A character with something about them they don't like.
Any combination of the above.

Did I miss something? =p
ufd Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
There is more to the definition than just that, because if we were to go by "An overidealized fan character that is solely for gratifying the author's imagination/fantasies" you could fit an OC that's done right. It can also be the definition of a "cliche character." How I look at a mary-sue is "an OC, mostly author inserted OC, that is so perfect, she cannot be effected by the conflict of the narrative." In other words, it's a character with little to no backstory, little to no character development, everything always goes her way, overly perfect or overly imperfect, nothing touches her. No conflict ever effects her. Everything goes her way, the way she wants it, because she's the main character. This also goes for boys as well. 

Believe it or not, the term mary-sue came from an old Star Trek fan fiction, where there was a character named Mary Sue. 
CelticKawaii Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Did you mention Being at all attractive? Or Having a mental disorder? Yup, even if they're not Fairest of Them All or if their disorder is shown to have serious drawbacks, it's still totally Sue. :P
EasyParadox Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Nice sarcasm.

Note: For brevity Sue is used as a unisex term.

What you mentioned fall under the umbrella of fortunate/unfortunate. If Sue were a term to describe the weather it would be liking having the same word for cloudy or clear skies.

I don't make a big deal out of attractiveness unless there's black holing that goes with it.  People get way to worked up over it IMO.

I'm part of the "old guard" so to say. I consider mental disorder to be Anti-Sue or just plain bad execution if done improperly.  I'm guessing the angst boom that started in the early aughts (2000s) made it that way; that's just my own speculation though. 

I'd highly recommend looking at the work of :iconnovadestin: if you think the term Mary Sue is misused too much.
kronos-kirbi Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly. Sometimes it's a matter of someone needing a bigger vocabulary than just "mary sue".
that litmus test is impossible. A friend of mine claimed to get a negative number. I DON'T believe him.
Dieliala Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!

In my opinion, ALL characters are "Mary Sues" by general defination because they are perfect in the eyes of the person who created them. And the general defination of a "Mary Sue" (as far as I know) is a character who is perfect.

However, just because a character doesn't have any visable flaws or is "perfect" doesn't make them one. But, what /does/ make a character a "Mary Sue" is how they interact with their own stories.
Aetherya Featured By Owner May 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Critiques need more opinion like this.
aisemicr Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010
Yeah, I get what you mean by the (main two) different meanings.
JaybieJarrett Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Yes. To me "Mary Sue" has gotten overused to the point where when I hear people say it I hear "character I find annoying" . When it comes to Canon Sue complaints , unless that person has a good explanation and reasoning to back up their point I don't take them very seriously. and if I do , I still may not agree with them, I just respect their opinion(more than I would a baseless claim).
Cierrakahana Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
*cough cough* AnimeAmerica reviewing soul eater
Xerxan Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
good point
great stamp
Tachakara Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2010
Hmm... I don't see how it's insulting when telling someone what their character is. If their character is a Sue, it's a Sue, it's not like the people critiquing are telling the creator themselves they suck or they're sues themselves, just stating what the character they created is.

But I can see where it is more helpful in a critique to point out to the person more specifically what it is that they need to fix on their character from what Sue traits they have. But even if you do that, a lot of people will STILL feel offended. There are a lot of thinned skinned people on this site that can't take a critique of any kind.
LillianBell Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010
As I said, everyone has a different definition of Mary Sue. It's not a term you can find in a dictionary, nor is it a term you'll hear from 99.9% of professional writers. It's a silly name that gets thrown around the Internet for reasons that greatly vary from case to case. The word isn't exactly insulting in itself, if the author can take critique, but using "Mary Sue" as a criticism without any attempt to explain it shows the writer that you're making no attempt to help them improve.

Use the phrase all you want, but people need to realize that on its own, "Mary Sue" usually won't do a bit of good to the writer... or artist or whatever the person happens to be.
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Submitted on
March 29, 2010
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