January 26th, 2005

Illustmaker me

Shifts, Chapter 30: Missing History, pt. 2

Glughghgh... starting late because I updated the TofC page and put up three chapters. Realized I forgot to change that bit where Dora talks about the Room of Requirement, but I will do so before final archiving. So when she says (below) that she doesn't know of it, it's an editing thing that I haven't done yet; I've changed my mind. Dangers of WIPs. Will not take another day off this week, though.

Remus, Sirius, and Dora were discussing several things over dinner and not reaching any decisions when Dumbledore and Fawkes appeared out of nowhere.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

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Illustmaker me

Yet another Mary Sue rant

There is no such thing as a good Mary Sue.

Period (or "full stop," if you prefer).

"Oh, but I've read great Mary Sues! Really!"

No, you haven't. If they're great, they're not Mary Sues. Nearly everything on any Mary Sue litmus test going is negotiable, but not the lack of quality. "Mary Sue" is a particular sort of writing error; speaking of a "good Mary Sue" is like speaking of "good terrible formatting" or "good bad pacing" or "good horrific spelling." It's true that the collection of narrative phenomena associated with the Mary Sue issue could all be addressed separately, but none individually is synonymous with Suedom, and "Mary Sue," by having its specific meaning, provides a way to communicate a particular kind of fault. Loose usage, however, makes it lose that advantage--a circumstance we note when people (quite correctly) point out that a reasonably identified Sue need not fret since, "Oh, for heaven's sake, there are people who call any original character that!"

So please, for the sake of clear communication about fan writing, let's avoid doing that.

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