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February 2, 2012


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The Mary Sue Litmus Test

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 2, 2012, 3:56 PM

For kicks and giggles, I'm taking The Original Fiction Mary Sue Litmus Test using myself as the character. I want to see how plausible it is to have a real life human being be a "Mary Sue". Now, when it says "you", I'm going to designate the "creator" as my parents.

The Name
[X] Is the character named after you (this includes your first, middle, and last names, and any nicknames you use)? {technically have the same last name as my parents, there's a shocker}
[   ] Is the character's name an unusual spelling of a more common word or name?
[   ] Is the character's name a noun or adjective not normally used as a name?
[   ] Does the character's name contain unnecessary hyphens, apostrophes, or other punctuation? (e.g. M'chelle, Gloria-Angelica, etc.)
[   ] Does the character have more than one first, middle, or last name, without reason? {not me, but my siblings do, ha!}
[   ] Does the character have a name you really, really like?
   [   ] Is it Raven?
   [   ] Is it a variation of Raven?
   [   ] Is it Hunter?
[   ] Does the character's name describe her/his personality? (e.g. Tristan means sad, Darcy means dark, Charity means charity, etc.)
[   ] Is the character's name just generally unusual in relation to the time or place where she/he lives or grew up?
[   ] Does the character have a nickname or pseudonym?
   [   ] Is it a "dangerous" nickname (e.g. Death Dealer, Crimson Fury, etc.)?
[X] Is the character's name foreign, even though the character isn't? {it's of middle English origin, that counts I suppose}
   [  ] Is it an Asian name?
[   ] Does the character have a name or nickname that corresponds to a mythological/literary/historical/etc. figure (e.g. Venus, Faustus, Bonaparte)?

Total Count: 2

[X] Does your (mortal) character appear to be much younger than she/he really is? {unfortunately}
[   ] Does your (immortal) character appear to be much younger than she/he really is?
[?] Is the character highly attractive without having to work at it? {I'm not that vain, guys. Comment also applies to question below. Though...}
[   ] Is the character highly attractive only through her/his concerted effort?
[X] Are one or more other characters attracted to her/him?
   [   ] Even though they are involved with someone else? {How am I supposed to know?!}
   [   ] In defiance of sexual orientation?
[   ] Is an otherwise chaste or stoic character immediately attracted to her/him?
[X] Does the character have an unusual eye color, or otherwise exceptional eyes? {my eyes are gorgeous, thank you}
   [   ] And are these eyes a color that does not occur in nature?
   [   ] And will they have something to do with the plot? {if I knew the plot, things would be easier}
[   ] Does the character have eyes that somehow reflect hidden depths or experience or sorrow? {I dunno, do they? :stinkeye:}
[   ] Does the character have an appearance unsuited to the time or place (e.g. perfect hair prior to the invention of shampoo, a woman wearing pants in 1805, etc.)?
[   ] Does the character get a disproportionate amount of physical description compared to the rest of the characters?
[   ] Does the character have unusual or exceptional hair, or does her/his hair get a disproportionate amount of description compared to that of the other characters?
[   ] Is the character a fashion plate (this applies to any style of dress, from preppie to goth to Western to Elvish, and so on)?
[   ] Does the character dress in a manner you find particularly attractive, sexy, or cool? {I'm too lazy and poor for that, guys}
   [   ]Even though it's illogical for the character to dress this way (for monetary reasons, or because it interferes with her/his job)?
[   ] Is the character ever described as "thin enough to be anorexic," where this is intended as a compliment? {FUCK NO}
[   ] Is the character is over 20 and appears much older than she/he really is? {in disagreement with one of the other questions, silly}
[X] Is the character overweight for the full duration of the story? ("Buxom" does not count.) {assholes :grump:}

