Episode 211 - How Mary Sure Are You?

Mar 23, 2015

Hello hello hello! This week Ozoneocean and Banes pirate another of HippieVan's much discussed newsposts. When the test for Mary Sue was brought up in our recent writing tests Quackcast it generated some heated talk so HippieVan went a little deeper into it and people responded again. Banes and I discuss those responses and try to come up with some sort of consensus on how to more properly use the Mary Sue test and some of its pitfalls: i.e. it's highly context sensitive and can't be used easily on certain genres (Superhero etc), it's also something you as a writer typically don't have to worry about unless you're inexperienced- or so Banes and I believe.

Topics and Show Notes

Topics and Show Notes:

Featured comic:
Psycho Babble - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Psycho_Babble/

Posts read from here - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2015/mar/05/avoiding-the-mary-sue-a-contest/
Results of the Mary Sue comic contest - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2015/mar/19/mary-sue-contest-submissions/
The dreaded test - http://www.springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm

Contributions from:
Call Me Tom - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Understanding/
Tupapayon - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/tupapayon
Strixvanallen - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/strixvanallen
VinoMas - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/VinoMas
bravo1102 - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/bravo1102
KimLuster - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/KimLuster
HippieVan - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/HippieVan
JustNoPoint - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/JustNoPoint
Peipei - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Peipei
usedbooks - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/usedbooks
irrevenant - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/irrevenant
Kou the Mad
Hayakain - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Hayakain

Special thanks to:
The world's greatest Musician and BBQ chef, Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
The most attractive man in the world and most intelligent Co-host, Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Super qualified and amazingly beautiful featurer, Kawaiidaigakusei - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

The theme song by Gunwallace this week was for:
Devil Spy - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Devil_Spy/ by Jaymzeecat.



Hayakain at 10:52PM, April 12, 2015

I busted out laughing when my comment was read like the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Love the podcast guys.

TheTwiggyDance at 3:16PM, March 26, 2015

Yeah - and I have no idea what a solution could be but I think you just have to play off of what we value in females and give in to what people love...... or start a protest through comic strips and paste them at every busstop :P

Ozoneocean at 5:14AM, March 26, 2015

@Twiggy- Yes, that does happen (I tried to read that blog but... Wallofftext D:). Personally, when I look at male characters in terms of MaruSuisims now, I'm less likely to forgive that stuff. I had a small epiphany when listening to a radio play of DI Wachowski (female detective), she started talking about how the males in her life couldn't resist her and she was always at the centre of things and I thought "Hey, she's a Mary Sue! How lame." But then I realised that she's just a straight out female version of all the male hardboild detectives, so either the exact same MarySue accusation allies to all of them or it doesn't apply to her at all. I think of that aspect now in relation to female and male characters all the time: if the genders were swapped would that still be appropriate/seem OK?

tupapayon at 4:46AM, March 26, 2015

@TheTwiggyDance: you're right... it's still part of most cultures. Let's be the change. Just don't expect to see too much change on something that's been around for thousands of years. I mean, not even Jesus could, and He tried...

TheTwiggyDance at 1:47AM, March 26, 2015

Basically the gist of the mary-sue argument: What flaws (and many strengths) are found endearing about male characters, are found obnoxious in female characters (for the majority of the population). That is what I have noticed.

TheTwiggyDance at 1:41AM, March 26, 2015

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when a mary-sue is a male, its not looked at with rolling of the eyes. Batman is a mary-sue. Harry Potter is a mary-sue. But those characters are adored because what we value in men forgives the traits they possess as mary-sues. Just the sae with a female villain. The blog talks about how female villains can very rarely be loved like male villains that people love (Joker, Jareth from Labyrinth, Loki etc.) because men can claim their goodness back and sacrifice it countless times whereas when a girl is a bad mommy for a day, she is spoiled goods forever. Not trying to turn this into that sort of argument but its a very real thing when trying to understand what people love and hate about a character.

strixvanallen at 1:07PM, March 25, 2015

MWAHAHAHAHA, I wrote a comment so big that they couldn't keep doing the voice. Sorry, guys, university forces me to write too much or I don't meet the word quota for my papers. XD

Ozoneocean at 8:37PM, March 24, 2015

Female Magnificent Bastard: Well my own character Pinky is supposed to have that sort of leaning, but the classic example of that type I can think of right away is Tank Girl- certainly NO Masysue! Sure there are some gender differences in literature based on cultural conventions, but things can always be changed up and I'm not sure if the Marysue test should be specifically aimed at gender aspects... They should really weed those out.

Jaymzeecat at 8:20PM, March 24, 2015

Thanks you guys for talking about Devil Spy and thanks Gunwallace for the awesome theme song! I'm still working my way through the rest of the episode, interesting stuff! :)

TheTwiggyDance at 3:27PM, March 24, 2015

I'm going to have to disagree with you about defining marysue the same for both genders. A while back ago I went on a rampage reading about character tropes and I recall thinking to myself that there seems to be no such thing as a "female magnificent bastard" because if there was, it would be a marysue, or "annoying, lets kill her off" instantly. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out why it was this way and finally came across this post someone wrote that really made everything clear to me. And I am sad to say that it is, in fact, a misogynistic problem, and that's just the world we live in. I am all for being fair about both sexes but any writer knows that they have to be realistic to relate to people and fairness between genders is not realistic or present in our current world, even though we would like it to be. So... here is the link to the post I read by this girl: https://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/gender-orphan-black-the-meta-of-meta/

Ozoneocean at 7:46AM, March 24, 2015

You ARE Tony Montana tupapayon! The whole world is a ***** that you just want to ****!

tupapayon at 5:06AM, March 24, 2015

You made me sound Cuban... nice... I"M TONY MONTANA!!... but yeah, test like the Mary Sue should be used as a tool to kinda adjust a character going too far into perfection... but do your own test by stripping your character out of all perfection and special abilities, just to see if there's a person there or not...

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