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I don’t write Mary Sue characters! YAY.

Guess what everyone? I don’t write Mary Sue characters. YAY.

You’re probably asking the what, why, who and how of this random statement. Between studying Labor Law and Family Law, I decided to take the Original Fiction Mary Sue Test. Why? I was studying Labor and Family Law. ‘Nuff said.

As it turns out, my characters actually score very low on the Mary Sue test, which is awesome-sauce. They don’t score too low though. Here’s a quick rundown.

Lyssandra (The Sleeping Kingdom)

Total score: 20

She scored points on the following:

  • Is the character’s name an unusual spelling of a more common word or name? [3 points]
  • Does the character have a nickname or pseudonym? [1 point]
  • Are one or more other characters attracted to her/him? [1 point]
  • Is the character the last surviving member of a family/clan/race/species/etc.? [2 points]
  • Does the character have amnesia? [4 points]
  • Does the character have an angsty childhood, or an angsty past? [1 point]
  • Does the character feel guilty about something terrible that happened in the past? [1 point]
  • Has the character traveled extensively? [1 point]
  • Is the character someone you would want to be friends with, assuming she/he would be receptive to friendship with you? [1 point]
  • Does the character fall in (reciprocated) love with a character you would like to fall in love with? [3 points]
  • Is the character educated despite living in a time or place where education is not widespread? [2 points]

11-20 points: The Non-Sue. Your character is a well-developed, balanced person, and is almost certainly not a Mary Sue. Congratulations!

Kaelyn (Ghostslayer)

Total score: 19

She scored points on the following:

  • Is the character’s name an unusual spelling of a more common word or name? [3 points]
  • Are one or more other characters attracted to her/him? [1 point]
  • Is the character the last surviving member of a family/clan/race/species/etc.? [2 points] (her parents died, but Mom is still in the book, as a ghost.)
  • Does the character have an angsty childhood, or an angsty past? [1 point]
  • Does the character feel guilty about something terrible that happened in the past? [1 point]
  • Even despite overwhelming evidence that it wasn’t her/his fault? [2 points]
  • Does the character have any particular skill at which she/he the best or among the best? [2 points]
  • And is she/he widely knows for this skill? [2 points]
  • Super strength or speed [2 points]
  • Does the character fall in (reciprocated) love with a character you would like to fall in love with? [3 points]

So again we have 11-20 points: The Non-Sue. Your character is a well-developed, balanced person, and is almost certainly not a Mary Sue. Congratulations!

Riley (Angel of Death Series)

Total score: 18

She scored points on the following:

  • Are one or more other characters attracted to her/him? [1 point]
  • Does the character have angst in the present? [1 point]
  • Powers: Teleportation [1 point], Telekinesis [1 point], Flight [1 point], Telepathy [1 point] – only 1 point each because the world is filled with angels and demons with a wide array of powers
  • Is the character a crossbreed of species (e.g. half-vampire, half-demon, etc.)? [2 points]
  • Is the an angel or fallen angel? [10 points]

So Riley gets a lot of points because she’s a Halfling Angel. But she’s an Angel of Death, for God’s sake! That should make her less Mary Sue! No?

Anyway, she’s still within the 11-20 points category, and she scores even better than Lyssa and Kaelyn. Yay!

Piper (Mirrorland)

Now, here’s the real shocker.

Total score: 4 points.

  • Are one or more other characters attracted to her/him? [1 point]
  • Even though they are involved with someone else? [1 point]
  • Does the character feel guilty about something terrible that happened in the past? [1 point]
  • Does the character have the same taste in movies as you have? [1 point]

I guess an ordinary-looking heroine, who is neither extremely popular nor a social outcast, with a nice, regular clique of friends, who likes to watch horror movies and ends up being in one is the opposite of a Mary Sue character. Add the fact she has no superpowers, and an ordinary name and you get this.

0-10 points: The Anti-Sue. Your character is the very antithesis of a Mary-Sue. Why are you even taking this test?

Because I love wasting my time on nonsense!

The Conclusion

Hold your horses. There’s a conclusion here. Although I may not write Mary Sue characters, I write similar characters. At least according to the test, which only proves that a test can’t really define a character completely. But here are some similarities:

  • My characters tend to have a bad past they’d like to forget about (Kaelyn, Lyssa).
  • Since I primarily write romance, it’s obvious one or more characters will be attracted to the main character. Else it wouldn’t be romance (Kaelyn, Lyssa, Piper, Riley).
  • Nearly all my characters feel guilty about something terrible that happened in the past (Lyssa, Kaelyn, Piper).
  • Sometimes the characters tend to fall in love with a person I’d fall in love with as well. But not always! (Lyssa and Kaelyn succeed at this, but Riley and Piper don’t).

All in all, pretty good. I tend to be vague about my character’s looks, describing them as anywhere between ‘ordinary’ and ‘pretty’. If I don’t watch it, I tend not to describe their looks at all, since I don’t think that’s really important for the story. Also, although some of the supportive cast in the Mirrorland series are outcasts, I like my main characters in the middle of the social ladder, neither insanely popular nor insanely unpopular.

How does your character score on the Mary Sue test?

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