Total Count: 6.5

[   ] Does the character have a clone or identical twin?
[X] Is the character of above average intelligence? {I like to think so}
   [   ] Is she/he a genius?
[X] Is the character related to royalty or nobility? {I am, actually. My Grandpa is a Stewart.}
[   ] Is the character rich or well-to-do, although she/he doesn't work?
[   ] Is the character heir to a large fortune?
   [   ] The sole heir?
[   ] Is the character the last surviving member of a family/clan/race/species/etc.? {That's so sad. Why would you ask me that? ;~;}
[   ] Was the character ever the sole survivor of a calamity? {Thank GOD}
[   ] Was the character ever estranged from her/his family/tribe/country/etc.?
[   ] Was the character ever forcibly banished from her/his family/tribe/country/etc.?
[   ] Does the character have amnesia? {I don't think I do...}
   [   ] And does she/he still retain a trinket of some kind from her/his past?
   [   ] Does the character never remember any of what she/he has forgotten?
[X] Is the character a minority, a woman, or a member of a lower caste, who succeeds or makes a contribution in spite of her/his social disadvantage? {Sexist, that's what that is. I'm not sure on this one.}
[X] Does the character have an angsty childhood, or an angsty past?
   [X] And does she/he angst about it during the story? (Angsting does not necessarily include simply relating events to an interested third party.) {Considering the story is my whole life that seems to follow}
[   ] Does the character have angst in the present?
[   ] Was the character an illegitimate birth?
[   ] Was the character ever abducted?
[   ] Was the character abandoned by her/his caregivers?
[   ] Was the character born into slavery, or forced into slavery or prostitution? {ouch}
[   ] Was the character born/raised in extreme poverty?
[   ] Did the character run away from home? {my sister did, though}
[   ] Did the character ever suffer physical or emotional abuse?
[   ] Did the character ever suffer sexual abuse? {some of these questions are really prying}
   [   ] Was it rape?
   [   ] Was it incest? {WHAT THE SHIT?!}
[   ] Does the character feel guilty about something terrible that happened in the past?
   [   ] Even despite overwhelming evidence that it wasn't her/his fault?
[   ] Does the character consider her/his beauty/talent/skill/etc. a curse?
[   ] Does the character ever freely, willingly, and knowingly worked for the villain/evil regime? {Define: Villian}

Total Count: 11.5

More on Character
[   ] Is the character unusually accomplished for her/his age/species/etc.?
[   ] Is the character fluent in more than two languages? {trying for one just now, folks}
   [   ] More than four languages?
[   ] Has the character traveled extensively?
[X] Does the character collect things you consider intellectual or cultured? {I try not to get rid of books, unless I can help it, or they are stupid textbooks}
[   ] Does the character have a faithful pet or animal familiar?
   [   ] That isn't a dog, cat, horse, or bird?
[   ] Is the character educated despite living in a time or place where education is not widespread?
   [   ] While not being a scribe, monk, priest, scholar, etc.?
[   ] Is the character consistently irreverent or radical, without repercussions? {What does that even mean?}
[   ] Does the character ever easily learn a difficult skill (e.g. learn to play guitar in a matter of weeks)?
[   ] Does the character have an amazing singing voice?
[X] Has the character ever fairly lost in any kind of duel, fight, or competition against someone of equal or lesser ability, where the winner was not the character's rival? {Uhhhh, obviously.}
[   ] Does the character play a musical instrument well?
[   ] Does the character use a katana or any other Asian weapon?
   [   ] Despite being of non-Asian heritage?
[X] Does the character "just know things"? {it's called intuition and instinct, duh}
[X] Does the character have an accent relative to her/his country of residence?
[X] Does the character have a major quirk or habit in common with you (e.g. drinks the same brand of soda as you, talks to pets the same way you do, etc.)? {me and my dad both have the thoroughly unpleasant habit of biting our nails}
[   ] Does the character have a physical handicap that does not hinder her/him significantly?
[   ] Is the character is significantly physically handicapped?
[   ] Is the character significantly mentally handicapped? {I don't think so...}
[X] Do animals or children instinctively like the character? {I'm adorable, what's not to like?}
[   ] Is the character is a smoker?
[   ] Does the character have a dependency or addiction that is or would be very hard to break (e.g. alcoholism, drugs, gambling, sex addiction, a potentially dangerous sexual fetish, etc.)?
   [   ] Is the character never able to overcome this vice?
[?] Does the character have a significant personality flaw (e.g. she/he is a spoiled brat, is horribly judgmental or biased, is irrationally violent, is naive and easily manipulated, etc.)? {Ummm, that's a little hard for me to judge...}
[   ] Does this flaw persist until the character's death?
[   ] If the character does not die, does this flaw persist beyond the end of the story?

