A Mary-Sue is a rather silly sounding term, isn’t it? It’s writer-speak for a character who is just too Good to be true – or too Evil – or (and this is scary) too much like YOU. Or too much like the you you’d like to BE.
Mary-Sue types are boring. Flat. Or punch-able. He or she is a weaker character, and thus weakens the power of your fiction. But how do you know if a character, major or secondary, is one of these creatures?
I found this fun test on Mary-Sues when writing the first draft of my Vanyl, Bk 2 manuscript. If you use the link at the bottom of this post (not copying to a doc) it will even add your score up automatically for the final verdict.
When I used this test, I first answered it with the main male character in mind; he scored low on the MS scale. So did my Villain. But the main female love-interest?
Hoo, boy! Don’t know what I was subverting when writing this character, but she was SUCH a little Miss Perfect. Still got some work to do on her. Now that I think of it, there were a few comments by my readers to that effect..that might have been my first clue in the Mary-Sue meter score.
So if you’d like to test a few of your characters, here it is. The Mary Sue Writing Test.