Only one today, because it consists of a series of posts from one blog. Camille LaGuire is posting a series of articles about Mary Sue. Fanfic fans, you know what a Mary Sue is, and you know who you are. (Me, too. Sekrit hanshaik) For those who don’t know, or want to pretend they don’t know, a Mary Sue is a character who represents the author in a piece of fan fiction. Okay, okay, everybody’s looking at the ceiling and whistling, pretending you don’t know what fanfic is.
- fanfic – fan fiction
- fan fiction – a story written by a fan of a book, television show or movie that uses the characters and situation set-up of that book, television show or movie as the basis of the fan’s work.
- Mary Sue or Gary Stu – a character created by the fan to be the “special guest star” of the fan’s work AND who acts as a stand-in for the fan. The Mary Sue is usually either perfect or a goof-up who nevertheless saves the day. Although the term originally meant a wish-fulfillment so blatant it amounted to a violation of the characters and set-up the fan supposedly loves (Spock is my boyfriend. Edward jilted Bella for me.), purists have come to apply the term to any non-series character invented by the fan writer.
- Mary Sue or Gary Stu – a story with such a character in it.
I’m particularly pleased with this series of posts because I used to write fanfic, back in the day. In fact, the next book Echelon Press is releasing from me, FORCE OF HABIT, began life as a piece of fanfic. I still have, not the original for FoH but the others in the series, stashed on my old abandoned blahg. Some people called those stories Mary Sues, but I think I gave the main characters enough action that they aren’t, really.
Fanfic, Mary Sue or not, is a lot of fun to write, and a good way to stretch writing muscles.
Whether you’re interested in the subject or not, I recommend Camille’s blog and this series of posts. She’s an excellent writer, and has a lot of insight into the writing process. Begin with this post and click on Newer Post until you catch up.
WRITING PROMPT: Start with a book, television show or movie you like and stir that pot: throw in a new character or situation that challenges the status quo. It’ll be fun. You know you want to.