Marry-Sue characters how do you avoid them?

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Post by EinhanderAstraeaMk.I » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:36 am

Akisa wrote:The way I originally had it was that the government was looking for ways to replace newtypes by creating artificial humans with excellent skills. [...] During delivery an unknown and unexplained complication occurred that caused the death of queen soon afterwords.
Hmm... The backstory does need some work... First, why would they want to replace Newtypes with Coordinator-esque tech? One idea I'd give is that for some reason, maybe within the Royal lineage, their strong Newtype capabilities are fading with each successive generation, and by the time of the creation of the daughter, they were desperate/greedy (for the power) enough to experiment with their own child in the hopes that it would once again restore the ailing Newtype powers by augmenting the body. The unintended side effect though, due to the highly experimental nature of the project, was that the child was born female instead (like in SEED, when it exlained the beginnings of Coordinators, the project didn't always give the intended traits/appearance the parents wanted for their child).
Akisa wrote:As result the king is has shun his daughter and treated her like red headed step child and pretended to be loving for the cameras. The king has since remarried and the son who was this born a natural is attempting to replace the protagonist for next in line.
Well, that does add some sort of situational fault, the rest would be execution of how much it would affect your princess without straying into Mary Sue territory. And idea here could be something akin to Lelouch's and Nunnally's situation from Code Geass; father is really self-serving, child ends up deciding how to take matters into their own hands. But instead of revenge, your princess makes some decision to forge her own path.
Akisa wrote:Meanwhile the existence of coordinators has remain top secret but... [...] ...created extender program similar to the Genome soldiers of metal gear solid 1.
...What happens to your princess' 'children'? Do they end up bonding with her in a manner that's between friends and family? Do they end up fighting with her? Or is it they that break away and force her to debate which side to fight on? And you'll also have to give a story-useable reason for the Genome soldiers and apply it in a way that doesn't sound tacked-on.
Akisa wrote:When news break out of the coordinator project a similar reaction to what happen in seed happens. The civilians want the coordinators dead while others want coordinator child or turn themselves into coordinators.
It could be that other parts of the family who were out of the loop that end up learning about the results, and angered (as they were hoping to eventually take the throne since their Newtype powers are stronger), manipulate the information to seem more negative than intended and as a result, strike more of a fear among the populace under the current rule, which would add further conflict for your protagonist (sending her into partial hiding in the military with an alias).
Akisa wrote:In the midst of the huge war... [...] The protagonist must then choose between remaining with federation or joining this off shoot branch and possibly fight her friends.
...Would the coordinators you're referring here to be the protagonist's 'children'? If so, just how powerful were they and their abilities that allowed such a small group to successfully declare independence and managed to fight? If not, how did they come into being? You'll need a believable background over this in order to make it not sound tacked-on.

Also, are you basically saying that the princess is the only fully successful coordinator that also has an equally strong Newtype ability, and that her 'children', due to continued alteration, have virtually weak to zero Newtype ability, while others with the Newtype ability (maybe opposing royal families) are fully natural and are preaching fire and brimstone?

It's a lot to take in at once; I suggest you make some lists (Storyline and Protagonist), and ask yourself some questions on how each element would fit into the story. If it doesn't, you'll have to either edit it or remove it (unless you really want it; then you'll have to edit other things to make it fit).

And if I misinterpreted what you've written, then please forgive me, and clarify it for me. I just edited quotes to try and shorten this long post, but it's there for reference.
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Post by Antares » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:58 am

Akisa said:
The way I originally had it was that the government was looking for ways to replace newtypes by creating artificial humans with excellent skills.
Hey, this actually can make sense using the evolution vs. manufactured aspect, seeing that Newtypes have evolved, and as they can be claimed to be the next step in mankind's progress, they would naturally take a leading role. If the lineage of the royal family has zero Newtypes, and facing a potential crisis of leadership, it would make sense for them to put all Newtypes to death camps... did I say death camps, I mean happy camps! :twisted: And so they could concentrate on the Coordinators that would be manufactured, and manufacturing can/will include a measure of control (something akin to CE Extended). Since they are not Natural(tm) steps of evolution, the royal family has less to fear from them.

Maybe the daughter was created during this time, but since it turns out she did have Newtype powers too, she became very quickly a liability. That would actually give you a hostile and powerful enemy of Newtypes wanting to free their own and end the persecution. The sex of the child is still a bit of dodgy issue still though, with that much tinkering going on. You need to explain how she deals with this situation, because she is a bit of both, maybe feeling responsibility of her subjects (she sees them as hers) but also faces a Newtype rebellion. This would give you more original material to worki with too instead of the CE-referenced crisis when parents want Coordinator kiddies (which would be funny if they were in-built to be loyal to the royal family). My advise is to try to take only the necessary bits from other series and then run your own ship from there on out, because as much as they serve as reference, they also box you in.
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Post by Kenji » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:22 pm

I'm gonna agree with ShadowCell on the Mary Sue-ness of a character is dependent on execution, though oftentimes how a character is created and what traits s/he has gives away an author's favoritism quickly. Take, for instance, your character's Newtype-Coordinator powers. Even a quick-glance will end up with the assumption that it's the in-universe excuse for her to kick copious amounts of ass, more than she could ever believably kick as your "average" trained aristocrat.

