The “Mary Sue” Litmus Test

Here’s a post for everyone who writes fiction.

It’s time to put your characters through The “Mary Sue” Litmus Test.

TV Tropes.org – Mary Sue

My newly-turned 18-year-old vampire protagonist J scored a whopping “3” .
0-10 points: The Anti-Sue. Your character is the very antithesis of a Mary-Sue. Why are you even taking this test?

My character D who owns a black 1960 Plymouth Fury coupe (as pictured above) is easily the most “Mary Sue” of my characters, scoring “30” .
21-35 points: Borderline-Sue. Your character is cutting it close, and you may want to work on the details a bit, but you’re well on your way to having a lovely original character. Good work.

Even better is when you test other writers’ characters. Such as Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.

Bella got a “41” on a test taken from my “outside” perspective (and she may have scored a few points higher if Stephenie Meyer had taken the test herself and and answered honestly).
36-55 points: Mary-Sue. Your character needs some work in order to be believable. But despair not; you should still be able to salvage her with a little effort. Don’t give up.

And then there’s Edward Cullen. “71” , with the test answered from my point of view.
71 points or more: Irredeemable-Sue. You’re going to have to start over, my friend. I know you want to keep writing, but no. Just no.

If my ambition was to create an “anti-Twilight”, my character’s scores (relative to the main “Twilight” characters) are in line with my goals.

Why is the “Twilight” saga such a huge success, then? The answer: Bella Swan became the “Mary Sue” for several million adolescent females, not just the author.

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