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While reading manymanymany fan fictions and original stories with varying levels, it popped into my mind a few tricks to decrease the Mary Sue aspects from characters. I've sorted the tricks to different categories, hope they are useful! The categories are,

- What is a Mary Sue anyway? And why people create them?
- Before creating him/her, aka General attitude
- When creating him/her
- When writing about him/her
- Notes about fan characters
- Notes about original characters
- Links to other Anti Mary Sue tutorials

Most the tricks I've mentioned in this guide are good to remember all the time. However, the tricks I've marked with a star symbol (*) are optional, kind of extra tricks. I use quite harsh examples in the guide to make stuff clear, but remember that the flaws that are smaller than the ones that I mentioned can be bad, too!

On the other hand: Generally, NONE of mentioned flaws are ABSOLUTELY bad, so you don't necessarily have to throw your character into recycling bin or start to remake him/her if you see that one kind of flaw in him/her. You just have to pay more attention to him/her and be warned about not to portray him/her in too Sue-ish way. Characters having SOME Mary Sue characteristics are not doomed, but they are in danger. Little Sue-ish characters are good as long as the author doesn't go too wild.

And: Since I don't speak English as my mother tongue, the tutorial may contain the grammar errors. If you note an error, feel free to tell me about that. I learn via my flaws! Characters mentioned in the end the tutorial belong to their respectful owners, of course.

In this tutorial, with FC I mean fan character, meaning character that is made for a certain fandom (like, a character that adventures in the world of Naruto or Harry Potter). With OC, I mean original character, meaning character that you create for a story world that is invented by you (your own fantasy world etc.). With just character, I mean both FCs and OCs. (Why I explain this is the fact that particularly out of dA, OC is often used instead of FC when meaning fan characters, so to avoid confusion.)

Also check out my tutorial about character flaws, they are closely related to Mary Sues!

And now to the tutorial.



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Whether you are reading this tutorial just for curiosity, or you are advised to read this tutorial, or you are generally looking for information about Mary Sues and how to prevent making them, I keep here explanation about what is a Mary Sue anyway (or, to be accurate, what is it in my vision) and phenomena relating to them.

So. Mary Sues are usually defined to be "overall perfect characters with far too minor flaws, having illogical powers and traits, lacking personality and usually being fulfillments the fantasies of the author". This is quite correct but also rather blunt definition. Many, many Mary Sue creators (also known as Suethors) have heard of this definition and even say they hate Sues, but still they do Sues. So, they can't recognize that there is something wrong with their characters, and they can get even fiery when someone notes about the issue. Why?

The problem can consist of the following issues:

1) They don't have exact image about what is exactly a Sue, or the image is very black'n'white. I have met some people that claimed that their characters aren't Sues, because the characters are not OVERALL PERFECT - they had this and that minor flaws that appeared in the character's info sheet but not in the stories. Not talking about those TURBOBOOSTÜBERPOWAAAHS the characters had and which weren't balanced with reasonable weaknesses. The creators believed that minor cracks is enough to make their characters non-Sues, which wasn't, sadly, true. I hope this tutorial can declare you better what is a Sue than how they understood.

2) The creator grows too attached to his/her character that (s)he can't see the character is slipping to the Sueness. The best cure to that is to show the character to ADULT and EXPERIENCED writer and ask what he/she honestly thinks about the character. Prefer to ask not-so close people instead of your closest friends and such: friends are often afraid to upset you if they note something grave bad in your character, and they can also empathize you so much that they can be biased.

It's best to offer the critic a written piece about your character's story in addition to the character sheet, or at least portrayal about what is the world where the character lives. At least I have difficulties with evaluating if a character is a Sue or not if I see only the character sheet without a context.

Also, attachment problem can be partially prevented by making the character distant enough from the author. More in the tutorial.

3) The creator is trying to create "something cool" and fails in understanding so-called "Rules of Coolness" (as lacking the better name). This is easier to understand with some experience, but to put short: usually, young/inexperienced character creators (but, usually the very young ones) tend to think that the more super powers the character has, the prettier (s)he is and the more awesome personality (s)he has, the better character is. Like a small child decorating a cake with heaps of sprinkles and buttercream, that much that they are running over the cake.

However, this may not always work.

Think again: Do you REALLY want to create a character that has no excitement in his/her life? Why should (s)he has awsum powers for every single problem while you can make more excitement by making him to worry, "Damn! There is a problem, how to solve it before cannibals come to eat me?" Or the personality? If we can ALWAYS assume that your character is always right and never makes mistakes... well, there is no room for the character development, and THAT'S utterly boring.

Ask yourself what you want to read when reading a story belonging to the genre of which you are writing. You probably start to think about issues like excitement, humor, sappy romance etc. Well, let's stick on the excitement. What causes excitement? Being not able to predict exactly what happens next. Surprises. Taste of danger and lingering "oh s**t how can I survive" feeling. Jumping into the hero(ine)'s shoes and feeling the adrenaline in his/her veins. THAT'S IT. Don't make stuff too easy for the hero(ine), otherwise the readers lose the excitement!

After that blabbering, to the guide itself!

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Remember that your character is a tool of the story; (s)he is NOT you, NOT your friend, NOR your child.

Too much affection to your character makes his/her objective using really difficult. If you can't detach the character from yourself enough, you easily want to protect the character and pamper him/her with special skills. Luckily that thing usually eases as you gain more experience, but in start, it helps a lot if you can use methods that put a clear limit between you and your character.

An easy trick to make you can see more objective your character is to make him/her clearly different from you, both in good and bad. It doesn't automatically make him/her non-Sue, but it may prevent you from "protecting" him/her too much because of your affection and feeling of similarity. Unless you are making well-thought self-insert, never name your character after you, because it makes it really difficult to not to think character as a tool and not as your avatar. (I've experienced that.) Thus, it makes more difficult to set him/her to situations that you don't want end up to, and makes more tempting to put him/her situations you want to experience (like, being popular among people).

Hint! You can still give the characters some traits of you, like your shyness, your optimism or you interest in shiny things. In fact, giving the author's traits to characters makes the writing process easier, since author knows well how these traits work. But still be careful to not to make him/her too much like you!

Make the character to serve your story, not your story to serve your character.

This is something many suethors forget. You should use the character to make the plot more interesting, not the plot to make the character feel comfortable. For example, if you give your character a new cool skill, you should give it to use it later as plot device, not because you want to pamper your darling with new toys.

How can the character serve the story, then? By keeping the reader's attention - or, mostly, by being entertaining in some way! Entertaining doesn't mean same thing than funny in this context: it means that the character manages to entertain the reader in some way, or invoke emotions. Character can be, for example, the reader's vessel through crazy adventures, a traveling buddy through the story (and the person who asks things that the readers would like to ask), a co-thinker in troublesome moral questions, or - of course! - a funny creature to which the reader can laugh. Think about characters that you like and try to think why do you enjoy reading about them - and how they serve the story.

In certain way, story can serve the character, of course: you can arrange situations that highlight the most entertaining sides of the character!

Avoid using your character just as fulfillment of your fantasies.

It may be fun to write your own daydreams down, but it is not as fun to read other people's fantasies. In fact, it is really boring. Twilight is a great example about that. Writing day dreams is fine, but before you publish it, think about if it is entertaining in the reader's opinion.

Your characters can't make YOU anything bad, even if you put them evil situations.

