This test has been designed to help an aspiring author determine whether his or her character is a Mary Sue, or is simply another addition to the megaverse that is fanfiction. Scoring is simple -- the more questions answered "Yes," the more likely it is the character is a problem, or worse, is a retread of an hundred characters exactly like him/her/it.
Section 1 - What's Your Name, Little Girl? Is the character named after you? (This can be your first name, middle name, or your favorite nickname.) If so, stop now. Put your pencil (mouse?) down and turn in your test. You flunk. Does the character have a really cool name that you wish you had? Like Scarlet? (If you're writing for one of the American dubs, ignore this question.) Does the character have more than one name? (i.e. a nickname or a pseudonym--Galactor/Spectran names or Science Ninja/G-Force names count but shortened versions of the character's own name do not.) Did you spend more than a day looking for just the right name? Have you considered naming your pet or child the character's name? Section 2 - Check Your Look In The Mirror Is the character the same gender as you? Is the character from the same racial group as you? (Note: if the character is an alien, mutant, or another genetically altered being, answer yes to this question.) Is the character a hybrid of two or more species? Is the character a teenager or in her/his early twenties? Does the character *look* like s/he is a teenager or in her/his early twenties for no apparent reason? For a genetically enhanced reason? That you plan on making a plot point later? Is the character the age you would like to be? Is the character drop-dead gorgeous or roguishly handsome? Does one or more of the regulars find the character highly attractive? Do other regulars see him/her as a threat because of this? Does the character have an unusual hair and/or eye color for no apparent reason? (Peroxide and contacts do not count.) Will this be a plot point later? Does the character have an accent which you do not share? Section 3 - Written In Your History Is the character the long-lost child or descendent or sibling of a regular or recurring character? Of Ken/Mark/Ace/Hunter and/or Joe/Jason/Dirk? Of Nambu/Anderson/Brighthead/Keane and/or Katze/Zoltar/Galactor? Of another original character for whom you intend to write another story or even another series? Is the character a member or a friend of a hitherto unknown Science Ninja Team/Galactic Security team like G-Force? And is the last surviving member of that team? Did the character have an unusual birth? Does the character have a twin, a clone, or a sibling of the same gender? About whom you plan on writing another story later? Does the character have a very good singing voice and/or play a musical instrument really well? Does the character have better taste in music than you do? (For example, does your character own cd's that you think cool people ought to own, even though you've never actually listened to the music yourself?) Does the character do what you do for fun or profit? (This includes having the same job you have, or would like to have when you're older, or having a job that sounds like a lot of fun even though you know nothing about it. It can also mean RPing, computer programming, whatever.) Is the character Nambu/Anderson/Brighthead's secretary? Does the character insult the regulars constantly and/or show a blatant disregard for authority? Does he or she get away with this stuff? Does everyone end up liking the character (among the regulars you like)? In spite of his or her bad attitude? Section 4 - All The Right Moves The Bad Guys: Is the character a Galactor/Spectran? A Devil Star? One of Katze/Zoltar/Galactor's "trusted" aides? Is the character the child of Galactor/Spectrans? But doesn't find out until the middle or end of the story, or will find out in a future story you already have planned? Is the character being actively hunted by Galactor/Spectra? Is the character a double agent for the ISO/Galactic Security? The Rest: Does the character, not being either Galactor/Spectran or a Science Ninja/ G-Force member, have special fighting skills anyway? Is he/she trained as a Science Ninja and/or have a cerebonic implant? Does the character have telekinesis or telepathy? (Twins count.) Does the character just "know things" for no apparent reason? Can the character fly? Without the aid of BirdStyle? Can the character heal with a touch and/or thought? Do animals instinctively like the character? Section 5 - Love Is In The Air (I was wondering what that smell was...) Does the character fall in love with and/or have sex with Joe/Jason/Dirk and/or Katze/Zoltar/Galactor? (And if anyone writes a story with both being "AND" send me a copy.) With another recurring character from the show? With whom *you* would like to fall in love and/or have sex? With another original character? With whom *you* would like to fall in love and/or have sex? Does the story end with