A New Author's Guide to Writing Good Fan Fiction

Who is Mary Sue?

Who is Mary Sue?
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It's hard not to know who Mary Sue is. She's the perfect girl. Smarter than Hermione, wittier than Leia, kinder than Mother Theresa, prettier than Galadriel, a Jedi even better than Yoda, a space pilot with more skillz than Scotty, and more powers than Rogue and Phoenix put together. Yet, Mary Sue is a very diverse sort of gal. She's no seen-one-seen-em-all species. In this section, we will identify different Mary Sues in their wild habitats. Crikey!

Classic Sue
This is the quintessential Mary Sue. Ankle-length blond/red hair? Check. Gigantic, unusual-colored eyes? Check. Perfect body with "curves in the right places"? Check. Tragic past? Check. Canon love interest? Check. This one's most commonly found in Lord of the Rings as an elf falling for the handsome Orlando Bl--I mean Legolas. Classic Sue's personality is vague or nonexistant; her main purpose is to have sex with the main hottie and then die tragically for him. Window dressing, really.

Invader Sue
This is the most infamous Sue of them all. She enters the fandom from the modern US or UK, most often because she's the Chosen One(TM) and it is her Destiny(TM) to set things right once more. While fulfilling her Destiny, Invader Sue teaches the canon characters things from her world, mostly Linkin Park or Evanescence songs and Truth or Dare. This causes much hilarity and pop culture references. Invader Sue makes her habitat most often in Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Avoid like the plague!

Misery Sue
Misery Sue is foisted upon our beloved canon characters as the hostess of the pity party. She is easily identified by her copious amounts of pseudo-goth attire, Tammy Faye Bakker-esque application of eye makeup, and permanent scowl. Unfortunately, the hottie of her choice doesn't "understand", resulting in a rendition of a My Chemical Romance song. Scientists have found that she tends to live in areas where Zoloft does not exist or is inaccessible; they have not found a correlation between this and her behavior. She favors Lord of the Rings the most as a habitat. To ward her off, take Prozac and stay far, far away.

Warrior Sue
This is a curious species, indeed. Warrior Sue is every inch the lady in front of her very un-feminist father, but once she's in the sack or on the battlefield, she's about as feminine as Arnold Schwartzenagger. Yet, her long, flowing hair is never out of place, her armor always shows her "assets", and all her enemies are nice enough not to injure her face or remove any limbs. Warrior Sue never gets gangrene, disfiguring or disabling injuries, or a non-sexy nurse to tend to her. Warrior Sue is always beautiful, even when she dies taking an arrow/blaster bolt/18-wheeler/bullet for her true love. But, she does like a good stiff one, and she's the first to get amusingly drunk. Her drunkenness almost always brings her to bed with the hottie of her choice. Warrior Sue is a big fan of any war-torn area with good bars and societies that repress women. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Final Fantasy are all popular locales.

Jesus Sue
Invader Sue was the most notorious, but Jesus Sue is the most dangerous of all Sues. Jesus Sue is most often quite similar to Invader Sue, but without the allusions to the modern world. Like her namesake, Jesus Sue is all-powerful (sometimes she is a goddess), benevolent, beautiful, and speaks with a pretty, echo-y voice. She usually hangs around in the sky or whatever for thousands of years until the time for REDEMPTION(TM) comes and she swoops down to save the day and make little demi-gods with the hottie of her choice. If she doesn't get with anyone, it's because she's too pure or the wise canon character will be too busy yammering about how she's "fulfilled the prophecy" for her to get any. Surprisingly, Jesus Sue is limited to mostly Lord of the Rings. Must be because of all them unbelievers.

Plot? What Plot? Sue
This Sue is a very annoying specimen. In a Star Wars fic starring the PWP Sue, one might see Queen Imnotamidala romancing Hayden Chri--I mean Anakin. Alternatively, Aneka Cloudrunner is the Padawan of Ewan McGreg--sorry, Obi-Wan-- instead of Mr. Skywalker. Most of the time, this is to easily and cheaply win the heart of the main hottie by any means, even if it entails completely departing from essential parts of canon.

Offspring Sue
Ah, the joys of parenthood. Unless of course you've been cursed with this demon child. Offspring Sue is a more, let's say Appalachian approach to snagging a man. Elrond will wind up with gorgeous, wonderful spawn with unpronounceable nomenclature and decide she's the girl for him. Ew. Can also be a mini power trip if Mom or Dad is a deity or superhero. Want to be uber-rich and have leet ninja skillz? Let Christian Ba--Batman be your daddy! Offspring Sue is everywhere where reproducing humans can be found.

Half & Half Sue
Half & Half Sue is like a sphynx in some ways, except that she doesn't eat men or have a lion for a lower body. Daddy's a mere mortal, but he's the king of Hotzenphlotz. Mom's a beautiful, immortal creature who rules over something else. Put them together to make a half-immortal, half-goddess, all-princess girl. Half & Half Sue could be a subspecies of Offspring Sue and/or Jesus Sue, and subsequently, she often coexists with them.

That's all for now, folks! There will be more to come!

"You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything"--Talking Heads