Don't be afraid to cause problems for the characters or make not their wishes to become true! They can't bite you even if they want to, because they are just beings of your imagination. So, you can feel safe to torture them as much as you like >:) Be merciless enough!

Saying you hate Mary Sues doesn't automatically make your characters non-Sues.

Some people mistakenly think that if they once learn what a Mary Sue is, automatically they won't make them anymore. This is not exactly true: first, even if you know the term "Mary Sue", it's not sure if you know ALL aspects about the issue or the heart of the Sueism. For example, I met a girl that claimed that her character is not a Mary Sue, because the character had minor weaknesses. She thought that Mary Sue is a character that is overall perfect and that a Mary Sue turns into a non-Sue if you slap on them couple of small weaknesses. Unfortunately, that's not true; if the character is perfect aka badly Sueish, you have to do him/her a harsh renovation. Minor one is not enough. Also, the weaknesses need to be certain kind of weaknesses to make a difference, as spoken in my character flaw review.

In reality, Mary Sues are usually more sneaky creatures than easily recognizable perfect!Sues. They may surprise even their creators; you just be told that that "Your character happens to be a Sue, she doesn't seem realistic since all the good happens to her". Before you can really say if your character is a Sue or not, you have to get WELL known about the term.

Second thing about "I-don't-make-Sues-cos-I-hate-them" issue: even people that have written man years and fully understand what is a Sue are in danger of making Sues. They may get too excited about creating a cool character or character that resemble they too much, and thus get affected to the character that much that they can't see that they are creating Sues. The danger lurks everywhere. However, usually good writers are capable to sense if their characters are in danger to slip to the Dark Side, so they can ask other opinions from other good writers.

Generally: when in doubt, ask more experienced writers.

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Personality. Create it. Properly. IT IS THE CORE OF THE WHOLE CHARACTER.

When people describe generic Mary Sues, one of first things they mention is that the character lacks personality, or the personality is very flat and full of clichés. While that, most of most loved characters ever have are loved because of their interesting personality and/or past. Without personality, the character is just a paper doll with fancy clothes, so pay HUGELY attention to their behavior patterns and traits.

Here is some kind of check-list for the personality of a character. Please note that this list CAN'T totally prevent from getting the character Sueish, but at least it can prevent the silliest mistakes. So, to it:

- Check out that the personality of the character is logical, and it causes logical consequences. For example, if your character is the only hippie orc in a blood-lusty orc village, he must have serious difficulties in his life there, like getting discriminated and such. Also, if there is insanely big heaps of difficulties in your character's life, it's unlikely (s)he is perfectly happyhappyjoy person or even perfectly sane. Gimme some logic, and inspect real people.

- Think the characters' personality through, reflecting it to his/her history. In other words, as thinking about the character's personality, try to step into the character's shoes and see how (s)he really works. For example, think about plot twists from point of view of the character, and as trying to forget your own mannerisms, try to think how your character would react to the situations. It may be difficult if the characters is very different from you, but it is worth it. Creating simple thumb rules about the character's personality (like, "he rarely thinks before speaking") and inspecting and interviewing people help a lot.

- Avoid giving character traits just because they are cool. Okay, couple of them are right, but if the character is just a collection of traits you regards as cool, it's unlikely to make him/her achieve the depth. Make the character wholeness, not a collection. Wholeness is something that forms a clear entirety, and everything is naturally linked together. Collection is a bundle of random pieces.

- Also: Avoid making the (leading) character ONLY to fulfill a certain character type (like 'typical shounen hero', 'typical action girl', 'emo', 'kawaii desu cuteness case', 'tsundere' etc.). At least in my opinion, a well-done leading character is something that you can think as '(s)he is [character's name]' and not as '(s)he is tsundere/uke/emo/etc.'. Of course character types can be used when creating supporting characters ('We need a beardy guy to babble wise things'), and they can be also used as a base of leading character ('What about making a nerd as a hero?'). However, your character WON'T stay in anyone's mind if (s)he is just example of some type and has nothing unique in him/her.

- DO NOT COPY LINE-BY-LINE AN UNIQUE PERSONALITY FROM ANOTHER CHARACTER (UNLESS IT IS YOURS)!!! If the reader knows that another character, you are in a big trouble. However, you can still get inspiration from other characters and base your ones to them, but at least DO NOT copy the unique quirks. For example, any Naruto fan can see that you are copying Rock Lee & Might Guy if you create a guy/girl yelling about power&youth and wearing green jumpsuit.

- Don't just randomly list traits, make them shore each others. And most importantly, DO NOT put into the same character two traits that CANNOT exist in the same personality. For example, it's wrong to say that the same person is simultaneously quiet and talkative - she can be SOMETIMES quiet and SOMETIMES talkative, in other words his/her talkativeness depends on the situation. If you give perfectly opposite traits to the same character, people may think that you didn't think about his/her personality well but just chose random adjectives, even if you didn't. So, be really careful when choosing the words.
Instead, it's pretty good idea to put into the same character two or more traits that are not usual together (but are possible together). For example, we all have seen in TV a spoiled brat that always gets her daddy what she wants and that despises "lower" people. Then, Disney make difference and made one of their character badly spoiled naive brat that wants to marry a prince and gets always what she wants, but WITH lots of empathy and a golden heart. The result, Lottie from The Princess and the Frog, was priceless.

- Write his/her personality down as a TEXT, not as a LIST. Text is far better tool to handle the relations of the traits than lists: if you character is told to be "really shy, and she usually bursts her stress out by talking fast about a lot of random issues popping into her mind that second", it tells far more than just listing "she is shy and talkative", because it tells how they are connected and how they even can exist in the same character. Plus, Sue-haters usually see "list personality" more Sueish than "text personality".

- And, finally: Your character's personality doesn't have to be ready when you start to write about him/her. This applies particularly with characters in long stories and RPGs. Usually writing about them shapes them more, so don't stress about making the personality detailed enough! Let your baby grow up :)

Don't make him/her simultaneously very well-liked AND very good-looking AND very skilled AND very wise.

If used all four in one, it's nearly automatically a Sue. Instead, decrease them AT LEAST in one area, or half in two areas, or third in three areas, and so on. However, I recommend decreasing MORE than the amount of one area.

Example: Naruto is quite nice but annoying in some people's opinion (½ points), not too good-looking but not bad-looking either (½ points), VERY skilled in ninja arts (1 point) and mostly dumb but sometimes quite quick-minded in battle (1/3 points). Together, 2 + 1/3 points instead of full 4 points. I removed stuff for 1 + 2/3 points.

All people can't be either his/her friends or his/her enemies - especially not just either of them.

It's is quite dumb to read about person that is liked by all or hated by all. Neither of these situations is realistic; there are people that don't like person that is liked by most people, and even hated people usually have someone that cared of them. It is also rather silly to justify that "those people who don't like her are MEAN!!!" People get along with different people: for example, some of them can't do well with silent people, while some can't stand motormouths. It's a personality issue.

And, in reality, a person has usually just a bunch of people that (s)he can call either friends or enemies. Most people that he interacts with doesn't think anything special about him. For example, I can bet that most of the buddies in your school don't pay attention if you are in the school or not, even if they know your face. So, be sure that if you character lives in a place with lots of people, she can occasionally meet people that doesn't think anything special of your character. Also, make him/her being both liked and hated.

Take easy with the looks.

