Mary Sue

One thing about a lot of Zelda OCs that come into the club is that other than living in Hyrule, you would never guess they were Zelda OCs. They're very realistic even in a fantasy setting and follow the laws and rules of the world they live in. Sadly, there are still many who create characters that make no sense, get on everyone's nerves, and want to be the center of attention and the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Such characters are known as "Mary Sues", and are one of the most hated aspects of modern fandom. The variation of "Gary Stu" is often used in the case of male OCs, but for our purposes, "Mary Sue" will be fine for both (why would we go out of our way to respect such a bad character's masculinity, anyway?).

Wikipedia has a very accurate definition of a Mary Sue:

"A Mary Sue (sometimes just Sue), in literary criticism and particularly in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors or readers. Perhaps the single underlying feature of all characters described as "Mary Sues" is that they are too ostentatious for the audience's taste, or that the author seems to favor the character too highly. The author may seem to push how exceptional and wonderful the "Mary Sue" character is on his or her audience, sometimes leading the audience to dislike or even resent the character fairly quickly; such a character could be described as an "author's pet". ~ Wikipedia

In short, Mary Sues are looked down upon by other role-players because they're based on over-used clichés and childish fantasies. Playing one will not make you popular with the club, and will almost certainly get you warned or banned.

Sue Traits

There's no single trait that makes a character a Sue, and there's no single trait that is universal to every Sue (except maybe being a totally awful character). However, most Sues have several of the following traits.

  • General
    • Created to be the author's ideal (especially an idealised self-insert) or to fulfill the creator's fantasies about interacting with her chosen fandom.
    • Gets more plot/descriptive attention than all the other characters.
  • Visual
    • Is remarkably attractive, even for an anime character - might be ruggedly handsome, sexy, incredibly bishounen, super-kawaii, exotic and waiflike… whatever.
    • Is a hybrid of two or more species/races.
    • Is either very mature for her age, or appears young and innocent while actually being implausibly old.
    • Has many visual traits designed to make her look really "special" - unusual hair/eye colours or highlights, odd hairstyle, out-of-place clothes, etc.
    • Has no negative visual traits except for dramatic scars or "marks" that are treated as unappealing, but actually make her look even more exotic (differently-coloured eyes, birthmark, tattoo, slave brand, etc.).
  • Powers
    • Has powers/abilities that are unique to her or have no place in the setting.
    • Has powers/abilities that are physically impossible for her species/age/etc. (example: a Hylian with wings), or a broad array of powers/abilities which are highly unlikely (example: she speaks five languages, is an expert fencer, and plays violin, piano and flute).
    • Is vastly more powerful than other characters, never loses a fight, or always wins arguments.
  • Background
    • Is related to one or more important canon characters, or is their close friend. (This is actually disallowed in this club, to be fair to everybody.)
    • Has a romantic relationship with one or more important canon characters. This is a very common warning sign. (This is actually disallowed in this club, to be fair to everybody.)
    • Has many tragic events in her backstory, particularly rape or other abuse, which cause her angst.
    • Is somebody of great importance to the setting or plot, whether socially (a princess, for example) or by fate/magic (a goddess, a prophesied hero, a sacred maiden, etc.).
  • Conduct
    • Gets on well with all the other characters (or if somebody doesn't like her/disagrees with her, that person later realises they were in the wrong and probably jealous).
    • Acts in an unreasonable manner, usually with a "rebellious" attitude and/or "fiery temper", but never has to deal with any consequences for this.

Now, that being said, having a few Sue traits doesn't automatically mean your character is irredeemable (Princess Zelda fits many common Sue traits, even in her own universe). However, if she has more than one or two of the above traits, you strongly need to consider adjusting her to be more reasonable. For this club, you are required to cut out any direct links she has to canon characters; perhaps you could fill that space with interesting minor characters of your own? Beyond that, it's a good idea to give her some personality/visual flaws if she doesn't have any, tone down her appearance to something less desperately special, cut out some of the angst in her backstory, and/or make her less powerful or skilled. You will find people are much more interested in roleplaying with you afterwards!

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