Baxil (baxil) wrote,

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A word about the "Mary Sue" meme

psyche_rainvae's "Mary Sue test" has been circulating through my friends list recently. That's cool; it's amusing. Badly unbalanced, but amusing.

I just find it hard to take seriously when it informs me that, on the strength of being Otherkin, being a shapeshifter, and using Baxil everywhere online, that alone would knock me into the category reserved for the very cheesiest of cliche characters if I were to roleplay myself. (Those of you more interested in this train of thought can see the conversation on this topic between myself and the quiz author here.)

But as a role-playing character quiz -- ignoring the 'Kin components entirely -- it strikes me as quite reasonable and fairly insightful. And since I'm occasionally a meme whore, here's how TTU's Ash would score. (You may remember him from such stories as Learning Experiences and Scatterlings.)

What she is...

Is your character the only one of her species in existance? (+2)
Heavens, no.

Because all of the others died tragically? (+5)

Because of unknown reasons? (+1)

Is she a fantasy creature that’s familiar but rarely used as an avatar (hippogriff, satyr, cockatrice)? (-2)
Sorry, dragon.

Is she a normal, real world animal, excluding wolf? (-1)

Is your character described as beautiful? (+1)
Not even handsome. Kinda average-looking.

"Unusually" or "astonishingly" beautiful? (+2)

Are her optics an unusual color? (+1)

Do they change color according to her mood? (+1)

Is she unusually petite or unusually large for her species? (+1)
It's hard to tell with dragons, but I'll say no.

Does she lack wings (ordinarily wingless creatures count!)? (-1)
He's quite wingful.

Is she wolf-sized or smaller? (-1)

Is she entirely black or white? (+1)
Solid ash-grey. I'll take a +0.5.

Shiny, metallic, iridescent, sparkly? (+1)

Does she have a prominent scar on her face? (+1)

Does her name contain any of the following:

Star/Fire/Black/Dark/Moon/Ice/Silver/Song/Wind (+3 each)
Flame/Night/Dawn/Shadow/Snow/Wing/Heart/Eye (+2 each)
Rain/Strike/Flash/Cloud/Soul/Feather/Claw/Wolf/Blade/Tear (+1 each)

None of the above, but I'll take a gratuitous +1 since his name matches his color.

Deliberately misspelled (Starr, Wynd, Klaw)? (+2)
*snicker* As3h?

Two part name (first and last)? (+1)
His original, "human" name was, but he doesn't use it any more.

Both parts composed entirely of words from the above? (+20)

Made up fantasy name starting and ending in the letter a? (+1)

Do you use this name for everything you do on the internet? (+5)
Even if I RP'ed him online, I wouldn't. No.

Got Magic?

Unusually keen senses? (+1 for each)

Telepathy or empathy? (+1)
I'll take a +0.5 here; TTU rules don't strictly allow telepathy, although his work with the Redeemers did teach him some magical signaling techniques that work silently and invisibly at long distances, which is as close as it gets. He's not empathic.

Healing? (+1)
Yes indeedy. Very useful for what he does. +1.

Healing that works completely and perfectly regardless of the affliction in question? (+10)
Nope. Some serious limitations apply, the first of which that come to mind are: It's exponentially more difficult to heal yourself; it can't raise the dead; it can't align broken bones. Etc.

Control of the weather or other natural elements? (+1)
No weather control. But elemental magic, yes, and heat and cold and electricity. +1.

Precognitive dreams or visions? (+1)
Ooo, this is a toughie. He found the Redeemers through divination -- but precog/divination doesn't work, and his belief in it seriously blows up in his face later on. But he does believe he can see the future, even if it's flighty and not always under his conscious control. +1.

Is she a shapeshifter? (+1)
By definition, TTU therianthropes are -- but the strict form of this question, whether he can shift back and forth, is a yes, so +1.

With more than two forms? (+2)

More than three? (+3)

Unlimited forms? (+10)

ALL of the above (the entire magic category)? (+100)

What’s she do?

Does she have a beautiful singing voice? (+1)
Um ... no ... but he can play Ultimate Frisbee?

Is she royalty? (+1)
Um ... maybe he has a cousin named Earl?

Is she the most powerful or high-ranking of her kind? (+3)
A case could be made that said "most powerful dragon" would be media figurehead Dennis Redwing. (Who probably scores significantly higher on this quiz, which is one of the reasons I don't write about him, only leave him as a shadowy background character. ;)) But even if not, Ash certainly ain't.

Is she the very best at what she does? (+3)

Is she a phenomenally skilled warrior? (+1)
In the traditional sense, no -- he's received some hand-to-hand combat training, but only enough to be competent in a fight; and he's received some pretty intense firearms training but can't perform miracles. Magically, though ... guilty as charged. (And you should see him mixing magic and gun tricks.) +1.

With any weapon? (+1)
Hardly, but I'll take the +1 anyway, because he's trained in a hand-to-hand form, a ranged-weapon form, and in magical combat, so that covers pretty much any class of combat situation.

With a Very Special weapon? (+2)

Passed down to her by a dying family member or master? (+3)

Is it magical? (+2)
Gah. I have no clue how to answer this when magical combat itself is involved. I'll just split the difference and take +1.

Is it named? (+1)

With one or more of the words from the list? (+10)

Does she have a perfectly normal history that you don’t get into? (-10)
What about perfectly normal history that I DO get into? -10.

Have you written down the character’s history in story form? (+1)
Not all of it, not as of yet, but it's largely sketched out on actual paper in note format.

Was she captured and/or abused by humans? (+10)
No more so than any therianthrope in the wake of the Changes; which is to say, not in any way significant enough to count. He's probably gotten abused more by other theris, in terms of actual injury, and captured not at all by anyone.

Was she adopted? (+1)

Is she a human who was turned into her current form? (+1)
Yes, by definition in the TTU universe. +1.

Is she a member of a rogue team that plays by its own rules? (+1)
That pretty much describes the Redeemers to a T. +1.

Is she the leader? (+1)
That would be Hessus. Or Shadow, depending. Nope.

Is she your Otherkin/furry/were “trueform”? (+10)
Emphatically no; just an alternate-universe avatar.

Do you secretly believe that someday you’re going to transform into her? (+5)

Do you publicly believe that someday you’re going to transform into her? (+10)
Er, no. And if I answered "yes" to the last one, wouldn't my answer to this have to be yes anyway? ];=8)

Bonus question: In making your character, did you borrow ANY idea, be it in name, terminology, world, physiology, or function, from Mercedes Lackey? (+20)
ObResponseToInJoke: Huh?


0-5: Congratulations! You have created an original, believable, and interesting character!
6-10: Your Mary Sue tendencies are few and small enough that they probably don't matter much.
11-15: Borderline.
16-20: I'm sorry, dude, but you're pretty much a Mary Sue.
21-30: This is prominent enough that you might seriously want to consider making changes to your character so as not to annoy your neighbors.
30 or more: Please do not come near me.

... 1 point total. Which, well, since he was originally shamelessly designed as who-I-might-have-been-in-TTU, it's better than I was expecting. But ...

If I ignore the -10 for "normal history", which I'm going to do by judicial fiat, that puts Ash in the "borderline" category, which is probably about where I'd assign him myself. I've fleshed him out enough that he's really his own person, with depth to him that redeems him from avatar-land; but there are still some gratuitous elements I'd like to shake out and refine, and I need to give him some quirks and weaknesses besides his big tragic flaw.
Tags: draconity, meme, writing

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