The outlook isn't crucial in Sueness: a good character can look super sexy, and a Mary Sue can look normal. However, the looks is a thing that the reader sees first, and by it (s)he often makes his/her first impressions about the character's Sueness. Some basic rules:

1. Stick to the genre / series that you are writing about. Here is no neon-pink-haired girls in LotR or neko-eared guys in Naruto or blondes or redheads in Avatar: The Last Airbender. People living in the Feudal Japan use neither sneakers nor jeans. The better the looks suits to the series, the... yeah, better. Research is your friend, both with FCs and OCs.

2. Avoid cliché attires if possible. There is enough of emo clothing, sailor school uniforms, cat ears, kitsune tails, scars running over one's eye, and angel wings. Be creative and try something new instead!

3. Give him/her just few special attires for his/her outlook. For example, odd-colored eyes or hair are totally enough in most cases, no need to add decoration wings or stuff!

4. Choose for his/her costume max four main colors and their variations and stick to them. For example, in Naruto Part I the main character Naruto uses mainly orange, dark blue and some white in his costume. You can use other colors in minor details, like Naruto uses red in the back of his jacket, grey in the jacket's zipper and green in his necklace given by Tsunade. The result seems more controlled than fuzzy cocktail of all colors of rainbow!

5. If making FCs, do not make your character's costume notably more complicated/pretty than the leading cast has, unless your character is meant to portray something with high authority (like the king of a kingdom). But is (s)he is the same level (like fellow ninja), stick on the same complicatedness/coolness level.

6. If your character seems amazingly beautiful and sexy, (s)he should be also really bad in something else. Beauty is a notable strength: beautiful people have usually better self-confidence and tendency to socialize then not-so-pretty people, because they trust that their looks don't push people out.

7. DO NOT DIRECTLY COPY A UNIQUE THING FROM A WELL-KNOWN CHARACTER, ESPECIALLY IF THAT CHARACTER APPEARS IN THE SAME SERIES. Taking influence, altering, fine. Direct copying to the character without any thinking, NOT FINE.

Thumb rule: Good looks can't save poor made character, and bad looks doesn't hide the amazingness of well made character. See also the section Choosing right words for his/her description can decrease Sue aspects greatly in section When writing about him/her.

My tutorial about character design: Clickie.

Also, take easy with his/her background.

Good characters don't need to have background about which you can make a Hollywood movie (though they still CAN have). Of course (s)he can always have not-too-big tragedies, like being school-bullied in his/her past, but being the only survivor of his/her lineage is not something you should use very often. What the readers want to read is what they are NOW, not their angst-filled pasts. Of course, the past can (and should!) shape them, but don't use it just for gathering sympathy for your character: the personality of him matters.

For example, I generally dislike boyfriend characters in shoujo series, because they are usually meant to (be eye food and) cause pity to their ohsotragic past. However, a shoujo series called Chibi Vampire makes a nice exception: its boyfriend character, Kenta, doesn't have bishie looks, but he has personality; at least I'd like to know a person like him, because his personality is so real. Yup, still talking about past: Even if his past without father and in great poverty is indeed tragic and causes a lot of unhappiness (that is one of plot tools in the series), his personality is put front of his past. And blimey, it works. Unlike with those faceless bishie boyfriends.

To sum up the last one: Personality is far more important than the past. Past = the background if the painting. Personality = the subject of the painting. They work together, and past ALWAYS give some influence to the personality. However, don't overdo that, either: if your character's little brother snatched his/her stuffed bunny when he/she was five, most likely it DOESN'T give that big trauma.

Also, make sure that the past/background suits for the series. For example, a draenei that has lost all his/her family in a war against orcs is not unusual in World of Warcraft fan fiction, because the invasions of orcs were the reason why the draenei are at the brink of extinction. But a teenager girl in modern USA in the same situation is frigging rare and possibly even unbelievable, so you need far more carefulness to use this setting. At least remember not to put her just into a high school with happy face and like nothing was happened.

Give him/her JUST A FEW skills / special traits and stick on them.

Naruto did fine with just his Shadow Clone Technique, Rasengan, fox tricks and basic taijutsu in the Part I of Naruto series, and in Shippuuden he has obtained just few new tricks (that are mainly variations of the old ones). Also, Hyuuga Neji is one of the badassest guys among the Konoha Kids, though he uses just Hyuuga taijutsu and nothing else. Gaara is the Kazekage of Sand Village, and he uses almost solely sand ninjutsu. Making the skill palette simple enough gives a lot:
a) It's easier for the reader to follow the battles (or something like those) of the character, because (s)he can remember all the arsenal that the character can use.
b) It's also easier for the author, since it's simpler to him/her to take control about the situations where the skills are used. Thus, (s)he can prevent situations like, 'Dammit! My character won that enemy in difficult way, because I forgot (s)he had that Hyper Skill n:o #42 that would kick that baddie's butt with no time!'

c) And, of course, it decreases Sueness. Mary Sues are famous of having that big arsenal of the skills that (s)he must carry a notebook to remember them all.
There is also the fact that people can't be even "quite good" in everything, because they often tend to use familiar ways to solve their problems. For example, in Naruto, if you are already quite skilled in taijutsu and not so good in ninjutsu or genjutsu, you probably are more willing to improve your taijutsu super good instead of learning average level ninjutsu or genjutsu. People tend to like develop their skills in areas in which they are already skilled. True Jacks-of-All-Trades are reeeeeaaaaallyyyyyy rare.

The thumb rule would be the following one: If you are not sure if your character is too powerful/skilled, give your character at most A COUPLE OF bigger skills. If the skill is really big, use one. If they are not that big, you can use a few.

Give him/her weaknesses that (s)he can't help.

'My character is really prone to get angered, but when needed, he can calm himself.' Oh yeah? Is hot-headness a weakness in this case? No, it doesn't, because the character can turn it out by his will. Don't give the character that proper control over his/her weaknesses - if (s)he can control them, they aren't weaknesses at all, just odd quirks!

Hint! The business are different if something external thing block or takes over the power of character's weakness. For example, a person that fears blood MAY rush to help at his/her badly wounded beloved, if the person fears the lost of his/her beloved a lot more than blood. Also, a hot-headed character can try to take over his/her feelings, if the Bad Guy is treating his/her beloved's life saying: "A wrong move and (s)he'll die!"

Don't call strengths weaknesses without reason.

Calling strength weakness is rather often used with Sues. Very common example is temperament: with Sues, hot-headness rarely cause problems to the character, but instead it helps him/her to express his/her feelings, tell truths at crucial moments, and attack on enemy more fiercely. Also, shyness is another common one: with Sues, it is usually used to highlight the heroine's interest to her crush and make her more cute, but it doesn't prevent her to act normally with other people.

That kind of traits work better as so-called double-edged swords: traits that serve both strengths and weaknesses. To make them work well, you should show both bad and good sides of that trait, both many times enough. Thus, you admit that trait is also a benefit to your character, but the character also gets his/her healthy portion of weakness.

Weaknesses are the ones that origins from him/her, not from the other people or surroundings.

All evil that is connected to the character are not a weaknesses. Being bullied, living in poverty or being harassed sexually is not the character's own weakness, because it origins from other people or environment: the other people bully and harass the character. Neither tragic past is weakness, it is just something bad that is happened to the character. Instead, evil thing can CAUSE and BE CAUSED by weaknesses: losing best friend in his/her past may make him/her unwilling to socialize with other people, and bullies may bully you character because (s)he is such a wimpy.

Normal human reactions are NOT weaknesses.

Your character is not a crybaby if (s)he cries in the funeral of his/her beloved: (s)he is just a healthy human with human emotions. Also, neither is that a weakness if your character gets angry at an annoying character that makes nearly all characters mad.

