Unraveling the Mary Sue: The Conventions of Fan-Fiction Do’s and Don’ts

Abstract

My poster would be diving into the culture around fan characters made for fanfiction stories which many people consider to be ‘too perfect,’ which many people refer to as Mary Sue characters. The poster would show that there has historically been strigged rules that fandoms operate under to determine if a character made by a fan is a Mary Sue or not, the term more often than not being derogatory in nature. The poster more than anything would be pointing out many inconclusive elements in how fandoms determine what is acceptable for a character. I will show this through different commentary art pieces made over the years about the topic relevant to my discussion as well as questions from popular fan quizzes that were made to determine if someone’s character was a Mary Sue or not. The poster will also briefly show changes over the years of what one expects out of a Mary Sue character, starting with its origin as satire and its development throughout different fan communities. Overall, my poster would be pointing out inconsistencies and interesting aspects of what was considered an acceptable character in fan communities

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Eastern Kentucky University

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Last time updated on 26/05/2024

This paper was published in Eastern Kentucky University.

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