If you haven’t read it already, Red’s Trip Through Your Wires chapter 24 is up and waiting for you. I’m rather satisfied by it, as the missus gave a pretty damn good portrayal of my namesake in the piece. Better still, I can see my choice for the voice of this younger version of the character, Kevin Conroy(Batman from Batman: TAS and its ilk) delivering most if not all of those lines perfectly in my head.
Also, if you’ve not been keeping up, I think this is a good place to check it out, as it doesn’t really require much knowledge or prior chapters beforehand to enjoy(not that there’s no benefit to reading the rest first), but it might stir your interest a bit, hopefully enough to go back and read the rest if you’ve not already.
But alas, that’s not the reason for my post. Rather, it’s sort of a gateway for me to echo a reply to a post in Red’s LJ where she posted the above chapter.
In her post, she basically addresses the problems regarding the modern day online witch-hunt that is the accusation of “Mary Sue-ing.” To many with any spark of real imagination, and the ability to see beyond what’s been laid down in front of them, this presents many a problem when putting pen to paper and fingers to keyboards, as things have gotten SO bad that just about any original character who shows any sign of competence seems to be a target for these finger-pointers.
I believe the root of this problem, as with many, is one simple thing: ignorance.
To quote myself in response to her journal:
“I think maybe some of us should start an awareness group for what Mary Sue-ing really is, and how many fics don’t actually feature Mary Sues.
People shouldn’t be afraid to create their own characters for use in stories, that’s how things often keep interesting. Only so much you can do with X and Sigma, or Zero and Vile. I think that might be part of why Axl was introduced to the series. And Epsilon. And others.
Stories need a cast, and if X, Zero, and Sigma are all that’s allowed, then a lot of stories are going to wind up reading a LOT like each other. Fancharacters help let us into the world a little bit more, particularly if they’re done well.
People need to be educated. Maybe we can start something towards this end. Fanfiction used to be a pretty damn well-respected part of online contribution, until everyone decided they were an author, and places like fanfiction.net let anyone with a keyboard put anything up, except the soccer-mom protested over-18 stuff.
Anyone with me on this?”
Naturally, this doesn’t endorse those who make “perfect” characters, but I feel lines should be drawn, and rules made. Not so much rules, as guidelines to those who want to move beyond the realm of what belongs to someone else, just a little bit.
For example, it’s cool for your original main villain to smack X and Zero around a bit; it’s what villains do, and it’s what makes them formidable. However, by the end of the story, X and/or Zero should be able to overcome the villain; help is alright from an original character, particularly if it’s warranted. Say the villain killed the original hero’s creator. He’s got every right to be in there fighting alongside X and Zero. He can even get the final blow.
But he definitely should NOT simply outclass the two stars and steal the spotlight, making X and Zero look inferior.
Things like that.
Another thing is relation to the main characters. I personally set X, Zero, and Sigma as sort of off-limits in my stuff, short of professional engagement, maybe some friendship. If Hero 1 is a Maverick Hunter, and X is a Hunter, there’s little reason the two should not be able to interact a little, or fight alongside each other in battle if the situation warrants it.
On the other hand, making Hero 1 the mentor who taught X and Zero everything they know about combat is bullshit.
And I think the absolute worst thing a fancharacter can do is overrule official canon. If you make your character the LAST last creation of Dr. Wily, after Zero, there are going to be some people who may not be particularly forgiving.
Well, that’s actually tied for worst. The other is that slapping an X on a classic series character’s name doesn’t make it a new character, nor is it yours. It’s sorta cute for forum names and online handles, but that’s really as far as it should go. Duo X may say he has a heart of gold, but it’s really just pyrite that’s been spitshined to a nice luster.
Anyway, this isn’t a rant at anyone I know or anyone on my list here, or anyone in particular, but I remember a time when fanfic authors were better respected in the fan community, and now it seems that thanks to places like fanfiction.net, anyone with a keyboard is an author, yaoi slash fics are Pulitzer Prize-winning literature to many, and creativity is shunned.
So again, this is a call out to see who might be with me in forming some kind of effort… perhaps even creating a reference page of sorts, for these misguided souls to turn to so that they may be educated.
Lord Black “Nytetrayn” Draco, who is not a Mary Sue, or to be gender-correct, a Gary Stu