Make lists of the ALL strengths and weaknesses of the character and check that the lists are quite as long as the other one.

Or, if making a character that is total n00b, make the weakness list notably longer :D Don't use synonyms about the same trait, like "she is hot-headed, and has bad temper, and is easy to make angered...", it may make the results wrong! Neither too general categories, like (in fighting series) "she is good in battle". (WHY is she good? What all good traits make her good in battle?) Also, set the double-edged swords to both categories.

* Give him/her a trait of which other people can frequently poke fun!

This is not forced to use, but it decreases sueness greatly! Give him/her a trait that make him/her silly! For example, people make lot of fun about Edward Elric's shortness (and his overreactions about that) in Full Metal Alchemist. You can also make the character / character group to repeat a certain joke. For example, in Bleach, Rukia constantly draws poor and glittery bunny&teddy pictures when trying to explain something serious. Really controversial traits are often thought funny, too: again in Bleach, Chad is a hulkish brute that can collide with a motor bike without getting any bigger wounds, but he also is mad about cute animals and stuffed toys.

But remember to make the jokes like that they make THE CHARACTER funny, not the situation or the people attending it. For example, those famous panty shot scenes doesn't make the character her-(him-?)self funny, because it is usually an accident or caused by other person. The character her-(him-?)self is not acting in funny way in that kind of situation. (S)he is just a helpless victim. But, if you make the character to react very funnily in those situations (like fretting about that a guy sees her panties that are not the hottest fashion of the moment), it can be counted as making fun of the character.

W H E N   W R I T I N G   A B O U T   H I M / H E R

If invented a notable bad trait for him/her, use it.

Many suethors list all kind of little flaws of their characters but never use them in the actual story. Practically it is the same thing that making no flaws to the characters. So, remember to show the worse side of your character, too! And frequently! You don't have to use ALL of his/her bad minor traits (like bad sense of taste or a little bad knee), but remember at least the biggest ones. Don't just think that your character is not perfect; show it to your readers, too!

Don't let him/her to hog all the cool scenes.

The reason why some fan fiction readers hate FCs (even non-Sues) is the fact that sometimes a FC is nearly always on the stage and leaves no room for the other characters. That is very common among Sues, too: they steal all the cool scenes and seldom let the other (original) characters to shine. To prevent it with your character, remember a thumb rule: If there is a cool thing to do, and some other character than your character can do it, too, let that another character to do it at least sometimes. And also arrange some own cool scenes to the supporting cast, too! The situation is different if you character is one of only characters of the story, particularly in original fiction (OCs' area).

Also, remember make him/her to do sometimes wrong decisions.

And again, it must be caused by him/her, not by the other people, the circumstances or his/her bad luck. For example, turning to the wrong street and ending up to attacked by street gang is not counted to be "true" wrong decision, because the trouble is caused by bad luck and not about the flaws of the character. Instead, getting provoked into a battle against someone too big and ending up to hospital after that is counted to be a trouble caused by him-/herself. Or saying to his/her friend things that (s)he later regrets.

Keep in your mind what your character really knows - it's not the same that the reader or the author knows.

Relating to previous one, it's usually really unrealistic if your character can mysteriously sense that (s)he can or can't trust on certain person, or be able to use his/her fresh new skill perfectly without anyone assisting him/her, or such, even if the author or even reader can see how to do it. For example, some Naruto Sues can immediately tell in Chunin Exams that they can't trust on Kabuto, even if Kabuto lured the main cast for good time, acting as good guy. Even if the reader knows that the character shouldn't trust on Kabuto (or any bad guy in canon), it doesn't mean that the character knows it. Set yourself into the point of views of your character and EXAMINE what (s)he really knows. Now you are allowed to think yourself as the character. Check for every piece of data that WHO REALLY can know that information (for example: your Naruto character probably can't know about the truth of Uchiha massacre, if (s)he is not some of the Konoha elders, Itachi himself, Sasuke or Madara, or someone that have got information from them).

Remember the character development during the story.

This is also very important to fan characters, but vital to original characters, since original characters have usually longer stories than fan characters have. Character development doesn't usually mean that the character gains more AWSUM POWAHS, but more importantly his/her mental growth and shaping of his/her personality. (S)he may learn to be more brave, or note that world is not that innocent or angsty that (s)he thought, or maybe (s)he learns forgiveness. Nevertheless, to allow character development, you can't start a story with a perfect character (or end it). Leave some room for growth!

Hint! Shuttling forth and back in the "perfection scale" can be a good tool, too. Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender is a great example of that. However, be careful about making it realistic.

* Choosing right words for his/her description can decrease Sue aspects greatly.

You don't have to be smooth or pampering when portraying you character. For example, doesn't it sound less Sueish to say, 'when annoyed even a little, he turns a real madman' than, 'he has a little bad temper'? Of course considering his/her true traits, people, overstating is not wise.

Also, many people before me have said that it's better to use mainly quite common words like "blue eyes and brown hair" instead of over-poetry stuff like "heavenly azure blue orbs and tasty chocolate locks". Personally, I think that it's okay to use poetry phrases A LITTLE. But just when the character really needs it.

Usually, when portraying a character, the impression is given from view of the the character him-/herself or by by-passers. Think of how the character could be portrayed in each case. Most people don't think they themselves are super pretty, but they may find some traits of which they are proud of, like nice shape or face or something. Usually, they think they are just plain, with both good traits and not-so-good ones. On the other hand, by-passers don't usually start to list all the details they see front of them, but rather give a "shape" to what they see: "There is a short woman that seemed like that the wind could make her fly... She was dressed in black from head to toes... Mostly, she seemed like that she didn't see other people..." See? Impressions, not exact details.

Also, I like to use poetic words when depicting a character that really is stunning in the opinion of the viewer (like, a guy in crush viewing his beloved)! However, when introducing him/her to more neutral audience (like, the readers), it is wiser to use neutral words for not giving a impression like, "(S)HE IS THE BEAUTY/PWETTYBOY, U MUST WORSHIP HIM/HER OR I BITES U!"

Sometimes the poetic terms can be in the crucial role. For example, in a novel series called Stravaganza, it was often pointed out that the heroine called Arianna had "pansy blue" eyes, because they were in the crucial part when revealing her true heritage - her mother's eyes were similar. If they'd be just "blue", it wouldn't be that notable detail in the identification process, since many people's eyes are just "blue".

* Is possible, move him/her background.

Though some Harry Potter fans claim that Lily Potter is a Mary Sue, most fans doesn't care about the fact because Lily doesn't appear in the book every moment. So, if you want to make super-cool character that won't be tagged as Mary Sue, move that character to the background. Then give the bigger scenes to dummier and less Sueish characters, so the more Sueish characters poke readers' eyes less. (Of course, all characters can't be moved to background. Some have to stand front.)

* Don't fulfill ALL his/her goals.

'Parents should cause children disappointments', states a parenting guide. So you can cause your characters. Give him/her a goal (s)he can't reach, like having hopeless crush to a person that can't care about him/her less. Thus, the reader can notice that the character is not able to make what ever (s)he likes!

N O T E S   A B O U T   F A N   C H A R A C T E R S

Fan characters (like, a ninja character that is invented by you and that lives in the same world as Uzumaki Naruto) aka FCs have stricter rules in their creation than OCs (original characters belonging to no fandom). The reason is that they live in a world that you are not invented, and thus, you can't create the rules of the world by yourself. Also, Sue haters tend to be harsher with FCs than with OCs. So, to the fan character tips:

NEVER replace a canon character with your character!

