Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mary Sue-ish

Have you heard this term before? I'd heard it mentioned in an ambiguous way but wasn't that familiar with what it exactly meant. When my editor said she was afraid my character might be too Mary Sue-ish, I decided to do some researching. In a nutshell, the character is too perfect to be believable and the reader won't be able to relate. Okay, got that.
One of the suggestions, she made was to drop the XS size. Got that too. Although in defense of all the XS's out there, all it means is that you've got a small frame and won't have to worry about sag as you age:) Its one of those things you bemoan while you're young but appreciate as you get older:)
Besides losing the XS shirts, I also gave her size nine shoes and a total lack of understanding when it comes to chemistry. A bit of a blonde? Not at all, she's smart, just doesn't get chemistry. Is this enough to take away any Mary Sue-ish stigma...we'll see.
I can almost hear good mate Amarinda Jones saying, 'Looks aren't what make a woman' and I agree with her one hundred percent. Who we are is not depend on our bra size or our looks. Whether we're a size two or a size eighteen, whether weLink like manicures or tattoos, we still belong to the sisterhood.
Okay wondered off topic a bit, back to Mary Sue-ish. If you write, what do you do to humanize your character?
As a reader what characteristics do you appreciate in your heroine?
Re:Barry Eisler. Last week I mentioned he'd turned down St. Martin's to publish with Amazon. Just for grins and giggles I went in and looked at the price for his new release The Detachment.
Kindle: $5.99
Paperback: 7.73
Pretty reasonable prices, hey?


Unknown said...

This annoys me, as you expected. Why can't she be an XS? And for this editor to suggested you drop or change that smacks of discrimination. And adding 'flaws' for be her less Mary-Su-ish, which to my mind is a load of bollocks expression, is wrong. Your editor is most likely a very nice person but she's wrong...okay...I can so feel a spin off blog from this one coming on...editors need to get a grip and not impose there perceptions on others

Sandra Cox said...

In her defense, she didn't push it. I think she wanted to make sure she didn't come across as too cardboard or one dimentional.

anny cook said...

Huh. So now the heroines all have to be BBW...?