Quote of the Day: Helena Bonham-Carter

This is good writing advice. Sometimes in writing we get so wrapped up making our characters strong, brave and perfect. And we forget that she is afraid of spiders, and he is terrified of disappointing his parents. We have flaws and it is in these flaws we find truth, as writers and readers. She finds the courage to catch and remove the spider and he tells his parents he isn’t an all star.

The term Mary Sue came up a few months ago and I had to look it up. A “mary sue” is a perfect character that always sails through her/his story without a hiccup. They solve every problem their writer throws at them like its nothing. I have serveral “mary sues” and I am trying to fix them.

Cheers, james

One thought on “Quote of the Day: Helena Bonham-Carter

  1. Hi, James! Enjoyed the quote and the post, but there is more to a Mary Sue than that. TvTropes defines her as an author avatar. Almost always found in fan-fiction (because they don’t as a rule get published), they are wish-fulfillment characters for the author. In a Star Trek novel for example, she would show Scotty how to get more speed from the warp engines, talk McCoy through a complicated medical procedure, explain to an awed Kirk the strategy to save the ship and the galaxy, all while making Spock fall in love with her. The male version is the Marty Stu, and there is much speculation about TNG’s Wesley being a Marty Stu for Gene Wesley Roddenberry.

    So, don’t worry. You may have some characters who need a bit of roughing up around the edges, but unless you’re writing yourself into your stories as some sort of awe-inspiring demigod, you aren’t saddled with a Mary Sue of either gender. Keep calm, and keep writing!


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