Author Topic: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape  (Read 6128 times)

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Offline KernilCrash

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Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« on: November 21, 2008, 12:12:16 PM »
Morning, all!

UTChick asked a question during the Fanfic Panel at Burbank that I have been pondering ever since then, in part because talking to her redefined my understanding of what makes a 'Mary Sue'. 

First, what is a 'Mary Sue'?  The definition provided at Wikipedia is the clearest and most extensive I've come across.  For those of you who don't want to wade through the entire entry, here's the part that I think best defines the phenomenon:

Mary Sue ... is a pejorative term used to describe a fictional character who plays a major role in the plot and is particularly characterized by overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors. Perhaps the single underlying feature of all characters described as "Mary Sues" is that they are too ostentatious for the audience's taste, or that the author seems to favor the character too highly. The author may seem to push how exceptional and wonderful the "Mary Sue" character is on his or her audience, sometimes leading the audience to dislike or even resent the character fairly quickly; such a character could be described as an "author's pet".

While the term is generally limited to fan-created characters, and its most common usage today occurs within the fan fiction community or in reference to fan fiction, original characters in role-playing games or literary canon are also sometimes criticized as being "Mary Sues" or "canon Sues," if they dominate the spotlight or are too unrealistic or unlikely in other ways. One example of this is Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation.


I always understood a Mary Sue to be nothing more than the writer injecting themselves into a story, even if disguised as an original character -- a form of wish-fulfillment, whether it be to save the day or to have fictitious sex with John Crichton. 

UTChick's question encompassed the larger definition, and unfortunately, I fielded the question during the panel and directed it in a more limited direction based on my understanding (at that time) of what entailed a Mary Sue.  She asked if any of us had ever written one of these critters into a fanfiction. 

I'll start by saying that I've written myself into a Farscape fanfic twice.  One was a horrendous parody that I have 'repaired' by removing all traces of it from the internet, and hiding away from public view for all eternity.  I have not deleted it from my harddrive because it has an action sequence in it that I adore.  I'm hoping that at some point I may be able to yank that section out of the story and recycle it into another fiction.  The second time was in response to a Starburst Challenge that specifically asked for a Mary Sue.  That story is called Out Of Control, it is half written, and it's waiting very patiently in line to be finished.  My character does not appear aboard Moya or save everyone from certain death, however, and aside from taking off a few pounds, I don't believe I've turned her into a work of total fiction.  She's where she belongs:  in a control tower, directing traffic, and smart-mouthing with some visitors while she takes care of the airplanes. 

So back to the topic of Mary Sue's in Farscape fanfic.  It occurred to me that I have seen darned few Mary Sue's in Farscape fanfic.  I know of just one or two notable instances, and one of those involves a crossover from another show, so I don't believe it counts.

Which leads to the real question.  Why are there so few Mary Sue's in Farscape?

I think it is because there are so few neat, tidy, happy endings in Farscape.  If a story is true to canon, a Mary Sue character never gets a chance to save the day and leave everything resolved.  The canon characters don't.  Why should an interloper be any different?  Right from the beginning, the characters were messy, confused, selfish, violent, and frequently WRONG.  That continues right to the end.  Different Destinations is a perfect example, as is Self-Inflicted Wounds.  There is no perfect solution in Farscape.  What chance does a Mary Sue have in this universe? 

Then my Farscape-addled brain spent about 2 nanoseconds thinking about how Wesley Crusher would have fared aboard Moya.  (Makes you shudder just thinking about it, doesn't it? :scared: )  That led to a possibly flawed revelation about the character who is closest to a Mary Sue. 

Harvey. 

He's the man with all the answers.  He's the one who most frequently comes up with the solutions and the breakthroughs. 

And yet he's self-serving while maintaining some degree of loyalty to both his creator and to John, which makes him unreliable and treacherous.  In other words, totally Farscape.

What do you think?  Does any of this make sense?  Toss it around, and feel free to contradict me, please.  ;D




Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline shester

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 12:31:35 PM »
Good question.  I will have to give this some thought while I get off this computer and go do something creative.  I think better when I am doing something totally opposite of what I am thinking.  Make sense? :laugh:

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 12:00:56 AM »
My only thought, and this is just off the top of my head, is that Farscape gave us so many different characters to choose from in fan fic.  Also, the coupling of John and Aeryn is so strong and prevalent throughout the story line.  You've seen me try to break out of canon, as well as a few other authors, without too much success. 