Most fan fiction readers want to read about the canon characters, not FCs. In their opinion, FCs are meant to be just the tools that are made for support the performance of their favorite characters. Thus, the readers may get really upset if you suddenly switch their favorite character with your one. The thing becomes even worse if you make your character even better than the original one and thus overpower him/her. When that happens, the readers easily think that you are beating their favorites up.

The replacing DOESN'T always mean actual replacing by which that replaced canon character disappears from the story. In fact, more often it means that the new character hogs relationships, statuses, skills or anything like that that belonged originally to the canon character. For example, in Sonic the Hedgehog fan fiction, it is bad if you make a hedgehog that is even faster than Sonic, because it is stated that Sonic is the fastest hedgehog in the world. Also, in the same series, it's not wise to make your character to be the best friend of Sonic, because all Sonic fans know that Sonic's best friend is Tails.

You can make exception with this rule, if the whole idea of the story is to replace a canon character by the altered version of him/her. For example, if you want to think how Ranma½ turned out if Ranma were originally girl with poor fighting qualities and not a battle-skilled boy, you can replace male Ranma with your female FC that can be named either Ranma or not. Usually in this case, it's not wise to make the new character better than the original version. In fact, it is more fun to make him/her less skilled or good! Thus, the situations that were difficult to the original character are even more difficult to the new one!

In most cases, when making an FC, make sure that it can (s)he can exist in the world of the series without kicking an original character out or ruin their original relationships, statuses and stuff.

Avoid making your character overall better than most original characters.

As mentioned above, role stealing is what the readers can't stand. Relating to this, avoid making your FC notably better than most characters of his/her status. For example, if you are making a young Genin level ninja for Naruto fan fiction, mostly it's best to be sure that (s)he can't beat an average Jounin or even an average Chuunin level ninja with just his/her left hand, because most Genins in the series can't do that. Applies to the series that contains no fighting, too.

However, sometimes you may want to make a character that is stronger than most of his/her pals. You can do it, too, there is nothing wrong in that. But. You have to also know what is the real level of an average character and give a LOGICAL explanation where (s)he has gained his/her above average powers. Naruto isn't an average ninja, so if your character is stronger than Naruto, you need a GOOD explanation.

Hint! You can make your character the best one in a area that is not already taken over in the original series. For example, in Naruto fan fiction, it is totally okay to make your character the best singer of Konoha, because there is not mentioned already who is the best singer of Konoha.

Check the skill levels before comparing your character to a canon character.

I've felt a little funny when reading about a Naruto Genin FC that 'could beat Kabuto in a battle'. Isn't that a little over-powering? Kabuto is extremely skilled ninja that could put against Kakashi (that is Kage level judging by his skills). This kind of mistakes happens easily to authors that have no objective vision about the characters of the series. In many series, like Naruto, the main character is extraordinary skilled for his/her age or rank, and thus (s)he can blow up enemies that the normal people of his/her status can't beat. For example, there was a scene in which Naruto could make bad wound on Kabuto by his Rasengan. Don't regard the main characters as "normal cases" when creating fan characters in the fandom of those kind of series.

Avoid copying traits from canon characters.

If your Naruto FC is faints when seeing his/her crush (like Hinata), owns a dog looking like Great Pyrenees (like Kiba) and was originally strict with rules but changed when his/her friend died heroically (like Kakashi), there is a lots of stuff to clean up in you character. Don't ape the aspects of the canon characters and stuff them into your one! It is stealing! But don't be afraid to use general aspects that appear in the original series, too. For example, you still can make a shy character for a Naruto fan fiction, even though there is Hinata that is shy, too. However, don't make him/her behave exactly like Hinata: not all shy people pass out when seeing their crushes! Again, observing real people is golden.

Keep the canon characters IC (=In Character) when writing about them.

Many Sue haters blame the suethors about the fact that their Sues make the canon characters behave out of character. For example, a Sue can make an evil character to act like a little puppy when she is close. Personally, I see that all OOCism with canon character doesn't derive just from using Mary Sue with them (OOC = Out Of Character). Most suethors are quite inexperienced writers, so they can't handle canon characters objectively, either. That may cause illusion about that Mary Sue turns other characters OOC. Was the reason for the phenomenon what ever is was, make sure that you make all canon characters you use IC. Thus, you can prevent yourself from these complaints!

Be warned about Canon Sues.

There is a funny fact that many writers don't often think. The fact is that you can turn a character into Mary Sue, even if the character is not invented by you and even if (s)he isn't originally a Mary Sue. For example, there are some odd Hinata fan fictions where Hinata has gotten mystically heaps of self-confidence and can act like a real rebel. There is also Harry Potter fictions where Hermione is not a nervous book worm with messy hair but an laid-back and über-sexeeeeh heroine. In other words, Canon Sueing is over-polishing the image of a canon character (that is often a favorite character of the author). The best way to prevent Canon Sues is to make careful research about the character and make sure that you show him/her in the way that (s)he is shown in the original series. Wikis of the series and the original manga, anime, books, movies, and tv shows are your friends.

Wish from the Audience:
N O T E S   A B O U T   O R I G I N A L   C H A R A C T E R S

Original characters (a character that is invented by you and that lives in a world/story setting that you are invented) aka OCs are easier to make non-Sues than fan characters, because you can set the rules of your story world by yourself. Can your character fly? If you have decided that flight is a normal skill in your storyversum, it's totally okay to give that skill to your protagonist, too. Plus, Mary Sue haters are not as prone to attack on OCs than on FCs.

However, even if you have more freedom with OCs than with FCs, Sue danger still exist. You can't justify all Sue traits by saying that that's your world and your rules. I try to collect here rules that are good to remember especially with original characters.

What ever creature (s)he is, avoid making his/her nature too perfect.

Most characters (except mindless monsters, animals and such) are based on humans and human nature, even if your characters were aliens or fantasy creatures. Humans aren't perfect creatures, as we well know. So, to ensure that the reader can feel that your character with brains is believable, give him/her also human personality flaws - something that human-like brains give. Every fantasy/scifi creature with brains have some human traits, and human nature is not least of them.

If you still want to make a perfect personality (like a god, a goddess, an ideal human, a perfect android...), avoid using that character as a character that the reader should pay his/her attention much. For example, usually it's quite good idea to use super-powerful, super-nice and super-wise character as a tutor of the hero of the story; thus, the reader pays attention to not-so-perfect hero and doesn't start to regard that tutor too unnatural creature. The reader may also think that the positive image of the tutor may come from that the hero looks up his/her tutor.

Character development! mentioned earlier in section When writing about him/her. This is VERY IMPORTANT especially for OCs, because OCs have often longer stories than FCs and have more time to develop. Next issue.

Set clear rules for your world and stick on them. Avoid adding extra laws later.

From very start, try to make clear in your head what all traits your (protagonist) character has (that moment) and, the most important, explain why your character has that arsenal that (s)he has (if you are skilled writer, you can slip from this rule, if you understand why it exists). Is it due his/her race, job, genetics, training? Is here also other characters with similar skills? Or better skills? Avoid surprising readers with loopholes or deus ex machinas and make the rules of the game clear - and most preferable, keep the rules simple. This requires planning in advance, but it makes your story more believable. You don't have to reveal all the things in the very start (think about start of Full Metal Alchemist, for example), but soon enough to let the reader to know what the character can really do in crucial fights.

