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Thread: The Scourge of the Net, More Evil Than Morgoth!

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I'm an Equal Opportunity employer and in my computer gaming usually run a female half-elven cleric/fighter/mage. She is stuck with low level cleric spells and mid level mage spells, but to bring her up to snuff with the big boys I give her some gauntlets of ogre power so she can hold her own in a fight.

Now that isn't the same as writing a character, but I see no reason why the hero has to be male. I think Tolkien's writing was a product of his time and were he writing today, instead of in the first half of the twentieth century, he would have added female warriors.

I also enjoy reading stories and movies where the hero isn't always male. How about Red Sonja? But I will butt out now and let the postAuthorIDs answer your questions.
I am in agreement with you, Grondy, on all points except one:
Now that isn't the same as writing a character

I think that it is the same as writing a character. How else do you think writers create characters? Wink Smilie

The Mary-Sue issue.
My defenition would be somewhat shorter: An original character who isn't. Mary Sue is an archetype - all Mary Sues are cut out from the same basic pattern.

This is not to say (in my opinion) that Mary-Sues are necessarily bad. I have read some wonderful romance Fan Fic. even about young helpless damsels in distress being rescued by Elladan/Elrohir/Elrond/Legolas/Maglor/Aragorn/(and even) Gandalf. They were good because the postAuthorID was good enough to pull it off.

I have also read some Mary-Sue fic. that was downright awful. It isn't the formula that doesn't work, it is (sadly) the postAuthorID's writing or in some cases their personal fantasies getting in the way of good writing.

A lot of beginner writers write their first stories about themselves, ie. they insert their own character into their work. They do this because it is easy. We know ourselves better than anyone else and can easily guess how the character (oursleves) would react in a given situation. My personal belief is that all writers need to go through this as part of their 'apprenticeship' as a writer. Later, we discover how much fun it can be to step into the point of view of a person very different to ourselves. Then we begin to really start writing.

I have written short stories (see PT Fan Writings for an example) and parts of my novel from a male POV. It was a lot of fun. Much more fun than Allyssa at her best, but I am not sure if I could sustain it for an entire novel. That is a challenge that I have yet to conquer, but it is most certainly on the dawing board.

The character in my own novel is something of a M-S. She certainly has some of the characteristics! But she fails to find romance, or be rescued, or to gain the respect (or even attention) of anyone very important and she is not very strong. Her role is a catalyst in her world. She is the one who trips over the wheels and gets the whole wagon moving along.

First, is it possible to write an original female character in Tolkien fanfic who isn't Mary Sue? If so, how? With what sorts of characteristics?

Write a character that isn't an archetype? Yes, it is possible, it is just not conventional. Fantasy conventions are probably the cause of the M-S population explosions. It is what readers have come to expect from the genre. But it is not essential. As I said before, it doesn't really matter if the story is a M-S. It is the strength of the writing that is important. If the writing is good enough, the reader will want to read on anyway and that is what the postAuthorID is trying to achieve, an enjoyable, entertaining read.

Sepdet - I didn't think that your character was too Sue-ish, but that is up to you. You know her better than anyone.

My apologies to all for the undue length of this post! Wink Smilie
I know I am stupid but I dont know how is Mary Sue??? What you mean with this name???? A answere would help me to understand your question better sepdet. Bey then
"Mary Sue" is a nickname for a certain kind of character that many writers of fanfiction tend to write, and many readers of fanfiction tend to hate. See my definition of her above, and Alyssa's.

The name "Mary Sue" comes froma character who appeared in a Star Trek fanfiction story in the 70s. That character was beautiful, perfect, all the male characters loved her, and (rumor has it) she saved the ship by using a hairpin, and sacrificed her life. The rest of the story (so I am told) was about Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and everyone else lamenting how wonderful she was and how much they loved her.

Any time a writer creates an annoying character like that, we call it a Mary Sue.
I only want to say thanks for your answer septed. Okay it is late. but I had no time earlyer to read anything here, and I dont want that you think I dont read it ;-)
But I really cant tell you anything to is to comlicatet and my english woud be tooo bad at all in this case, and I really think I dont finde a Mary Sue caractare. I must have a look at first. Bey then