Now, this can still be done. However, the answer isn't to run to the opposite end and make her horribly scarred, a scathing misanthrope, or a rape victim as compensation for the huge amounts of ass she will kick. If anything, that would make her even more of a Mary Sue than she would've been originally.

Even then, all of this can still be done if she's treated as a falliable human whose actions can be traced through believable lines of cause and effect. However, many of these traits will make things a lot more difficult.
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Post by Seraphic » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:19 am

...This was unusually appropriate...!

Silly, but it demonstrates things pretty well.
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Post by Enchanter468 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:27 pm

Areku wrote:And out of the many Coordinators we saw, how many showed those traits? Lessee... George, Kira, Athrun, Shinn, Rey and Rau (half of whom had SEED and half had "Newtype" abilities), plus a handful of other people that were supposed to be gifted compared to other Coordinators anyway. Unless they were important to the plot, Coordinators didn't seem to have enhanced abilities beyond being able to pilot MS using user-hostile operating systems,
Well, this is where you need to differentiate between what you might call Coordinator myth and Coordinator reality. You see...
The myth is that all Coordinators have these amazing intellects, reflexes, vitality, etc. The issue is that that's usually not going to be the case. As Kira points out during I think episode 22 of SEED, Coordinators, under the best of circumstances, just have the potential to turn into Li Xingke. Unless they train extensively in all those areas, those abilities aren't going to manifest. Most ZAFT pilots, for instance, probably don't train that hard in, say, fleet-scale strategy. No doubt they get a bit of training for it, but most of their time is probably spent on hand to hand, firearms and mobile suits.

As for how the Coordinator myth got started, the first generation of Coordinators were chosen to be Coordinators by their parents, and it's entirely possible (especially given what we see in episode 45) that these parents were disturbingly obsessive about the achievements of their children, resulting in a bunch of multi-achievers who kicked off the myth. The second and especially the third generations of Coordinators may have felt a good deal more complacent, assuming their abilities would just come to them (given Patrick Zala's talk about being superior organisms, this isn't hard to believe). As a result, these Coordinators probably don't work as hard for their abilities as the first generation did, and as a result most don't fit the Li Xingke profile.

And furthermore, as I said before, just having the potential to be Xingke is the best case scenario. Most Coordinators don't even get that. While they're embryos, they have a set of pre-selected "optimized" genes implanted, but due to subtle variations in the mother's womb (be that pH, temperature, nutrients, whatever) some of those genes will fail to integrate into their chromosomes. The reason Kira and other Ultimate Coordinators are such a big deal is that they have 100% implant success, and as such have full Coordinator potential.
So it really shouldn't be surprising that most Coordinators don't live up to the myth.
and if they're as smart as they're supposed to be you'd think they'd be able to create a user-friendly OS and surpass Natural pilots again, but that never happened. So it sounds like Elijah was a true Coordinator after all, just not one of the main-cast Coordinators.
You're assuming that they were just too dumb to design a new OS. It's entirely possible that there were tangible benefits to the "user-hostile" OS. The issue is that at the start of SEED, mobile suits can only be piloted by Coordinators due to their complexity. The Natural-use OS solves the problem by automating a lot of the mobile suit's functions, speeding things up. The issue is that the more complex system, with less automation, may also allow for finer control of your mobile suit, which may be why Coordinators, as well as the Earth Forces' Extended soldiers, continue to use them.

As for Elijah Kiel, I haven't read Astray, so I can only speculate, but I'm going to guess that he suffered a rather extreme case of genetic implant failure.

Right! This was about Mary Sues, wasn't it? :oops:

Anyway, I think any issues with your character, Arika, have been discussed about as well as I could do, so I can't say much more. As for how I attempt to avoid Mary Sues (God only knows if I succeed), I tend to use this fic as a sort of Sue/Stu checklist. If your character resembles Taz Eagle, you have a problem.
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Re: Marry-Sue characters how do you avoid them?

Post by tehprognoob » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:20 pm

what's a mary-sue character? I'm sorry. I'm not familiar with technical(or technical-ish)terms.
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Re: Marry-Sue characters how do you avoid them?

Post by ShadowCell » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:37 pm

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Re: Marry-Sue characters how do you avoid them?

Post by Black Knight » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:41 pm

I find the TV Tropes version more entertaining.

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Re: Marry-Sue characters how do you avoid them?

Post by Dark Duel » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:39 am

A Mary-Sue is, essentially, Lacus Clyne in the second half of Seed Destiny.
A more popular example is Aerith Gainsborough, but I find that one less flagrant, and partially excused by the fact she gets killed off.

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Re: Marry-Sue characters how do you avoid them?

Post by Nitramy » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:44 pm

Dark Duel wrote:A Mary-Sue is, essentially, Lacus Clyne in the second half of Seed Destiny.
*insert golf clap here*

If you know one of your characters is basically a powered-up and wish-fulfilled version of you, that's problematic, but can still be worked on. All you need to do is subvert enough of the usual cliches that come with being a Mary Sue (i.e. make the character's presence skew the plot and make the character actually see it and make his presence scarce).

Alternatively, you could make him Mr. / Ms. Exposition - only there to fill in the holes in the plot.

The key is execution. Talented people do exist in this world, but they have enough quirks and failings to keep them human. Balance your character out, and you should avoid most of the fallout.
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