Also, the fans of Farscape are of a 'higher' intelligence level.  We are smarter and more educated than the average audience.  We, I don't believe, are prone to that type of writing, as the caliber or level of the writing is far from juvenile.

It's in my opinion that most of the Mary Sue writer's are done from a juvenile pont of view.  And when I say juvenile, I'm not talking about age, but mental capabilities.

So, Crash, that's just off the top of my head...
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

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Offline AerialPuma

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 10:51:10 PM »
Ummmm.... :ponder:  Like Sybil, I feel like I need to think about this a little while.  I've never heard of the Mary Sue concept before...sounds weird.   :o  Still, I will think on it....

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 01:27:32 AM »
It's been around for decades.  It was first prevalent in the Star Trek fandom, but now can be found in almost every fandom.  There are numerous examples on fanfiction.net.  I personally don't like "Mary Sue" fics and avoid them at all costs, just like I avoid McShep fics (McKay/Sheppard slash).
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

I love the pairing of Cam Mitchell and John Sheppard.

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 01:28:45 AM »
Shester!

I love your icon!  Can I snurch?  Please?
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

I love the pairing of Cam Mitchell and John Sheppard.

Offline shester

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 02:38:57 AM »
Shester!

I love your icon!  Can I snurch?  Please?

Of course you can.  Snurch away.

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline shester

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 02:51:45 AM »
I don't like the Mary Sue fics either if what I am thinking of is that type.

I read a story that was suppose to be about Cameron and the Stargate universe but as I read it I realized that it had very little to do with Stargate or Cameron.  They were in the background and the story was about the author.  I knew it was because the person that wrote it had talked about her emotional and physical difficulties and the main character of her story had the same problems and she used this universe to solve those problems.  Everything about the story was how she overcame her problems and then Cameron fell in love with her. The story was boring and I stopped reading it.

I don't think I have read a story in the Farscape world that was like that or at least not to that extent.  I usually stop reading stories where the made up characters become more of the story than the original characters.  I don't mind them as long as they are not what the story is about.

Well, that's all I have for now. It is 3 am and I am going back to bed. ;D

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 06:59:58 AM »
I read a story that was suppose to be about Cameron and the Stargate universe but as I read it I realized that it had very little to do with Stargate or Cameron.  They were in the background and the story was about the author.  I knew it was because the person that wrote it had talked about her emotional and physical difficulties and the main character of her story had the same problems and she used this universe to solve those problems.  Everything about the story was how she overcame her problems and then Cameron fell in love with her.

Yup!  That's a Mary Sue!  :agreed: 

I found the Wikipedia article fascinating because it broke it down into a variety of 'subspecies'.  One type of Mary Sue is a canon-Sue.  The term "canon-Sue" (also written as canon!Sue) or "Possession Sue" is used to describe canon characters who are changed significantly from their original canon characterization and sometimes even divorced from their original context completely. Such characters are seen as having been heavily idealized to the point of being more of a stand-in for the author's wish fulfillment than being the original canon character.

I find this variety interesting because I think we've got one or two instances in the fandom that are leaning in this direction ... but not to the point that the characterizations have crossed the line. 

Personally, I think Farscape itself resists "Sueification" not only for the reasons I tossed out above, but also because the characters are so complex, multi-faceted, and so realisitic.  I also agree with Domino.  I think the fact that the audience is older, more mature, and better educated than what makes up the average fandom has a lot to do with it. 

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline shester

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2008, 06:01:53 AM »
I have read a lot where the author puts their own personal experiences into their story.   If they had a bad marriage I find that they tend to really hate John in season 4 because he doesn't throw himself all over Aeryn when she comes back.  No matter what he has been through doesn't matter.  They just don't like that he is pushing her away.  They seem blinded by that and can't see that John is so damaged in the first part of season 4.  Or they just don't really like John and turn him into a really hateful person or they have Aeryn leave him because he is pushing her away.  Those I always wonder what kind of person they see Aeryn as being.  John waited for cycles on her to get her stuff together and she can't give him time to get himself together?  That is not the Aeryn I know.   They get off canon when they do that and I just figure they are projecting themselves into the story and doing what they wanted to do with their spouse.  And maybe it is hard not to do that.  But when you are writing about two characters who love each other and you don't keep them that way then you need to write your own story and leave J/A alone. :laugh:

I wonder how hard it is to write and not put your own experiences into the story?   I don't write so I don't know if I could keep my personal experiences from coming out.  Is that hard for you Crash?

