30 days of fanfic writing meme (8)
8 – Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they’re not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.
I’ve written a few over the years. Missy in my first That 70s Show fic for one. Originally I wrote her as a work friend for Hyde (someone he hired at the music store) but they were way too comfortable with each other so she turned evil. Definitely not a Mary Sue.
There’s an OC boyfriend for Cassie in one of my WIP. He’s only a minor character and very uncomfortable being in the presence of a general, 2 colonels and a Jaffa (he’s a Marine but not part of the SGC). I feel for the guy. Cassie drags him along on a “family” vacation
I created a love interest for Cam in one of the new fics I’m writing. I started it for the “off the clock” challenge at stargateland but my internet was shut off before I finished it (the day it was due). I needed something for Cam to do. NO, not that kind of “do”. Well, not yet anyway. I suppose some might see her as a Mary Sue but I don’t think she is. She seems a bit perfect to Cam but he doesn’t really know her. She’s recently divorced with kids, is great looking and interested in him. But really she’s just lonely and her bold nature is overcompensating for her insecurities at losing her husband.
I think my favorite OC is the 4th member of SG-1 I created in my NaNo 2010 novel (still unfinished). Wyatt Baty his name is (named after my nephew–his middle name is Wyatt– and the founder of NaNo–Chris Baty). I actually had to make some effort to make sure he didn’t seem Mary Sueish (or Gary Stuish or which ever male version you prefer) because he was sounding too good to be true for the team… too much like Carter in male form.
He’s still a little too “perfect” but I haven’t gone back to edit things yet.
I think the key to not writing Mary Sues is keeping the OCs flawed. Nobody is perfect. They always have issues. So your OCs have to have issues, too. But realistic ones. If they are too obvious or too many then they become Mary Sues again (or just really crappy, annoying characters that no one cares about). They also can’t take over the story. And they need a plausible reason for being in the story/scene. With Wyatt I needed a 4th member because they “think” Sam is dead. I made him young and seemingly sure of himself. He’s got the brains like Sam (although no one could ever be as smart as her) and the charm like Daniel but tends to get himself into more trouble (that’s only mentioned, though). He’s already learned how to get in between Jack and Daniel when they go at it to keep the peace. He looks up to Jack in the military sense… like Carter did in the early years. After writing early chapters I realized he was way too good, having the best qualities of all the other characters. So I wrote some chapters from his POV where you see he’s pretty unsure of himself and kind of scared of Jack (he gets caught discussing Jack/Sam gossip with Daniel and nearly wets himself, lol, he can’t get out of there fast enough). I haven’t decided what other flaws I want to give him.