the character's wedding? Section 6 - I Wish The Real World Would Stop Hitting On Me Would you like to be friends with the character if you met in real life? Do you think everyone who reads the story should automatically like the character and want to be friends with the character? If someone tells you he/she doesn't like your character, do you take it as a personal attack on you? (Be honest.) Do you ever pretend, just to yourself, that you *are* the character, with the same strengths and abilities? (Role-playing games do not count.) Section 7 - The Plot Thickens Do you introduce the character on the first page of the story? Do you tell the story from the character's point of view, all or mostly? Does the character meet the team, and after a few tense pages of plot, become friends with them? Does the character manage to develop a friendship with an otherwise villainous character, and through this friendship, reform the other character? Is the villain in question Katze/Zoltar/Galactor? Does the villain become evil again after the character dies, but retain some last vestige of goodness from his/her interaction with the character, evidenced in one selfless action at the end of the story? Does the character become a Science Ninja/G-Force member during the course of the story? Does he/she become G-6? Is this an alternate reality where he/she has always been with the team? Do you wish you could be a Science Ninja/G-Force member because of the cool abilities and/or the BirdStyle? Does the character save the day and/or another character's life? Through use of their superior fighting skills/firepower? Through dying? Does everyone go into mourning? Does s/he get not-dead by the end of the story? In the sequel? Does the character become an ISO/Galactic Security agent? Does the character end up living at the Snack Jun/Crescent Coral/ Center Neptune? Do you plan to write many more stories revolving around this character?
0-14 Developed character, unlikely MS.
15-19 Borderline character. Characters in this range are potential MS's, who can go either way dependent on the author's skill.
20+ Mary Sue/Gary Stu. Proceed with greatest caution.
35+ Reconsider your character and plot. Please. In the name of humanity.
Okay, the worst is over. Let's assume your character failed miserably. What to do? Do you try to correct the problem or do you forge ahead and write what you want anyway? That's entirely up to you. There are no hard fast rules governing fanfiction, and popular opinion varies not only from fandom to fandom or from group to group, but even from story to story. If your character scored 35 or higher and you don't want to change him or her, that's totally up to you. Just be aware that there are people who will consider your character a Mary Sue. While that's true of any "self-insertion" character (there's always going to be somebody with a big rubber stamp waiting to brand your character with this label), a high score on this very generalized and hardly all-inclusive test will make that possibility a hell of a lot more likely.
"Emby, how would YOU fix it?" You mean how DID I fix it. >.< Trust me, I've written plenty of rabid Mary Sues in my time and I learned from my gaffes. The best advice I ever got came from Mercedes Lackey (of Valdemar fame): "Give your character warts." This isn't a directive to curse your darling with an embarrassing skin condition--it's a caution to build flaws into your character. Nobody's perfect except Jesus Christ and they crucified him for it. Flaws like "she has a tragic past" or "he cares too much about his friends" won't cut it either. Maybe your character's tone-deaf but THINKS she sings like a bird, or maybe he couldn't shoot straight to save his life, or maybe she's got a bad temper (and SUFFERS THE CONSEQUENCES FOR IT!!). If you're going to give the character something they can't do, make sure it's something they wish they COULD do. Not being able to fight effectively could seriously hamper your character. Not being able to tap-dance and whistle simultaneously is totally irrelevant.
If you must have your character romantically involved with one of the regulars (Joe, Katze, even Nambu), don't for God's sake let it be love at first sight (at least not for the regular!!). Show the relationship developing over time. Throw obstacles in their path. Let them have fights (and don't let your character win and/or always be in the right). Most of all, don't let your character abuse the love of their lives and get away with it--when Miya pushed Joe too hard, he walked out on her.
Speaking of the Savage Redhead, she scored 13 on this test. Higher than I thought she would, but still within the realm of believability. (And yes, I answered "Yes" to the question about taking slams against Miya personally. If I can be honest, you can too.)
To quote Missy herself: "First and last of all, be real. The fantasy will make itself."
Send your results to Emby Quinn
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