[?] Does this flaw get the character in serious trouble (e.g. she/he gets fired, gets killed, gets someone else hurt, etc.)?
[?] Does the character have a special birthmark or other marking? {Define: special}
[   ] Does the character have a physical "flaw" that does not actually detract from her/his beauty (e.g. lips too full, white strip in hair, missing one toe, etc.)?
[   ] Does the character have wings (this counts even if she/he is an angel, only has wings sometimes, can't fly, etc.)
[   ] Does the character remain in a committed relationship for the full duration of your story?
[   ] Does the character have a child or children for the greater part of your story?
{None yet}
[   ] Does the character manage to avoid learning from major mistakes?
[   ] Does the character have very little or no empathy for other people?
[   ] Is the character selfishly manipulative or sadistic (e.g. threatens self-harm, lies, blackmails, etc. in order to get her/his way)? {I don't think so, but that's my opinion.}

Total Count: 19

Work and Play
[   ] Is the character astonishingly good at something that is not her/his profession? {...unsure...}
[   ] Does the character have any particular skill at which she/he the best or among the best?
   [   ] And is she/he widely knows for this skill?
[   ] Does the character have any particular area of study/information/etc. in which she/he is the most knowledgeable or among the most knowledgeable?
   [   ] And is she/he widely known for having this knowledge?
[   ] Is the character the sole or last practitioner of a particular martial art or magic? {yes, it's called "being awesome"}
[   ] Is the character one of only two practitioners of a particular martial art or magic, in a master/student relationship?
    [   ] Does the other practitioner die during the course of the story?
[   ] Does the character hold your job? {I do not have, or plan to have, the same job as either of my parents}
[   ] Does the character hold your dream job? {I do plan on becoming a teacher, and my mother had wanted to be a teacher in her youth...}
[   ] Is the character a female in a role not suited for women in the place/time period (e.g. a female cop before 1900, a female soldier in the US army before 1970, etc.)?
[   ] Is the character a male in a role not suited for men in the place/time period (e.g. a male geisha, a coy young seamstress boy, etc.)?
[   ] Is the character a secret agent? {Would defeat the purpose in telling you}
   [   ] A double agent?
   [   ] And wears high heels or leather?

[   ] Is the character, or was she/he ever a model, rock star, stage/film actor/actress, dancer, cop, ninja, pirate, alchemist, bounty hunter, mercenary, assassin, thief, pickpocket, outlaw, member of organized crime, diviner, hero, starving artist, freelance writer/reporter, explorer, pro-athlete, or gymnast?
[X] Does the character possesses the following skills, with or without the aid of charms, spells, etc.); teleportation, telepathy, pyrokinesis, prophecy, healing, animal communication, empathy {that's a super power now?}, shapeshifting abilities, invisibility, flight, the ability to pass through matter, magic/sorcery, time travel, transdimensional travel/communication, photographic memory, the ability to see auras, summoning, power of seduction {yeah right}, the ability to shrug off minor wounds, the ability to kill people with his/her bare hands, super strength/speed, skill in martial arts/hand-to-hand combat, sharp-shooting, sleight of hand, computer hacking.
   [X] Are these skills considered normal in your universe? {not all of them, just a few. You tell me}
[X] Does the character share more than one of your hobbies or interests? {HOCKEY}
   [   ] And is she/he better at these hobbies or more knowledgeable about these interests than you are?
[X] Does the character excel in a field you wish you excelled in? {Opps}
[X]  Does the character have the same taste in music as you have? {These are mixed between my mother and my father}
   [X] In books?
   [X] In movies?         
[   ] Does the character have what you consider better or more refined taste than you have in music?
   [   ] In books?
   [   ] In movies?

[   ] Does the character have the same religious or spiritual beliefs as you?
[   ] Are the character's religious or spiritual beliefs radically different from yours for the full duration of the story?

Total Count: 26

The Plot {this seems like an odd section, so just skipping it}

Your Character and You
[   ] Do you draw the character, or ask other people to draw her/him for you, more often than any of your other characters?
[   ] Did you base the character on your favorite previously existing character or person?

[X] Is the character someone you would want to be friends with, assuming she/he would be receptive to friendship with you? {I am assuming my parents want to be friends with me, okay?}
[   ] Would you be very surprised if someone did not like the character?
[   ] Do you take any negative feedback about the character as a personal affront?
[   ] Is the character a mouthpiece for your own beliefs or views?
[   ] Do you have a character journal for her/him?
[   ] Do you ever wish you could be like the character?

