found here, and reposted here.
Really, quit it with the Mary-Sues.
I'm not a writer (I lack the creative capacity to be) but I spend a lot of time reading and reviewing stories, and the fact that so many of you decide to make your characters Mary-Sues is just appaulling.
If you're not aware of what a Mary-Sue character is, then I'll tell you: a Mary-Sue is a character who has no notable imperfections and typically, a very tragic past. This type of character tends to have very exotic physical features and usually have this kind of personality: quiet, genius.
While it is OK to make your character a bit different, opposites are bad. If you make a character that has no notable qualities, the story will be somewhat boring
but if you make them too perfect then your story turns out, well in simple clear words, annoying.
Here's an example of a Mary-Sue character:
Name: Fate Ann Corini Notice the rare name.
Body shape: Tall, skinny but has curves in the right places This is also the perfect figure, by society.
Eye colour: One is dark purple, the other one is red
Hair colour: Blue Pastels and any unusual colour in general are the ones you see in Mary-Sues.
Personality: She's nice to everyone, smart, shy, funny. She's flawless, in general.
Skills: Insert ability with certain type of weapon, especially when she/he doesn't need to learn it.
Character history: both her parents were brutally murdered in front of her, she's a bit cuckoo and depressed Mary-Sues are usually depressed or suffering from some sort of mental illness, and making a sick character is perfectly fine as long as you don't over-do it.
Other: She's the center of attention of guys, she denies to have any special abilities.
This type of character seems to be most common among group stories and fanfiction.
There are tons of things you can do to make your characters sound realistic. The user ihateVEGETABLES is pro at it, and she gave me these tips:
â€¢Try to balance out the character's flaws and abilities. Don't make them too perfect or too flawed.
â€¢Think about the people you see daily, at school or in your neighbourhood: how are they typically?
â€¢What better way to create a character than to make them out of your own image? Most of my character's looks are based off mine, and some of their personalities too. Note: You may end up falling in love with your own character. Try this method at your risk.
Here's an example of what a good character is:
Name: Amanda "Mandy" Carolina
Body-shape: a bit overweight, average height.
Eye colour: green
Hair colour: Dark brown
Personality: She's random and might seem somewhat dumb, but she has her moments of seriousness and is actually a pretty smart gal.
Skills: Good writer, funny.
Character history: Spends her day in front of a computer, and has a pretty strange family. She's the apple of discord in her family, but they still love her. She only has a few friends and she's not much into boys
Other: has split-personalities
While I know that in your beginnings of writing you might tend to lean more towards the Mary-Sue character, try to make your characters a bit more like normal people. Writing is one of the things where you can always improve. Hope this rant helped!
Mary Sue Page