Hope that stayed on topic.

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2008, 08:23:11 AM »
I think this is definitely on topic because I see Mary-Sue-ism as being a matter of degrees.  At one end, you have writers blatantly writing themselves into a story, and having one of the canon characters fall in love with her (or him) and everyone living happily ever after.  At the other end of the scale, you have the writer's personal experiences creating what I refer to as "filters" that affect their perception of canon.  Some time those filters are mild, and sometimes they are like funhouse mirrors or kaleidescopes.  We all (writers and non-writers) do it to some degree.  The raging debates about how both John and Aeryn behaved in Season 4 are good enough evidence of that. 

I wonder how hard it is to write and not put your own experiences into the story?   I don't write so I don't know if I could keep my personal experiences from coming out.  Is that hard for you Crash?

I'm going to say it's impossible to not allow some of our personal experiences to wind up on the page, for the reasons I just mentioned.  When it comes to writing John and Aeryn, I may be lucky that I'm not married.  I do not have the kind of life experiences with a 'mate' that might skew canon.  I'm sort of a blank slate in that respect.  Where I do have beliefs, experience, or prejudices, I'm fortunate that they align fairly well with canon. 

My "agendas" have shown up on occasion.  I offer up 'Inferno' as proof.  That is me blatantly projecting some of my issues into canon.  The one difference is that I knew I was doing it, and made a conscious decision to allow myself the indulgence for once.  My less obvious 'filters' show up in other places, though.  When I'm writing NC-17 fic, you'll notice that I enjoy poking a bit of fun at John and at the overall male tendency to be 'ready' at the drop of a hat.  That's past experience with a particular boyfriend.  Some people also feel that I write John and Aeryn (and their grown children) snarking at each other very well.  Some of that is an extension of canon, but some of it is my experience working in ATC.  Controllers excel at snark.  ;D

I have, on a number of occasions, described fanfiction as being 'self-indulgent' (for the writer).  I've had some interesting conversations with several people because they, quite correctly, view writing good fanfiction as being a lot of hard work.  They don't see it as being 'self-indulgent'.  But at the end of the day, we write fanfic for ourselves.  We have an audience, but we do not have to get the stories past an editor, or an agent, or the publisher, or clear costs on the project.  Most writers do it because it satisfies some need within themselves.  That's what I mean by self-indulgent.  And I believe that this inner-reward driven motivation means that fanfic might be more susceptible to personal agendas or 'filters' than original fiction.  It would be hard to gauge it though since original fiction doesn't have canon as a measuring stick, and because original fiction is probably nothing but personal agendas.  ;)

If I had to make a conclusion -- which I would prefer not to ;D -- I'd say that the degree to which a writer skews canon might have something to do with WHY they are writing fanfiction, and (here comes a really dangerous statement) how well balanced they are personally.  This is not a boast that I'm well-balanced.  I'm just trying to say that people whose lives stink, or who have been through devastating events in their lives, or who have major unresolved issues are going to be more likely to see canon through thicker, more heavily warped filters; and are more likely to project those views onto the page.  I have had to cope with anger issues.  I have felt that horrendous little *click* inside my head, and know what it feels like to transition from a rational, mature adult into someone who wanted nothing more than to beat another human being to a bloody pulp.  It has shown, and will continue to show up in my stories ... hopefully only when and where it is appropriate to canon.   

Hope that answers your question.  I feel like I've been babbling.  :laugh: 
Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 04:41:05 AM »
Of course you can.  Snurch away.

Sybil


Thank you!!   :-*
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

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Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2008, 04:57:11 AM »
I, myself, have an alternate universe I've titled "The John Reina Universe".  The story is how John is taken from Aeryn and completely brainwashed by Mele-On Grayza, and turned into a slave or concubine.  Or so Grayza thinks.  I've got the entire series of stories plotted out and John is returned to Aeryn in the end.  Rygel plays a wonderful part in the series and it demonstrates his ability to conduct royal intrigue.

I'm saying this because?  I've had some complaints that "John would not act this way or do that," and was asked as recently as the Burbank con to stop writing it.  I've written this series mainly for myself, but posted it as I knew others may like it too.  I've changed or turned away from canon and created a whole different universe to play in. 