This thing is often something that bugs me in shounen manga. Often, they have first clear laws in their worlds, but alas, when the authors start to lack ideas, they throw in more laws. And it makes the story suffer. Examples of that are, in my opinion, Sharingan in Naruto and almost all the stuff in Bleach.

Still avoid making him/her too special...

"Errr... she can fly even if other people in that world can't?"
"Because she is the last one of her kin!"
"...and she can see instantly who is the culprit?"
"Because she is trained by the Hermit in the Mount Awsum!!!"
"And use huge laser destroying all bad guys and resurrecting all good guys with no sweat?"
"Because she is the Chosen One!!!!1111oneone"

...just use your brain. Even if you give "logical" reason to all odd quirks in your character, even if you shape your world like that the skill can exist, it is really silly if your character has tons of special skills that normal creatures in his/her world (possibly in his/her position) lack. As said earlier, DO NOT STUFF TOO MUCH SPECIAL STUFF TO HIM/HER. Even if (s)he is the protagonist.

L I N K S   T O   O T H E R   A N T I   
M A R Y   S U E   T U T O R I A L S

Here is some links to other helpful Anti Mary Sue Tutorials and such.

* The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test. A famous Mary Sue test. Quite harsh but effective one, though don't read it as a Bible. And remember to read the instructions to get quite reliable results!
* A helpful site for discussing about definition of Mary Sue and tricks to avoid them. Has also own group in DeviantART: Click.
* How to Make a Character by lonestranger. He said many things I couldn't find words.
* Character Cliches to Avoid by GMYuna. Helpful list.
* Addi vs Addi by Addi-Pink-Power. Comparison of a decent character and a Mary Sue.


That's all. Have fun with character making! <3
I've wondered about making a proper Finnish character guide, but the process went quite big. I may make it ready a day, but now I concentrate on more specific issue: Mary Sues and how to avoid them. In English, this time :) Don't eat me for not-perfect grammar, but tell what is wrong.

The characters mentioned in the tutorial belong to their owners.
The tutorial belongs to me. However, I've picked here and there information for it.

Finnish translation!…

My other character tutorials (more or less)
E: S7alker117's and my interesting conversation about non-human-like characters in the comments:…

EE: PLEASE DO NOT PUT HERE YOUR OC'S CHARACTER SHEET AND ASK IF THAT CHARACTER IS A MARY SUE OR NOT. Frankly, it is more often than not impossible to say just according to a character sheet. Character sheets only give basic data, but they don't tell how the character actually works in a story. Does the surroundings challenge him/her or not? How do other characters react to him/her? Only blatant superpowering, copycatting and such can be seen in character sheets, but it's impossible to see if a character works decently in a story.

I can give comments about what might be a good idea to try in a character though.
Add a Comment:
KawaiiGoreLover Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  New member Student Traditional Artist
I read your things on names, I made this name out if raw boredom. Also I would like if you judged my character that I made for a book that I am currently writing (nothing big just another boring old wattapad story.)
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ummm, depends on how long and detailed character sheet (or any other description) you have of your character and how detailed feedback you want. I'm midst of working with my thesis, and I don't really have too much excess brain juice x__x
KawaiiGoreLover Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  New member Student Traditional Artist
It's not much, I don't know how to send pictures through here so I'll tell you what she looks like. Sage white is an albino, she was bullied all her life so she snapped, she's 20 years of age. Her weapon is a pair of hammers and some rusty nails, she does flip out at times and she has various forms. One where she just has black oozing eyes and mouth causing her to have super strength. Another where her jaw ripps open and spews out tentacles same with her back, and her last one where he tentacles form a large wolf around her. She has short choppy hair, bandages on her left eye and all over her body. She wears a purple turtle neck and dark green baggy military style jeans, she also has black work gloves and combat boots. Her "powers" also do great damage to her, like when her jaw rips open, that actually happens to her so she needs to get medical help when she's done, and when her back or torso rips open it weakens her from the blood loss. She also has anger issues and schizophrenia which causes her to become an alcoholic. Is she a good oc?
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Some comments for that:

Before I can say anything about her being a Sue or not, I remind you about an issue: SUENESS IS RELATIVE. It depends on the story, the world, and the execution if a character is on the Sue territory or not. For example: Is she one of a kind with these powers, or does this world have also other superpowered individuals? A ten-year-old kid who lifts a car with bare hands and appears in X-Men wouldn't be that much a Sue what comes to their powers, but that strong kid in every-day drama series really raises brows. I also want to know how are you intending to use her powers and her mental instability in the story. Does the story use these as major plot issues, or could you remove those without notably affecting the plot?

Being bullied all her life... ummm. This doesn't qualify alone, but it needs flesh. In what kind of circumstances did she live? What were the factors that made her a sore in bullies' eyes -- and more importantly, what caused her to drift into "snapping"? Why she didn't seek or get help in time? What is the exact nature of the traumas she has: is she paranoid with other people, overly hostile? (everyone's favorite Belgian detective Hercule Poirot said once something like this: "Mad people's actions make perfect sense to the mad people themselves.") Can you perhaps verbalize what are her exact fears she cannot overcome anymore? And, perhaps most importantly: What purpose does bullying serve in the story? Apparently this is the reason for her unstable nature, but what purpose does THAT serve? Is her unstable nature causing conflicts, or is the story about how she lives with her imbalanced mind?

Also... DO YOUR RESEARCH. Schizophrenia is a real medical condition that really affects some real people's real lives. The fictional world is already too full of poor portrayals of schizophrenia, and they severely disrespect those people actually suffering from it. Don't trust Hollywood. Do your research from the Real World.

By that outfit, you probably mean an outfit that she is wearing in the story? Few people wear the same clothes all the time... (Hint: Usually, depiction of clothes is one of LEAST important parts of the portrayal of a character. Her behavior, appearance, and the message she brings via the story are MUCH more important.)
KawaiiGoreLover Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  New member Student Traditional Artist
My oldest sister has schizophrenia so I know what she goes through and I know how to make my character's schizophrenia realistic, she lives in an orphanage her mother gave her up at brith due to her odd looks. She couldn't get help due to the orphanage not giving a flying fluck about her, her living quarters weren't well, she had her own room, it was a pigsty though, her "powers" are useful in her story, but most of the time they're hurtful to everyone around her.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry about delay, busy with my thesis X___X

Good to have a source like that, helps getting to "regular life" aspect.

I would so now that whether or not she is a sue depends on how you will use her in the story and how you execute that. Namely, whether the character serves the story, or the story serves the character. The former one is the desirable option.
crazynoggin Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Seemingly overpowered superpowers can work out if used correctly.
For example, mind reading.
You could make it that the the character is unable to disable the power, and/or make it so when (s)he enters a crowd (s)he getting a splitting headache.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, true. I rather like to highlight the weakness that if the person is unable to turn it off, they always hear all the hidden messages of people not intended for public, such as awful criticism towards the person themself. Whatever is the case, characters with immense powers CAN be written well - but the logic and the consequences must be treated with care. Powers also need to relate to the plot and not to be just superficial extra to make the character more crazy powerful.
crazynoggin Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, like if it's placed in a post-destroyed world, and the air is toxic, flying wouldn't do much help.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Perhaps we need a more positive example...

