Mary Sue Wants To Die Forever

My short story “Mary Sue Wants To Die Forever” is now featured in Fresh Blood (Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology, Volume 1)

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Stephenie Meyer is a great writer

Yes, this is a April Fool’s day post. But Stephenie Meyer is a great writer, no joke. And not just in the sense of selling a lot of copies and raking in the dough.

Only a great writer could have made the powerful connection Stephenie Meyer made with her audience. Bella Swan, Meyer’s unrepentant Mary Sue, became the Mary Sue for millions of young readers around the world. Her success, and consequent repeated criticisms about her skills as an author, demonstrates once and for all that a great storyteller may not even be a “good writer” (in technical terms). Irony, thy name is Twilight.

Stephenie Meyer also inspired thousands of writers to craft their own tales. “Breaking Dawn” had its fair share of good moments. The ending, to me, wasn’t one of them. Upon closing the back cover, I thought, “I could write something better than that.”

Three years later, I have written something “better than that”, in my humble opinion. Of course, “better than that” is subjective. Dewey-eyed adolescent girls and Kardashian-istas won’t think my book is better than Twilight. In contrast, rebellious adolescents and avid fantasy/sci-fi readers (aka: my target audience!) are eagerly awaiting an “anti-Twilight” to come along and blow some cobwebs off the vampire genre.

I don’t define “better than” to mean “more popular than”. Neither does my target audience. 😀

I’ve read countless numbers of books for decades on end, never once inspired to craft my own, until Stephenie Meyer motivated me to get in the chair and type. For this alone, I will be forever thankful to her. And if my novel becomes a huge success, my fans (many of whom would be pre-disposed to hate Twilight) would ironically have to thank her for inspiring me. 😈

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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