One person insinuated I wrote a type of Mary-Sue story.  I didn't.  I really hate those type of stories and mentally and physically cringe thinking of the possibility I wrote one.  Yuck.

There is a difference between a different universe and mary sue stories.  But...I had been accused of one.

*cringing*
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

I love the pairing of Cam Mitchell and John Sheppard.

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2008, 07:48:29 AM »
If someone asks you to stop writing a fanfiction, suggest that they stop reading it.  :hug2:

John can behave any way you want him to, as long as you provide sufficient justification.  I went through this when I wrote 'The Changeling'.  The challenge in that story was to get John to the point where his behavior made sense. 

I've tread part way into several stories where John's behavior seems "off" to me, the writer never provided a reason for the shift, and I never finished reading the stories.  I feel that this has more to do with that 'filter' I was talking about than Mary Sue-isms.  When that unexplained skewing of John's (or anyone else's) behavior goes too far, however, then I think it begins to leave the Land of Filters and begins to edge into the Realm of Canon-Sue-isms.  The writer has some personal issues or agendas that causes her or him to view John in a way that is too far from what the writers even intended, and it makes its way into their portrayal of him. 

I can think of a story where this happened, but I would prefer not to discuss it in public.  I will defend to the death any writer's right to portray John as they perceive him ... just as I will defend to the death every reader's right to NOT read the stories that they feel stray too far from canon.  ;) 

Back to your story, Domino.  Without knowing any of the facts, the thought of someone telling you to stop writing your story irks me.  I've had people scream (on the internet) "You're killing me!" or say that what I've written was too painful to finish reading it.  I've had people say that I screwed up, or they felt that someone wasn't behaving correctly.  But for someone to say, "Stop writing" is ... well, words fail me.  It's ... it's ... it's ...

If you have justified the shift in John's behavior with the brainwashing, then you're all set.  If you've been abusing him too long, and the readers are starting to squirm in their seats, then that's something else entirely ... but it still doesn't mean that you should stop writing.  Through trial and error, I've discovered that sometimes you need to give the reader a break from a single sustained emotion.  If for very good plot reasons you are putting a character through absolute hell, sometimes you need to give the character a break in order to give the reader a break from the intensity of what is going on. 

And if you shift to an alternate universe, the door is wide open to change characterizations.  That's not Mary-Sue-ism.  That's playing with how life could play out differently.  I will be playing with some alternate universes in the near future, and in one, I've got a version of John Crichton who is suicidally depressed.  My beta-reader saw the first outline of what is going to happen, and she said that John would never get that way.  I said, "Alternate universe."  She said, "Oh yeah.  Okay."  ;D 

« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 07:53:16 AM by KernilCrash »
Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2008, 06:28:20 PM »
Hey Crash,

Thanks for the 'buck up'.  It helps to hear someone else say what I thought and took the sting out.  I am also glad I had decided in the beginning that I was writing for myself and if someone else wanted to come along for the ride, they were more than welcome to take a seat.  I got the feeling early on that there weren't many people reading the fic.  Which is fine.  I wrote it and and am still writing it, for me.

The person that asked me to stop writing the fic asked me to do so, as she thought John would never behave the way I have him acting.  I did explain the reasons for the change and told her that I was really glad now that I was writing it for myself.  There is one part of my story where John cries when he thinks Grayza, who owns him, is going to throw him out into the street and abandon him.  He cries for the possible loss of a home, his future and possibly the loss of his very life.  For at this point, John is brainwashed (Grayza thinks he is completely changed) and Grayza has become his whole world.  I wrote this part as inside John's head, he was remembering how Aeryn abandoned him and this only exacerbates the problem within him.

I also think she was tired of John going through what I had him going through.  She wanted him reunited with Aeryn and it was maybe taking too long.  Not sure.

I have to say, she said it very nicely.  But, she said it all the same. 
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 06:30:44 PM by Domino »
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

I love the pairing of Cam Mitchell and John Sheppard.

Offline shester

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2008, 06:48:11 PM »
If someone asks you to stop writing a fanfiction, suggest that they stop reading it.  :hug2:

I agree.  How rude.  If I don't like the way a story is going I just stop reading it and let it go. 


