posted by Shanola Twentytwo 10:28 PM
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Enter Mary Sue
Michael moved closer to his one true love, his companion, his soul-mate, his Onyx. Her dark, obsidian eyes were brimming with love, love for him, a love he was blessed with, for what reason he could not fathom. Gently, ever so gently, he stroked a hand through her soft, jet-black tresses, feeling the weight of the curls, marveling at the beauty of the silky strands as they fanned across the pillow. Slowly, he traced along her porcelain, flawless skin, skimming lightly over Onyx's sculpted cheekbones, tracing her plump red lips, then softly stroking along the delicate tilt of her eyebrows.
"Michel," she breathed, calling him by his given name instead of his Section name. A name Nikita could never bring herself to use. "Michel," Onyx husked again, her voice warm and inviting.
Michael smiled down at her, amazed that this perfect creature loved him, was his, would never leave him. It scared him how much he loved her, how deeply her image was ingrained into his very soul. She completed him, made him whole. He couldn't live without her…..
"But….where's Nikita?" The reader of this LFN fic may ask. " I thought Michael was in love with Nikita?" You did, did you? Welcome to the world of Mary Sue. But…who is Mary Sue?
A Mary Sue character is a way for an author to put him/herself into the show. This can be awkward for readers, especially if there are graphic sex scenes. She is usually female, though there are male Mary Sue characters (call them Harry Stus, if you will.*g*). There are Mary Sues in every fandom, in every incarnation one can imagine. It's an entire genre of fan fiction. So what is so bad about Mary Sue?
In a Mary Sue of fan fiction, the hero almost always falls deeply in love with a character not native to the show's canon. The Mary Sue character typically has a unique name, is more beautiful than the heroine of the show, is smarter than anyone else, and has to come to the rescue of almost everyone. In many cases, the author's name matches the character's name. In the world of La Femme Nikita, Mary Sue would have connections higher than Operations, could out-manipulate Madeline, would trade scathing barbs with Walter (who loves her like a daughter), could teach Birkoff a thing or two about computers, would become Nikita's best friend in the entire world, and have Michael fall completely in love with her. The drawback?
Most readers are drawn to fan fiction because they like the premise of the show and the characters on the show. They don't read fan fiction to learn about new characters, they read to see the characters they already like. Mary Sue, you see, doesn't exactly fit. She displaces the characters and takes over. Not very fun to read when you are interested in the Michael/Nikita love story.
But not all Mary Sues are a bad thing. Sometimes, a writer introduces a Mary Sue-type character that slides right into the story without displacing anyone. She may fall in love with a minor character on the show or offer an outside opinion on events occurring in canon. So while she may be way for the author to enter the show on a minor level, this type of fan fiction is easier to read because the canon of the show hasn't been replaced with the authors personal fantasy. This type of Mary Sue, though, is rare.
Some may argue that any new character introduced into a fan fiction could be considered a Mary Sue. Possibly, but in the world LFN of fan fiction, it's almost impossible to tell a story without introducing at least one new character, usually a bad guy that Section has to take down. Sometimes, these Original Characters are so well drawn that there is no hint of Mary Sue anywhere at all; No displacement, no super-saving-heroic act, no discomfort to the reader, no Mary Sue. This is a good thing. Original Characters that do not detract from the canon of the show are generally not considered Mary Sue characters.
When venturing forth to write fan fiction, ask yourself if you are writing a Mary Sue character. Do you share the same name as the character? Does she displace another character? Does everyone love her? If the answer is yes to these questions, you may want to revise your story. Give your character some flaws or eliminate her altogether. Focus instead on the bits of the canon characters that the show doesn't allow us to see. Fan fiction exists between the cracks of the shows writing, and good fan fiction fills in the little details.
But (there is always a but!LOL), fan fiction is about FUN. Writing fan fiction should be fun and entertaining. If writing yourself into the action through a Mary Sue character is fun and entertaining for you, then go ahead. Just keep in mind that others may not share your enthusiasm.
I never cared for La Femme Nikita anyway, but this Sue could probably make even her run away in fear.
Mary Sue Page