A manga series named Kitchen Princess handled that cook genius theme nicely. Its protagonist is a young girl who is an expert in kitchen, and it's a vital part of her characterization and main plot. She is enthusiastic to learn more recipes, and she often expresses her caring by cooking tailored meals or treats to specific people and needs. There are also major themes about "cooking with love and care" and nutrition and clear signs of the author's knowledge of the subject. I loved an arc in which she and her friends tried find a specific pie recipe to get an appearance-pressured bulimic class mate to eat something before her health would be ruined. Plot points ahoy!
crazynoggin Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I rather meant that giving a power must serve the plot. For example, if we have a high school setting, and your story is about the protagonist pursuing her crush, and you make your protagonist a top model, top singer, a miracle in the kitchen, etc. (yes, those are counted as "superpowers" given the setting)... and they play no part in the plot (those things just happen and affect nothing to the pursue). They serve as just things to make the character (cheaply) more awesome and have no real point in the story.

Instead, if you made them to affect the plot meaningfully, then superpowers (or "superpowers") are used right! For example:

- Busy top modelling schedule makes arranging dates really really REALLY hard, and also the protagonist fears that her crush only sees her public image and thinks she is swallow due to her appearance-orientated job. She desperately tries to make her crush to see she is actually a normal person beneath her public image (was the worry valid or not).
- Ditto singing.
- The protagonist has spent that much time in mastering kitchen arts that she is thinks quite everything via food terms, and she tries to win her crush's heart by making fancyfancyfancy treats, feeling insecure about the other sides of the courtship. Kinda she only communicates by food and has tough time with "switching the language" xP

Now the "superpower" also causes strain in the story! :D

(Also I prefer having only one of those. Makes the plot simpler to follow when there are fewer balls to juggle with.)
crazynoggin Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
NiagraFalls Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This helped a lot!
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! :)
ang-L Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is extremely helpful! :heart: 
thankyou for creating this :)
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! c:
ang-L Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Would you be willing to take a look at my fan character? 
I could really use an outside opinion :)
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I can, but it won't happen soon. I'm busy IRL X___X
ang-L Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Aha it's all good c:
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Edited Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Alright, now I have a moment. Which one is the OC you're troubled about? Austin or Adrienne or Reegan or who?
ang-L Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'd appreciate it if you read about Adrienne's relationships and give me any feedback you may have? c:… (especially since she's the only one paired with a canon character haha)

thankyou! :3
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, this goes tough, since I don't know that series well (I've read only a few first manga volumes), but I give a shoot!
SlashKnight95 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Could you please check my FC and give me some suggestions on how I could change him. 
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, now I have read his background. So... Fade kind of IS a replica of Sonic, literally. So that gives more sense to his appearance. However, this background appears to contain that much references to the Sonic franchise that I have no idea what in the background makes sense in Sonic canon and what not. I can't be very helpful in this, since I know only superficial information about the franchise.

...but it was a rather downer to read Sonic's death as "the flames killed Sonic", with no drama there. Though this is more like a writing stylish thing than an OC thing.

Just... I wonder what is Fade's potential here. What makes him interesting as a character? Why a reader would like to read about him instead of reading about Sonic? While the reason why Fade is a replica makes (...sort of...) sense here (at least to a non-fan), you need to be careful with avoiding making him "like Sonic BUT...". It's essential to aim to make Fade a character who can run his own plot without leaning onto his resemblance on Sonic.

Again, consult veteran fans of Sonic franchise.
SlashKnight95 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Take a look now.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
His design looks much better now. Now it's easier to see him as a different character rather than as a black Sonic. The flaws feel mostly reasonable, except there are a couple of things that puzzle me:

1. Not knowing family or his identity aren't flaws, but rather his, how to say, outer challenges. I don't quite know how to explain this, but I see flaws being something that come FROM HIS INSIDE (for example bad temper and beating on himself when messing up things), while not knowing past or identity are something that come OUTSIDE him. How to define that better... For example, bad temper harms his communication and beating on himself takes his focus away from more reasonable things to do, which also subsequently harm his allies. Instead, not knowing his family/himself doesn't come inside him, it's information that hasn't given to him or that has been removed from him.

...oh, I think I came up with a difference. Flaws are something that in the end, only he can fix. Only he can decide if he wants to try to reign his temper or not, or if he wants force himself stopping beating on himself. But he can't decide to just to remember his family or past, even though someone may be able to tell about those to him. However, only he can try to change his own personality, no one else can do it (in honest ways at least).

So, some definitions:

Flaw = Personality trait or habit that harms the character and usually also people around him/her. Only the character himself/herself can try to grow out from his/her flaws, though help from other characters may help in that (but it's finally about the character himself/herself). Flaws exist in all human beings and they are vital part of Non-Sues. However, a flaw may also be a benefit in certain cases: for example, people with bad temper are often able to get their will through better. 

Weakness = In general a trait that hinders the character, but not always a flaw. For example, in my book disability (like blindness) is a weakness but not a flaw, because it's caused by outer factors. So it's an umbrella term to the term "flaw": all flaws are weaknesses, but not all weaknesses are flaws.

2. I'm curious about how not understanding emotions will be manifested in him. Is he a nihilist? Is he similarly blind to them like a colorblind wouldn't understand what colors are? Or does he ignore them and seeing them pointless? How does he react if someone is being happy next to him? Does he diss it, or is he wondering what the heck is going on with that person?

What comes to background, I recommend you to find an actual Sonic fan to review it.
SlashKnight95 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well Dark forms in a sense use only negative energy like sadness, rage, etc. and since he was one, he can't understand the opposite emotions. If he sees someone happy, he becomes confused and doesn't know how to react to said is something positive is said to him. Even a positive action like hugging and if someone does that to him, he would just be confused and tries to get whoever hugged off of him. 

PS. How funny would it be if Amy again mistook him as sonic when she isn't that far off?
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That makes sense, that not understanding what positive gestures are. And interesting, too.

Again, I haven't followed Sonic franchise, so I have trouble with answering that question since I don't know Amy was a character very well.
SlashKnight95 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amy has a habit of mistaking other hedgehogs for sonic. Her first appearance was Rosy(Sonic CD) then changed to Amy with a redesign in Sonic adventure DX. In Sonic Adventure 2 she mistook Shadow for sonic, Sonic 06 she mistook Silver for him as well. She has the ability to wield a hammer and believes sonic is her boyfriend.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Still hard to say, since, well, I haven't EXPERIENCED her character as a viewer.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Fade the Hedgehog? Alright!

But just as a warning: I haven't followed the Sonic franchise, and therefore I have no idea about the canon limitations here. I request you to seek for another Sonic fan (preferably a veteran and mature enough one).

Hmmm... Naturally first I see his art. While I do understand that Sonic's character design is kind of a default hedgehog design, but recoloring (with small tweaking in the shape of his spines) leaves a bad taste to my mouth, to be honest. What I thought about him first was, "That's a black Sonic!" Though if they are related, it could explain this better... still I recommend you to at least alter the shoe design to make the similarity less jarring.

I'm rather tired right now, but I'll take a look at his background when I'm more awake. Perhaps the background gives more reasons for why he resembles Sonic that much.
SlashKnight95 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alright, I also have a bio of his personality and his flaws that I am still making and I am changing that back story into something else where he has no memory of who he is. I will be also changing the shoe design and some more of his looks.
aquafox12 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
Lol one of my characters is an anti sue and I really need to fix her cause she's getting angry. She is of a different race other than human but there are many others like her. She has magical capabilities but again, a lot of people do. She kind of sucks right now cause she hates her trainers and can't make friends. And she ugly (according to other races) and no one wants to date her so now she depressed. Yet somehow I love her still and I like drawing her. Not on dev though cause she's kind of embarassing
aquafox12 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
She is just one representation of my personality. My other ocs are a bit more positive, one of them being really sassy and sarcastic haha. Not that the others are Marys-- they have their fair shares of tragedies. But I like what you said about her being empathetic towards other people who also fail. But I don't want to give her more powers (she can already summon demons and fire, which she hates doing). I think I'll just stick with the empathy thing, maybe make her meet someone with worse problems.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry about delay, I'm not very active in dA during summers.