Quote
I've tread part way into several stories where John's behavior seems "off" to me, the writer never provided a reason for the shift, and I never finished reading the stories.  I feel that this has more to do with that 'filter' I was talking about than Mary Sue-isms.  When that unexplained skewing of John's (or anyone else's) behavior goes too far, however, then I think it begins to leave the Land of Filters and begins to edge into the Realm of Canon-Sue-isms.  The writer has some personal issues or agendas that causes her or him to view John in a way that is too far from what the writers even intended, and it makes its way into their portrayal of him. 

I can think of a story where this happened, but I would prefer not to discuss it in public.  I will defend to the death any writer's right to portray John as they perceive him ... just as I will defend to the death every reader's right to NOT read the stories that they feel stray too far from canon.  ;) 

I have done this too and usually when I start reading a story that has the characters "off" I just stop reading it and go find another one to read.   I did read a story that had all of the characters so off that I felt I wasn't reading a story about John and Aeryn.   I finished reading the story and quite frankly wish I hadn't.  It was terrible and I felt as though the author hated John with a passion and was doing everything they could to separate John and Aeryn.  Not that the writing was terrible but the fact that they had Aeryn hating John in the end and that to me is not Farscape.  Farscape is a love story.  That was no where near a love story. 


Quote
And if you shift to an alternate universe, the door is wide open to change characterizations.  That's not Mary-Sue-ism.  That's playing with how life could play out differently.  I will be playing with some alternate universes in the near future, and in one, I've got a version of John Crichton who is suicidally depressed.  My beta-reader saw the first outline of what is going to happen, and she said that John would never get that way.  I said, "Alternate universe."  She said, "Oh yeah.  Okay."  ;D 



 :o

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline shester

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2008, 06:51:17 PM »
I, myself, have an alternate universe I've titled "The John Reina Universe".  The story is how John is taken from Aeryn and completely brainwashed by Mele-On Grayza, and turned into a slave or concubine.  Or so Grayza thinks.  I've got the entire series of stories plotted out and John is returned to Aeryn in the end.  Rygel plays a wonderful part in the series and it demonstrates his ability to conduct royal intrigue.

I'm saying this because?  I've had some complaints that "John would not act this way or do that," and was asked as recently as the Burbank con to stop writing it.  I've written this series mainly for myself, but posted it as I knew others may like it too.  I've changed or turned away from canon and created a whole different universe to play in. 

One person insinuated I wrote a type of Mary-Sue story.  I didn't.  I really hate those type of stories and mentally and physically cringe thinking of the possibility I wrote one.  Yuck.

There is a difference between a different universe and mary sue stories.  But...I had been accused of one.

*cringing*

I have read your stories.  I can't believe someone asked you to stop writing your story.  Like Crash said they should just stop reading it. 

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2008, 07:21:13 PM »
I have read your stories.  I can't believe someone asked you to stop writing your story.  Like Crash said they should just stop reading it. 

Sybil

Thank so very much Shester! 

I'm wondering now if the reader was just tired of what I was putting John through and wanting it over, or if they really did hate the story....
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

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Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2008, 07:41:06 PM »
That's just the weirdest thing.  I've had people scream at what I put John through, and I've received some outstanding (and tough to take) constructive criticism, and I've had people make suggestions that they think will improve the story.  But I've never had anyone tell me to stop writing!!!  They should tell you how to improve the story, not to quit. 
Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2008, 07:56:01 PM »
Well....and this is why I'm taking this so well...is that I really believe she meant the one John Reina series, not writing my fics all together.  She really believed I wasn't writing John correctly, that she believed John would never turn into "a crying baby", that it would take so much more to make John cry.

She said it was the one series of my stories that she didn't like.

There are several things I won't go into, as I think there were issues in her RL that were influencing her.  I felt I could take her criticisms as graciously as possible and ignore the rest.

Between us, I had a feeling from the beginning that the John Reina series would be met with much resistance.  It didn't follow any real canon, it's AU, and it goes against the grain of John/Aeryn pairing.  So, I had prepared myself for most to not like it.  I was pleasantly surprised by those who did.

I was also surprised by her candor, but accept it as part of the whole writing experience.
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

I love the pairing of Cam Mitchell and John Sheppard.

Offline shester

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2008, 08:53:08 PM »
Our life experiences have a lot of to with how we see things.  I have a tendency to see things in a skewed kind of way and I ask way too many questions.  That drives some people nuts. 

If you enjoyed writing the stories and there are people who enjoyed reading them then you have to accept that some people won't like it and just move on. 

