Bookish Discussions: The Mary Sue’s

Today, the topic is Mary Sue’s.  You know, that typical YA (or really any genre) character that has these certain qualities and is beautiful and blah blah blah blah blah?  Today we’re going to talk about how Mary Sue’s even come into existence and what is annoying about them.  Sound like fun?  Let get to it!

First off, lets make a list of everything Mary Sue’s are shall we?

1.  Perfection.  That’s right.  They have perfect hair in every situation.  They have so many secret talents and little special things about them you lose count.  People do have special things about them but not 257 secret skills that they were born with.  More over, they are flawlessly beautiful and every male they come across basically falls at their feet.  Oh yes and Mary Sue’s are almost exclusively white.  Not that I have anything against that but we do not live in a world of white people.  Let’s actually represent the planet here!

2.  Either girly-girl or complete and total tomboy who is disgusted with everything associated with.  Let’s face it: Mary Sue’s have almost a complete lack of variety and can either be one of these two things.  It’s totally unacceptable to like both football AND painting your nails.  Just no.

3.  Has either no flaws or too many to count and get over within the span of the book/series.  I think we’ve all come across this one time or another.  A Mary Sue who a) doesn’t have any flaws and is this angel that comes into the bad boy’s life and fixes him right up or b) screams at every little thing and doesn’t posses any self-control when dealing with their 478 fears.  I don’t mind if characters have a bunch of flaws and learn to overcome them, it just gets a little much when they somehow have a panic attack if anything out of the ordinary happens at all.

4.  Is either VERY mainstream or VERY against it.  I’ve come across more non-mainstream Mary Sue’s actually.  In their mind, they hate all things mainstream and go for indie music, indie books, no makeup, all things against society.  Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that but it crops up a bit too much.  The polar opposite is, of course, total mainstream.  This girl is popular loves makeup, has the perfect boyfriend and possibly a troubled family.

What do you not like about Mary Sue’s?

Why?  Why do Mary Sue’s come about?

Honestly, I only have one or two guesses that could be totally wrong.

One is that authors can get so caught up in the story and the awesome plot that they just pick that cookie cutter main character so they can just get down to writing about the action.  Don’t take this the wrong way and think I’m being mean because I fall prey to this all the time.  Whenever I write a story, I have so many good ideas that I just want to get the characters out of the way so I can put it on paper.  It all just gets lost in the shuffle and when I reread it, I find that somehow, my main character became a Mary Sue.

Another theory is that the author simply doesn’t have any other ideas for a character.  It happens to the best of us.  You’re staring at the computer screen or your notepad and trying to think of an original character and you just can’t come up with anything except the typical pretty, brown haired (or blond haired), talented, white girl.  It happens.  But it’s still so so so annoying.

What are some books you’ve read with Mary Sue’s?  And why do you think they come about?

0 thoughts on “Bookish Discussions: The Mary Sue’s”

  1. Mary Sue's are no fun at all!! There's nothing to relate to, they're basically carbon copies of others. If I need to stick with the character for 300+ pages they better be fascinating and original and relatable!!


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