Total Count: 27

Which means that... My Mary-Sue score was a 53.

0-10 points: The Anti-Sue. Your character is the very antithesis of a Mary-Sue. Why are you even taking this test?
11-20 points: The Non-Sue. Your character is a well-developed, balanced person, and is almost certainly not a Mary Sue. Congratulations!
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.
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.
56-70 points: Über-Sue. You've got one hell of a Mary-Sue on your hands here, and it's not going to be easy to set things right. But do your best. There may be hope for you yet.
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.

I am apparently a Mary-Sue, according to this test. You have all been warned. Watch your backs. :shifty: I don't know how they add things up for this, otherwise I would add that here.


Add a Comment:
ebilartista Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
lol im apparently a 70. major mary-sue over here hahaha
stuck-in-suburbia Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconlegaspplz: I am so scared.
Ellodi-Fune Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
hhaa! I'll have to do this :D :happybounce:
stuck-in-suburbia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Be sure to use the link. They have a weird math system that I couldn't figure out.
Ellodi-Fune Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Emotikonz Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012
[ ] Is the character consistently irreverent or radical, without repercussions? {What does that even mean?}
Basically: are they regularly rebellious against religious and/or societal figures (judges, policemen, priests, principals, etc) without consequences (usually punishment or restricted privileges). I imagine this is especially "Mary Sue" if that behaviour is treated like a good thing.

While obviously bad Mary Sues are naturally something to be avoided, one can't really have a 'litmus test' for it, so frankly I would have been surprised if a real human did NOT fall into the Mary Sue. These days even an 'Anti-Sue' is a Mary Sue and anyway, the name/phrase has been used so often by the OMFG H8RZ!!!!!!! that even though, hell yes they exist, the words don't really mean anything anymore and aren't the end-all of writing.

I noticed that two of the traits can be more or less summed as "underweight" and "overweight", either worth a point (if you are Erwin Schrödinger and manage to be both fat and thin until you look in a mirror, then get TWO points. YAY!). Yet there is no marker for 'ideal' or 'healthy' weight. (Could also be written as 'sexy weight' :eyes:)
Interesting, because while many people seem to thing 'anorexic' is a GOOD thing -- wait, let me add, 'thin enough to be anorexic' makes no damn sense! Anorexia refers to not wanting to eat despite hunger, anorexia nervosa specifically to the conscious decision (as opposed to loss of appetite) - being anorexic does not make someone thin. In fact many people who are anorexic are so because they are (or used to be) fat, even if only a little bit, and were made to believe that was unacceptable through social and media pressures.

Back on track, though some peeps think anorexic good etc etc, I would expect the true Mary Sue to have the 'ideal' figure - toned (but NOT bulky) muscle, softened with a healthy amount of fat (ie not thin, not unhealthily overweight, and not stretching skin over muscle like a cheap anime so the men look like potato sacks), and on the women, a little extra for some gorgeous curves. I notice there is NO POINT FOR THIS.

...hmmm. Also please excuse the errors no doubt all over this; it is 2:40am and I would go to bed but one of the neighbours cats (the flat has dubbed 'Snowy') appears to be occupying much of my bed and he's too cute to budge. SO FLUFFY. And so adorably stupid.
stuck-in-suburbia Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would think, though, since most Mary Sues are done by teenage girls, and a lot of teenage girls put such an emphasis on being thin, that being very thin would be the "ideal" for them, and how they would design their Mary Sue.

Therefore, there's no point for what sane people consider the ideal body weight because it's a healthy body weight, and it seems to get over looked by teenage girls. Which is silly, cause it's ideal because it's gorgeous. But I digress.

Mmmm, you should just go to bed, but cuddle the fluffy cat while you do it. Nothing says comfy sleep like petting a fluffy kitten whose sleeping on your chest.

The whole "without repercussions" thing makes sense for fictional Mary Sues, but the kind of people who would fall into that category probably wouldn't touch this test. :XD:
Shinteki Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I scored 89. I think I fail
stuck-in-suburbia Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Tis not failure, but ultimate failure - failing so hard it is considered a success.
happy-gurl Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012
uber-sue :shifty:
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