nebroadwe: (Bear)
Last night a friend of mine produced the best high-concept definition of the Mary Sue I'd ever heard:
The singularity around which the story is forced to bend.
It's not going to replace the more sustained analyses of this phenomenon, but it sure is a handy introduction. And for a practical guide to available countermeasures, Teresa Nielsen Hayden is right to recommend The Game of the Gods, in which the Powers of Middle-earth play a game of Sues:
Varda smiled. "Your move."

Morgoth flinched. Then he looked over the board in front of him. It might have been a chess board, save that a chess board didn't have many flashing blue and green oblongs on it, and wasn't covered with ivory pieces showing various girls and young women with their faces frozen in expressions of longing.

He tapped one of the pieces, a human girl with pointed ears and cat-shaped eyes who sat in front of an oblong box. She flushed pink and then began to breathe.

Varda looked disappointed. "That one? She will be easy to dismiss."

Morgoth smiled smugly. "She is a Sue. They are never easy to dismiss."

"When I am allowed to apply reality to the game," said Varda, "they are."

Some moments passed in silence, which didn't cause Morgoth to flinch, and starlight, which did. Then he said impatiently, "Aren't you going to do anything?"

Varda smiled mysteriously. "Reality is enough."
Excuse me while I go chortle for a while ...
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
I'm a fan of detail when writing 'fic, as you've probably noticed. Historical fiction set in the real world sends me scrambling for FACTS (what was the weather like that day? what news would people have been talking about? would they have known that word or expression?). Some facts are easier to determine than others. Right now, I'm on a sky-and-weather binge, so I note some of the places I've found helpful for locating that information (primarily so I don't forget them; secondarily so that anyone reading this can skip the "Help! How do I find out about that?" phase of research).

Read more... )


nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
The Magdalen Reading

August 2014



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