Mary-Sue: Why Flaws Might Not Fix The Problem - ShanniiWrites



Added some tags :sparkles:


I’m just gonna give everyone a quick reminder to read this! Please! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’d love to have a discussion here!

In my opinion, it can be kinda hard to spot a Mary Sue in your own work. Even if you take the quiz lol.
Are characters without flaws immediately a Mary Sue?
Because I find this a lot in episode stories… The main characters of those stories don’t really have flaws and their character kinda falls flat… I was reading a story like this recently on episode. I mean, I think the storyline was kinda good but a bit cliche. It’s about two sisters- one is “not like other girls” and is “one of the guys”. I liked that the author was playing with gender but ended up shaming girls who were very feminine… For example in the story the MC’s sister liked Ariane Grande and went to a rock concert and she was called, “Posh” for not wanting to listen to the rock music.I really didn’t like that.
I liked her character, actually. Cuz she has flaws. She kinda pushes off her family and is a bit of a diva, also allowing her friends to spread rumors about her sister. But then when her sister called her out on this, a few days later she invited her sister to hang out with her and her friends. I think that although she has clear flaws, it shows she might recognize them and is growing from them… while I honestly can’t find the same thing in the MC…
The only flaw I can see from the MC is her kinda shaming feminine girls and not wanting to hang out with them. But tbh it’s not presented as a flaw in the narrative so it doesn’t really count. In the story so far, she only meets one female friend that she likes and we don’t even know much about that character at all aside from her being shy. And the other girls that the MC is “different” from turn out to be bad as well.
So yeah. I think that the one thing that makes a story is the characters… For me if the plot is great but the characters aren’t I can guarantee that I’m not gonna like it!
So you gotta make them good lol.

As for my own struggles with this- I think I don’t make character flaws obvious enough… And there are definitely times where I do make a Mary Sue lol.
But there’s this story that I’m writing rn and it’s… interesting. I had intended to probably write a Mary Sue. I wanted to write a semi-naive girl trapped to live a life as her parents expect her to, but then for some reason, I ended up writing two layers of one character. On the surface she’s everything her parents imagine her to be, ladylike, studious, cheerful, and naive. But she is actually not that at all. She is actually sarcastic and in her own personal ways does things to surprise her parents or disobey them… I’m not fully aware of her full character but I do think it’s going to be something darker than a naive girl who likes flowers.
But even here I don’t think I’m having her actually make mistakes. I think I’m not presenting the flaws as flaws in the narrative… I guess a flaw of hers would be that she doesn’t leave her parent’s mansion… But that would probably be victim-blaming. She is trapped. Mentally and physically. She isn’t actually naive so that’s not really a flaw either.
But I think that I can make her push people away, even good people that don’t realize her situation. I haven’t really done this yet though.

This article really got me thinking about the MCs of my current stories and if their flaws affect the plot, and how obvious they are to the reader. In one of my stories, the MC is very impulsive and hot-tempered. Because of this, she does something that actually has negative consequences and DOES affect the plot. In the other story, the MC is very kind and caring, but she’s also a bit jealous when it comes to her loved ones. She wants to be number one in their lives. So I’m thinking about this having negative consequences and leading to her personal growth in the story.

This one really helps me with my rp characters! :pleading_face:

@Writers This could be really helpful :DD