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December 31, 2012


Replies: 54

does detaching your personal feelings from your character make it easier to avoid mary sues?

Voaz-Kzrhovb Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I was looking throuhg my long list of original and fan characters the other day and realised that I have this odd tendency to be in love with, or 'friends' with my own characters, but is that really such a good thing?

I DO love to be so attatched to them, because then if say one of them dies, I actually FEEL the pain that the other characters are feeling and can write the scene better, or if one of them FINALLY gets the one they lve, I fell happy just as much as they are to have FINALLY done it and gotten there...

but I just realised that I also have the tendency to never kill of my characters out of pity and I also usually make them get hitched way too quick.

even when I DO kill them or make them fight for something, its sadly either badly written, or so emotional it makes no sense.

I make my characters safe, perfect, never hated by anyone or hated by everyone, and it's just annoying.

and even the ones who arent Sues, they still are either borderline or close to minor character status.

should I try to detach myself from them?

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Devious Comments

Fallingstarz5 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Student General Artist
I've been getting to attached to my character and making her personality more forgiving and less icy and cold. I've gotten to attached to having everything go her way, and I'm ready to re-write it because it's been getting so different from her personality.
The-Demon-Sebastian Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Write sad scenes. A lot. Write about them failing, about the thought process as they realized that they're not as invincible as they thought they would be. I did that when I first started writing, I would kill my main character all the time, and almost every time made me cry like a baby. What you write doesn't have to be their official story, it's practice. But they key to avoiding Mary Sues is giving them believable weaknesses. Like, if your character got married and got their heart broken, you could make them detached socially to avoid that happening again, not make the friends they could have, etc. Or if your person had been abused as a child (Happens to be a trade mark of mary sues) give them logical fears depending on the abuse - Distrustful of those of the opposite sex if they had been raped, terrified of fire if they had been burned, etc. Or, maybe your character's flaw is arrogance. They think that they're too good to be aided by those lowly peasants they have dubbed friends. They charge into danger alone, and come back injured, or not at all because of it. I personally love torturing my characters, be it physical or mental torture. It's pretty fun to get so into your character that you feel his or her emotions, and are able to see the world through their eyes. Be there for the good and the bad times.

Voaz-Kzrhovb Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yes yes i already knew these points but in my panic i forgot everything and since i couodlnt place what was wrong with my story I put it down to mary sues.

then i realised, that my characters were perfect because I had negelcted their back stories so badly.

I was writing them in the story as I envisioned them at the END of the story after all their issues are resolved, which explains why i can write the sequel and the spin offs so easily but cant seem to get the original story straight.

thank you though, I will take all of this into account for future reference!!

My child who is abused I might ask other people to give a second opinion on as I am constantly worrying about him, and my bratty literally-princess child has a case of your average mother-daughter-hating eachother to a certain degree-rebellion going on due to a reasonable and gradual source that I explained through flash backs both from her and her brother who has an identical issue with his father from the same issue. As soon as I work out their back stories I will be happy XD

It's a Disney fan fiction of all things for me to be so worked up about but it's a big project of mine so far.
MadOldHag Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What you mention here are two entirely different issues which aren't necessarily connected.

Yes, I feel quite attached to my characters, but I feel so much for them exactly because they have quite a few flaws, quirks and oddities. Which makes them more believable, so that they feel more "real" for me than an over-powered superhero would do.

Somehow I believe when you don't feel attached to your characters at all, you can't expect a reader to feel anything for them. How much is too much? Hard to say. I want a story where the characters evoke emotion, any kind of emotion, so that I either love or hate them. I think attachment only becomes a problem when it tempts you into deus-ex-machina or keeps you from letting bad things happen to them even when it would make sense. (I *do* let my beloved main character fail, let him end up in humiliating situations and so on when I must, by the way.)
KaizenKitty Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student Writer
No, what I would say: on the contrary you should cherish your characters and take them into your heart. Because otherwise, why write about them? If you don't care about your characters, nobody will. It is your obligation as a writer to care about them. The more you care about your characters, the better your story will be. // (There is a general consensus among writers, that the more emotionally invested a writer is in his/her story, the easier it will be for him/her to evoke feelings in the reader. And that is what you want: to evoke feelings in your readers!)// Now how to avoid Mary Sues? Make sure you're emotionally invested in all of your characters. Even the minor ones! If you love all of your characters, none of them will ever grab too much of the spotlight for themselves. Yes, you can like your villains. They don't have to be good people for you to like them. They might have other qualities you admire (they could be smart or funny for instance). Try spreading lovable qualities over several characters. And give the heroes some bad traits too. // How to hurt your characters? Well, for one thing - if you love all of them, it's less scary to kill one. In effect, you're less attached to that one particular character, because you have so many other characters you also care about. It's okay to kill Hannah, because there's still Sarah, Jodie, Kate and Tim... (just saying). And then, consider it from a wider perspective: wouldn't the story itself get boring if there were no conflict? I know it's bad, but you must hurt your characters. We readers beg you to. Because a good plot thrives on conflict. (aka putting your characters in a bad situation...)
Voaz-Kzrhovb Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well I actually had a massive schoolgirl crush on my antihero/villain and that seemed to cause me to develop this sick urge to put him through hell as a kid, and then nearly letting him die because my secondary protagonist was contemplating whether letting him live would benefit him or not, so I can't say I'm totally sane as that is for sure!

That said, I like the positive mood of your comment! Thanks forte effort and time put into it and I look forward to reading this comment again.

I think in. The ends, it's the type of story that should dictate how close I should be with my characters.
KaizenKitty Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Writer
Ah, okay! Thank you for taking me seriously! :D (Sorry it became such a long blob of text - somehow dA reformats all my comments -.-)
Voaz-Kzrhovb Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's okay. I use my iPad or phone all the time instead of a pc or laptop resulting in odd corrections in capitalisation and spelling and punctuation lol XD
KaizenKitty Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student Writer
Ah, okay! :aww:
KaizenKitty Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student Writer
To add to that, I think the feeling a writer needs to have about his story, is that he is God. Yes, you may be friends with your characters. But when it comes down to it, you are the master. You tell them what to do. You are the God of your story. Not your characters...
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