Sunday, January 06, 2008

To beat a dead dog...

This has nothing to do with the two (yes, 2 - guess I'm really in for it now) dogs that are killed in my book, actually.

But I was checking my sitemeter referrals, and one of my previous Mary Sue posts came up, and when I checked the search string to see what other stuff people were sorting through and encountered my blog I found this:

Accused of Mary Sue

And one of the things that was said in the comments really struck home:

"It does not simply mean a protagonist who has some things in common with the author, or who has adventures the author enjoys living through."

So there.

'Cause I mean, really...if a protagonist couldn't share some things with the author or have adventures the author enjoyed, why the h3ll is the author writing that story?

Anyway, I'll let the sleeping dog, er...dead, I mean...when did Schrodinger get here with a box?...Whatever, I'll give the subject a rest.  *g*


NBB said...

Well, my opinion is, if you're doing it right, your MS will swarm with Mary Sues or the male equivalent.
Why? Because in every character, something of you should be present (do you remember, where Diana says in The Outlandish Companion, that part of her *is* Black Jack Randall?).
And if the explanation of a Mary Sue should be as simple as saying that she has things in common with her creator...

Claire Gregory said...

I dunno. I mostly agree with what you're saying, in that most characters will have some element of the author (or at least the author's understanding of what the character goes through will be informed by their own experiences).

However I don't think you can go to the opposite extreme and say the character *must* have things in common with the author- I think I'm an ideal case in point (bg). Bill and I wouldn't last two minutes in a room together. He'd think I was an uppity whippersnapper and I'd get freaked out and think he was trying to crack onto me. LOL. What's driving me to write this story is that the emotional base touches a chord. There are principles in common, though there's precious little else.

And *how* do you get the referral thing from Sitemeter? Do you have to pay for it? I can't find it (vbg)

Jenny said...

Oh, I didn't mean to say every character *must* have stuff in common with the author.

Alec and I certainly come from very different backgrounds, and yet sometimes I have an easier time writing him than Elspeth, who admittedly shares several things with me.

I just meant that, as an author, parts of you are going to show up, and you're going to be invested in the story somehow (whether it's an adventure you think would be cool, or a story you feel needs to be told). Without that investment, why bother?

The tendency in some circles, however, is to identify those associations and investments as Mary-Sue-ism. Which is not my intent.

Then again, I think anyone who has not known me since middle school and/or isn't specifically looking for similarities wouldn't even have the thought of Elspeth as Mary Sue cross their mind.

As for sitemeter, I see you have one on your blog. When you go in to view your hits, on the left should be an option for "recent visitors: by referrals". HTH.