- Characters can have “traditionally feminine traits” without being a Mary Sue.
- Characters can have dark pasts without being a Mary Sue.
- Characters can be genuinly nice, compassionate people without being a Mary Sue.
- Characters can be powerful without being a Mary Sue.
- Characters can be talented without being a Mary Sue.
This is a nice list. Just yesterday I wondered about one of my characters.
Some might now her (my friends).
- “traditionally feminine traits”
CHECK: The Character does have a big bosom and a curvy hip. She’s rather small (maybe petite?). She is be good looking.
CHECK: in the world where she lives, it is not uncommon to have lost someone you hold dear to you. She lost the love of her life and even though she does have affairs from time to time, she can’t really see herself to truly love someone else. (And she won’t)
- “genuinely nice, compassionate”
CHECK: In her group of friends she is the oldest woman (around 30), so she is to be seen as some kind of group-mother/older sister, who the other ask for advice. And she does care for these people who she will try to protect with all she has.
CHECK: Maybe she’s not the strongest but she knows how to fight and how to use her skills in an effective way.
CHECK: She’s a genious. And I mean over-the-top genious. A tactician, and able to learn about everything if she is provided the information. As much as I see it, she is one of the smartest people in her world. She does not really live up to it but the potential is still there.
Anyway, I also realized, that I can’t really see her as a Mary Sue (despite her actual name) because she does have her bad traits (chain-smoker, tendency to play pranks on her friends, skirt chaser) and still seems very human.
And even though she has a very big role in the story, she’s not the main character. She is a supporting character and does that in a very human way.
This is the most important point I think. If you create a character other can relate to and feel sympathy for, you can does give them the power and make them nice and let them have a dark past, or all together!
Just make it relatable and reasonable in the world, they live in and it won’t be much of a problem.