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 Terrible Mary Sue TESTS

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Harley Quinn hyenaholic
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PostSubject: Terrible Mary Sue TESTS   Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:19 pm

Swabbing about in the crapsack that is the Internet, I came upon one of those "Is your character a Mary Sue" quizes.

The test sucks

Note that the first five questions ask the age and gender of your character. What the HELL does age and gender have to do with Sue? Later there's a De-Sue that asks if your character is 40+.

Later on, it asks "Does your character have purple eyes?" This comes after asking about strangely coloured eyes. Redundancy, anybody? And why is purple so bad? And just as a kick in the teeth, they wonder if you've called them 'Amythyst orbs'.

It goes on to have a bunch of questions that only work for fan-characters, telling you to tick 'no' if it's not a fan character. This means that if you're writing for original fiction, it fails some more because it assumes that only fan-characters can be Mary Sues. That takes up seven questions.

In fact, the test asks very little about your character's personality, powers or even appearance, and repeats half of what they do choose. Furthermore most of the questions are yes/no answers.

I take this test with a character from my story. I'm 22%. Apparently I need to spice them up.

I take another test with the same character. I'm 78% (despite only getting 8 questions 'wrong'). Apparently I'm walking a tightrope!

So where are YOUR lousy litmus tests coming from?!
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PostSubject: Re: Terrible Mary Sue TESTS   Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:13 am

Well, I can sort of see the reasoning between having a de-suifier for 40+ characters. Because how many have power fantasies about being 40+ years? (Assuming they're not an Older Than They Look type of character.)

Still kind of a silly test. I generally think most Mary Sue tests are silly, though, although I found one on the NaNoWriMo forums that was okay (but I'm not sure if I still have the link). I mean, whether a character is well-written can't quite be measured by a test like this.

Anyway, I took the test for one of my characters, and got 19%.  
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Harley Quinn hyenaholic
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PostSubject: Re: Terrible Mary Sue TESTS   Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:20 am

Since when did a character's age have anything to do with making a character a Mary Sue?

And since when did gender have anything to do with it?

And how is your reader going to tell if it's a Self Insert unless you tell them?
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PostSubject: Re: Terrible Mary Sue TESTS   Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:36 am

I just did one for Drizzt, and I got 20% - seriously, that's all?? This man is the epitome of FR Gary Stue-dom!! He even has purple eyes, ffs!! (and they're described as "violet orbs")

The test is flawed, though - for a start, there's no option for your character having never fallen in love, the age questions don't take account of different races (elves, for example - they're all above 40 but that doesn't necssaily de-suify them), and there aren't enough questions about combat prowess, which is a major Sue/Stu defining factor.

As for being a self-insert...does that really matter? I think it's less about where the character comes from, and more about what he does. A well written, believable, and suitably flawed self insert is surely better than am awesomely powerful and flawless character who isn't a self insert.
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PostSubject: Re: Terrible Mary Sue TESTS   Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:20 pm

Harley Quinn hyenaholic wrote:
Since when did a character's age have anything to do with making a character a Mary Sue?
I was thinking since Mary Sues are wishfulment/power fantasies, and most MS authors are likely to fantasize about being a hot and awesome teen or 20-something. Rather than someone who's older and is thus likely to have had the time to build up the skills Mary Sues often come packaged with, but are also less cute/hot for most people (the test did ask if they looked their age, after all).

But yeah, the test could need some work.  Razz 
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