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Submitted on
June 9, 2013
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Mary Sue Test Stamp by mirz-alt Mary Sue Test Stamp by mirz-alt
One of the biggest arguments I get into with people is over the helpfulness of Mary-Sue tests. Anyone who watches me knows I have a distaste for the whole Sue issue. I feel that a good many writers are so paranoid about creating a Sue, they are doing a dis-service to their writing and characters. On the other hand, I feel that Sue tests give others a misguided belief their character is okay, when in fact, they ARE a Sue. Granted, I do believe they can help new writers see weak spots, but they are far from perfect. So much of that stems from the misunderstanding what a true Mary Sue is.

A Mary Sue is not a perfect character, but a character that is perfect in the eye of the creator. The creator loves and idolizes that character and expects the reader to idolize them, too. Because of that, they come off as unrealistic, even if they have drama and flaws.

There is a great guide I found here on dA that sums up my thoughts on the issue to a T.

Is she Mary Sue?                                  Clarifying Mary Sue

So, I realize that everyone has heard of Mary Sue characters, but the thing that bothers me is that Mary has never really been as clarified as she could be. Girls go around crying Mary Sue at every character with long pink hair, then go and create even worse Mary Sue characters in the false illusion that they're making nonMary Sue characters (or even anti-Sues) when in fact they're doing the opposite. Allow me to explain how this seems to happen.

First of all the term "Mary Sue" desperately needs to be clarified to these people, so this brings us to the very important question: What IS a

For those tl;dr, here is one paragraph that I feel summarizes the issue succinctly:

"It matters not whether they have long, flowing pink hair, special abilities, or even who they fall in love with. It doesn't even matter if they're a tomboy full of flaws. A Mary Sue is a character who is plainly, mercilessly and unfairly worshiped by the author (directly or indirectly, usually indirectly or even unintentionally so watch out). It's in the portrayal. What could be a Mary Sue in one author's hands could be a perfectly reasonable character in another's."

I will go so far as to say that not only does the author worship the character, but they want the reader to worship them. Because they are perfection in their mind, they can't understand why everyone else doesn't love them as much.

Anyhow, I wanted this stamp to be visual as well as text. You have the plain brown-haired girl who is normal and has some quirks, but nothing overt. Just because that character scores low on a test doesn't mean she isn't a Sue. On the flip side you have an angelic character with fair skin, pink hair, purple eyes and wings. Boy, talk about scoring through the roof (especially if her parents died and she has a dark secret even she doesn't know about). However, that character may not be a Sue at all, depending on how the author handles her.

Oh, and it should be a given, but all of this applies to Gary Stus as well.

:happybounce: You do NOT need a subscription to use this stamp. Due to dA changes, you can now use it in your journal or ID box, even if you are not a pay-member. Simply cut-and-paste the thumbcode into your journal and you'll post the stamp!!

:bulletblue: You can find more of my stamps in this folder ---> [link]


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Rose3212 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Those tests are biased...I bet Bella from Twilight would score very high....But that doesn't mean she's a Sue either.
randomemaster360 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This entire Mary Sue stuff has really started to annoy me, I really can't get it why people start to hate on a character just because it has some traits that makes them superior to everyone and everything and could be called ,,perfect" or similar to other Mary Sue like characters without even considering the overall character and personality of it.
And now I wonder from where this all Mry Sue stuff started anyway ?
mirz-alt Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014   General Artist
It's very annoying.

There was a Star Trek fan-fic YEARS ago, where there was an obvious self-insert character named "Mary Sue." The problem wasn't just that the character was unbelievable, but the writing so poor. From then on, all characters like that were called Mary Sue. A funny thing, though. Years before that, a character was often called "a Pauline" after "The Perils of Pauline." But the difference there was that the character was mostly a victim, always having to be rescued. IN fact, that is why the character in the first Donkey Kong (that Mario has to save) was named Pauline. :D
randomemaster360 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

Thanks for clarifying that, I really see it very unfear to do that just because someone thinks it has similarities to it. And that's how all the characters that had to be saved all the time we're called, quite funny indeed.
MetalByakko Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
It's good that someone says something like that. I think those tests aren't really more than check lists and even IF the Mary Sue tests are some kind of help, you (as a creator of a character) has to sit down and give some serious thoughts about them and should not treat these tests as some kind of ckeck list (which I already said).
The tests are just too vague. Sometimes a character with many powers is a mary sue, sometimes not.
Actually some Mary Sue trades are even sometimes neccessary....whatever you could count as a Mary Sue trade.

You know I once saw a picture here on dA with an example for a Mary Sue and.....a not Mary Sue. Even the backgroundstories were there.
The irony was that the mary sue was way more interesting and the other one was SO bland and boring, that it made it also into some kind of Sue. The best thing would actually be, if the people would just sit down and start really thinking about there characters.
mirz-alt Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014   General Artist
I honestly believe those tests are created so the person making them can think how clever they are.
MetalByakko Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014
yeah also they focuse just on the character, it's also important to look on the surroundings of the character.
Take Son Goku from DBZ:
Super strong and can destroy planets without trying.
Is he a mary sue?
In his franchise: no
because his enemys are much worse.
In another franchise he would be a mary sue.
AGiLE-EaGLE1994 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like your research.
One of my best friends on here, has made a similar piece in a journal entry.…
Do you see her point, or do you think her definition is way off from yours?
mirz-alt Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014   General Artist
I agree there are different types of Mary Sues. I don't necessarily agree with all of the ones she notes, but I do think some are accurate. Mary Sue, like anything else, can be subjective.
AGiLE-EaGLE1994 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I see your point! :XD:
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