i want to be the

A doodle of a Dab for all your fast dabs needs

i-just-want-a-loki  asked:

Yknow, since I'm already here with that other question and you seem really helpful. Have you got any tips on how to make sure my characters aren't Mary Sues? I've been called out on it before

No problem!  My personal advice here is, first of all, don’t be too concerned with whether or not your character qualifies for Mary Sue-dom.  The concept of a Mary Sue was born in a 1970s Star Trek parody fic, in this case encapsulated by a fifteen-year-old and unrealistically perfect Starfleet Lieutenant.  

In the internet’s eyes, however, it has since become synonymous with basically every character who isn’t an edgy antihero, and have seen the term applied to characters like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Charlie from Supernatural, Rey from Star Wars, and…well, basically every new character besides Kylo Ren in the new Star Wars trilogy, really. 

And yet these are all great characters!  Folks on the internet just love to nitpick and take issue with them.

That said, if you want to avoid meeting the more specific standards of a Mary Sue – i.e. an unrealistically perfect character who is impossible for the audience to relate to – there are some tricks you can try to make them more rounded:

1.  Endow them with flaws.

This one is obvious, but even kind or benevolent characters – who are most frequently accused of being Mary Sues – should have character flaws that will inhibit them and create conflict in your story.

Let’s go back to Rey from Star Wars, for example:  the goal of the story is for Rey to become a Jedi and presumably defeat the First Order.  The flaw keeping her from attaining that goal is the fact that she’s afraid, she’s bound to the past, and she wants to return to her desert home planet to wait for someone who will probably never come back.

Does this make her a bad person?  No.  But it inhibits her from what she needs to do and keeps the plot moving.

2.  Allow them to make bad decisions.

Even the most amazingly good people have made genuinely terrible and sometimes inexcusable decisions.  This is a part of life and a part of being human.  Allow your character to make at least one huge mistake, that negatively affects them and the people around them.  Then allow them to atone for it, be forgiven, and forgive themselves.   

Let’s take a look at Supernatural, for instance.  The three main guys are heroes, right?  They’ve saved a ton of lives, their motivations are almost always benevolent, they look really pretty when they cry, et cetera, et cetera.  Yet one of them caused the apocalypse out of a demon blood addiction, one of them tortured souls in Hell, and one of them lied to the other two and unleashed an army of flesh-eating monsters.  

And yet their still heroes and the audience still roots for them, because the show allows them to work to atone for their actions, and the narrative offers them forgiveness – in the viewers’ eyes if not their own.

3.  Allow them to fail.

No one succeeds 100% of the time, and someone who does will likely not be relateable to your audience.  

Allow for miniature failures along your character’s journey, at least one moment where it appears the haters have been proven right.

And last, but certainly not least, let there be at least one moment in your story in which it genuinely doesn’t look like the hero will win.  Let it appear, for a moment, that victory is utterly impossible and all hope is lost.  Because let’s be honest, life just feels that way sometimes.  

Several examples jump to mind here, as this is almost always as memorable as the actual victory itself:  in Moana, after Maui has abandoned her, for example, and her grandmother’s spirit tells her it’s okay to give up.  Or in Salem’s Lot when (spoiler alert) all Ben’s allies have been killed except a precocious, traumatized ten-year-old boy.

The Martian (the book, as I haven’t seen the movie) there are certainly at least ten or twenty points at which it looks as though Mark’s survival is impossible.  

The key to a truly compelling character is to show them stacked against immeasurable odds and then winning.  

(Or losing, if you want to get depressing and nihilistic about it, but I’m a sucker for happy endings.  So let’s say winning.)


I hope this helps, and happy writing! <3 

There are some merits about dating an angel and I bet Dean would exploit every single one. Like Cas materializing in front of him for a quick make-out session while on a hunt. Or misusing prayers as booty calls. Or seating him on top of the christmas tree or whatever

I feel like Star Trek™ is losing a lot of money on merchandise by not creating a eyeshadow palette of patented shades featuring Mr Spock’s Fascination- also including Sulu’s Essential, Enterprise Glow, Proud Andorian, Vulcan Blush, Warp Shimmer and other such enticing wonders for the final frontier explorer, because I would buy that ish at the speed of light

hey i havent been drawing much at all for a really long time but i did this for a friend like a week ago

EXO’s Reaction to Their S/O Dropping a Lit Mixtape

A/N: Trying out a simpler more relaxed style for this one. tell me what you think!!!!


Xiumin:

*initially would be surprised that his s/o was spitting literal fire, however would quickly get into it once the beat dropped, busting out his BEST moves*

Chen:

*100% supportive and would constantly be talking about how cool his s/o and would always show people their mixtape whenever possible, jamming along*

Baekhyun:

*honestly won’t stop screaming the lyrics to the songs, stumbling over them as he tries to keep up–all with a giant smile on his face*

Chanyeol:

*in actual awe over the fact that his s/o was so talented and wouldn’t be able to close his mouth as he sat there in shock and listened to the mixtape on repeat*

Lay:

*though he’d be slightly confused at first, he’d soon get into the groove and make his favorite song his ringtone, giggling whenever it went off*

D.O:

*super duper proud and would make sure to promote it was much as he can, shyly asking to play it for his members and beaming when they loved it too*

Suho:

*he’d bring out some of his smoothest moves every time he heard his s/o’s songs come on, not caring who saw him—he was going to support them no matter what*

Kai:

*legitimately impressed by his s/o’s rapping skills, and would constantly be listening to the mixtape, happily rapping along and bouncing to the beat*

Sehun:

*this boy would turn into an absolute fangirl, constantly yelling the lyrics even when the songs weren’t playing and telling everyone he knew about the mixtape*