Thank you, so much, for all the kind words, guys! The storm ended up being not as bad as anticipated, so I was kidnapped for a night of Korean food, Wreck-It Ralph, and chocolate cake baked by Kate’s awesome grammie. And considering how frail grammie is, that probably means baked by Kate. 8)
I have a TON of asks about the Darcy posts I put up earlier. To clarify:
-There is nothing wrong with a character that can fall into the guidelines of a ‘Mary Sue.’ All that matters is that the character be one that is one the readers want to spend time with, either to love them or hate them.
-It is HARDER, but not impossible, to make an over powered, or too perfect character relatable to the audience. This is why there IS such disdain for these characters.
-No one is required to like any character. However, not liking a character does not make that character a Mary Sue or a self-insert. It’s not a catch all term for “I don’t like you.” Not all disliked characters are Mary Sues, and not all Mary Sues are disliked.
-HOWEVER, the point of the posts was the gender disparity as to how the term is used. It is leveled, unfairly in many cases, far more at female characters than it would be at male characters with the exact same attributes. The flaw is not in the character, but in what we expect that character to be. Ie, I write a character that does not meet the general accepted definition of a Mary Sue, but I am told that she is. I write a male character that is far less likely and far more overbalanced, and he is pretty much universally beloved.
-The expectation of male and female power and what attributes, connections, abilities and strengths are considered ‘normal’ in fandom could be argued is inherently imbalanced. In my experience, female readers tend to be much harsher with female characters than with male characters. The question is why we are judging to a different standard, and how that affects the universes that we are creating.
Okay? OKAY. There is nothing wrong with not liking Darcy, but that does not make her a Mary Sue. There is nothing wrong with writing a character that can be defined as a Mary Sue, but it gives you an uphill battle towards reader acceptance. Write what brings you joy. However, it is useful to consider carefully what a reader will be taking from the interaction with your character. Before knocking an author for a ‘Mary Sue’ character, ask yourself if you’d say the same thing if the character’s name was Dan instead of Darcy. 8)
And in the words of Bill S. Preston, Esq, “Be Excellent to One Another!”