So, some questions:

1. Is she a fan character or an original character? If she is a fan character, in which world does she live?

2. I don't see anti-Mary-Sueness as a bad thing per se, unless the focus point of your character is constant highlighting of how she is bad in everything. Could you once again declare a bit what is your actual problem with your character? The fact that she is not powerful enough, or that she doesn't function well as a character? If the latter thing isn't a problem and your character makes sense in her universe, you shouldn't worry about the first one. Being a functional character is much more important than being powerful!
aquafox12 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
She is oc living in typical fantasy world. I have several other ocs in same world living parallel lives. Each of them represents different aspects of my personality. This oc represents the anxiety and depression I was diagnosed with years ago. I gave her a really lonely and terrible life but she functions like any other character. But she needs an epiphany of some sort lol or at least a talent. Something my other characters don't have :P
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry about delay, had some hustle meanwhile.

Anyway. Those personality-trait-based characters sounds interesting! Perhaps therapeutic, too. If you do these for therapy purposes (which sounds a good idea to me, as I am pretty melancholic and pessimistic by myself), I wouldn't stress that much about how good they are as characters by OUTSIDE demands... but if YOU by YOURSELF feel that you want to hone your characters, then it's okay to improve them!

Soooo you want to give her some kind of talent or something that lifts her away from, well, lowness? Hmmm. I approve this idea. c: Perhaps you could give her some kind of strength that is indirectly related to depression&anxiety?

One idea (based on my own experiences): Perhaps she is better capable of understanding people who have low spots in their lives than an average person and forgives failures more easily? I've personally noticed that when I stress a lot about "I can't do this, I'm terrible in this", I can understand quite well people who fail in something -- because I know that not always things succeed just by trying hard and using willpower, and saying "you didn't try enough" makes them feel only worse. I've also became aware to other people's potential psychological problems and try avoid causing people psychological distress, even if the cause of distress didn't make sense to me personally (ie. not forcing an arachnophobic person to enter a room where is a tiny harmless spider). I'm not 100% sure if I had these skills (or that good skills) if I didn't have my own issues.

Perhaps a more fantastic version of that if the world demands it? Emotion-sensing perhaps? Emotion-channeling (for example if she freaks out, she can try to channel that into the enemy to lessen her own freaking and to increase the enemy's panic)?
aquafox12 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 5, 2014
Oh wait, she did have a bf but he died recently. But they were only going out for like, two months
Medu-Chan-666 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Student Writer
I need help to make sure my FC isn't a Mary-Sue, go to my profile and you will see two naruto FC's one named Medusa, and another is Shinguki.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Firstly: I haven't followed Naruto since the start of the Shinobi War arc. Therefore, if there are any spoilers about Naruto after that (I plan to pick Naruto again later), unfortunately I refuse to check those.
Medu-Chan-666 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Student Writer
Both my oc's stop right at the start of the 4th great shinobi war.
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, I'll take a look once I get time.
Medu-Chan-666 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Student Writer
okay take your time hehe
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry about delayyyy >___< But here is some feedback!



The character dynamic is interesting there: two childhood friends, one becomes a criminal and the other becomes a part of the local type of police force. That offers good dynamics! I vote for talking a lot about how much the situation troubles them. B|

They both are strong ninjas, I see. While merely being a strong character doesn't make a character a Mary Sue, I recommend you to make sure that you make them strong for the sake of plot and not for the sake of coolness. By that I mean that if the character is strong enough to make sense in the plot. For example:

- Usually you can't have S rank missions if you are a genin
- Usually the antagonist of the story needs to be strong in order to appear threatening enough for the protagonists

Otherwise, consider carefully how strong protagonists you need. Actually, I prefer protagonists who actually need to STRUGGLE and come up with clever plans to win the foe! If anyone can see that your character can win the foe by ease, expect to hear a loud "MEH!" from the audience.



Her appearance makes sense, though her image doesn't reflect how her skintone is described in the description; the text describes it as ghostly pale, yet in image it is tanned. But that's just nitpicking. Age compared to rank make sense, too. Though... when did she BECOME a jounin? I think she needed to be in her home village to officially earn the rank.

An "elite member" in Akatsuki? I don't really like replacing any of the usual 10 core members of Akatsuki unless there is a good reason for that, but it's confirmed that they have other affiliates (for example Kakuzu's banking staff), so Medusa's position could be something like that. "Backup plan B?" Or wherever Tobi was claimed to come from.

But there is one big controversial thing: Rinnegan.  It is considered as an UNIQUE doujutsu in the series, I don't recall exact uniqueness but at least Jiraiya was shocked to realize that Nagato had it. I don't dare to take a look at Narutopedia because of spoilers, but I recommend you to see what was stated in the series. If the series says something like "Rinnegan appears barely once in a thousand years", I see that it requires EXTREMELY careful handling to give it to Medusa now when Nagato/Pain used to have it only a few years earlier. It might be easier to come up with your own bloodline jutsu instead. Using Rinnegan for Medusa may poke people's eyes HARD.



Otherwise good, but an ANBU in age of 9...? Eh... I can't recall when Itachi did it (and I don't dare to check Narutopedia because of spoilers), but he wasn't younger at least and he was regarded as an ULTIMATE GENIUS. See what I wrote in the general section.
Medu-Chan-666 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Student Writer
I do agree with you about the rinnegan thingy in Medusa's profile but from what I made her to be is an Uchiha and Senju blood in her, which makes the rinnegan because once an uchiha surpasses eternal mangekyou sharing an it changes to Rinnegan. About the elite member thingy she's been with the akatsuki since Zetsu and Tobi first entered //for you to not have spoilers I'm saying its in episode 345 of shippuden// so technically she can be an elite member since zetsu is and including Tobi except he acts dumb xD.

Shinguki is kind of like Kakashi when he entered the Anbu, he was 10 when he entered. So yeah might change it to at least 14 or 15...
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A Rinnegan out of Mangekyou... ouch, a spoiler hit at me D: 

Back to the business. (Didn't read the spoiler part.)

Do as it makes most sense according the canon. (I should really start to read Naruto again to be able to answer to all these people asking about Naruto OCs...) However, consider WHAT is your purpose to use Rinnegan there. While you can make it make sense in canon, using as trademark doujutsu as Rinnegan another time may cause ill reactions from fans, was the another Rinnegan user written by a fellow fan or Kishimoto himself. Rinnegan is that much Pain's THE doujutsu that overusing it may ruin its uniqueness. This is why I recommend you to consider using a self-made jutsu, unless Rinnegan is THAT tied to your plot that replacing it with another jutsu makes no sense.

I do approve lifting the jounin approval age.
(1 Reply)
dragdramane Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Student General Artist
That whole "Your OC is not your child" is a real kick back into reality. It hurts, but not that much
NuttyNuti Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a necessary thing to understand.
dragdramane Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Student General Artist
It's just... a hard kick, like really hard.
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