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Narcissism or Negligence: Mary Sue and Your Characters

By Mike Cluff

Creating and developing characters in your fiction can be a challenging process. Even though authors are more capable of developing multiple unique entities (look up ‘theory of mind’, it’s fascinating), there is a certain crutch that authors can lean on too heavily if they aren’t careful.

The Mary Sue.

The Mary Sue is a form of author self-insertion or personal wish fulfillment that manifests in fiction. Wikipedia gives a good explanation of why it is called the ‘Mary Sue’, so if you are curious go look it up. Personally, I prefer the term because I can say ‘Mary Sue’ without my inner, dorky, adolescent self giggling like it does when I use the term ‘self-insertion.’

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