We all have our own idea of who John is and what we think he would or would not do.  I try to read stories by authors who come as close to my idea as to who he is as I do.  I personally want the stories to be as close to canon as they can be so that I can see the story happening sometime in the Farscape universe.   

But I have read a lot of AU stories and if there is a good reason for why he is acting differently than expected I can accept that.  It just has to make sense.

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2008, 03:21:01 AM »
Our life experiences have a lot of to with how we see things.  I have a tendency to see things in a skewed kind of way and I ask way too many questions.  That drives some people nuts. 

If you enjoyed writing the stories and there are people who enjoyed reading them then you have to accept that some people won't like it and just move on. 

We all have our own idea of who John is and what we think he would or would not do.  I try to read stories by authors who come as close to my idea as to who he is as I do.  I personally want the stories to be as close to canon as they can be so that I can see the story happening sometime in the Farscape universe.   

But I have read a lot of AU stories and if there is a good reason for why he is acting differently than expected I can accept that.  It just has to make sense.

Sybil

Here, here Shester.  All I ask of a story is that they make sense.  I hate being confused more than normally and I really hate Mary Sue stories.  I don't wanna read about an author writing herself into the story.  It's nauseating.

The Lord knows weird shit goes through my brain, so I try to excuse others.  I have such a closet full of skeletons, I don't want my glass house to have natural air conditioning.

I love my John Reina series.  It gives me pleasure to write, so I do.
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

I love the pairing of Cam Mitchell and John Sheppard.

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2008, 07:41:00 AM »
I have something new to toss into the discussion.

I've been working on a fic for a VERY old Starburst Challenge.  Waaaaaayyyyyyy back at Starburst Challenge 13 (SC30 was just posted, so this is about a year and a half old), Scaper0 challenged the writers to come up with a deliberate Mary Sue, i.e. write themselves into the story. 

:o

At first, I cringed.  Then I came up with an idea where I'd be there, but not as a major player.  The story is from John's POV, and as you might expect, it takes place during Terra Firma.  The big trick was to figure out WHY John would be in Vermont, cuz there's no reason why I'd be in Florida.  ;D

What's interesting is how easy it is to get carried away with describing elements of my life in the story.  Each time I put in something about John's surroundings, which are really my surroundings, I have to stop, look at it, and ask myself if it really drives the story.  What I'm experiencing is run-away self-indulgence.  I, as the writer, am walking in John's footsteps, and at every physical turn, I'm seeing the view not through his eyes, but through the eyes of a thousand anecdotes that have come up over the years.  It's tough not to put them in. 

It's a revelation, and it has also taught me how easy it would be to turn a story into something that is more about MY character's life than it is about the Farscape characters. 

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Eirenne

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2008, 12:56:55 PM »
I will read anything that is a good a story.  Granted with Farscape I do prefer it to stick to cannon but am not adverse to reading an AU fanfic as long as it makes sense in my head.  Having said that I can say I have read some stuff that wasn't my cup of tea but have never told the writer they should stop writing.  Like Sybil I just stop reading and move on.  I think writing fanfiction in particular Farscape fanfiction can be stressful.  At least for me that is.  I have not written much but I do labor over whether or not it sounds right, does it make sense etc...and let's face it when you post something out there on the boards you are opening yourself up for criticism.  Constructive criticism I welcome with open arms. 

Mary Sue?  I have never heard of that either... :-[

I think it could be fun to add some elements of your life into a story providing it doesn't take a dramactic turn where the reader gets completely lost. 

« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 12:59:06 PM by Eirenne »

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Offline Domino

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Re: Throwing a topic out to everyone here: Mary Sue's and Farscape
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2008, 07:41:42 PM »
I have something new to toss into the discussion.

I've been working on a fic for a VERY old Starburst Challenge.  Waaaaaayyyyyyy back at Starburst Challenge 13 (SC30 was just posted, so this is about a year and a half old), Scaper0 challenged the writers to come up with a deliberate Mary Sue, i.e. write themselves into the story. 

:o

At first, I cringed.  Then I came up with an idea where I'd be there, but not as a major player.  The story is from John's POV, and as you might expect, it takes place during Terra Firma.  The big trick was to figure out WHY John would be in Vermont, cuz there's no reason why I'd be in Florida.  ;D

What's interesting is how easy it is to get carried away with describing elements of my life in the story.  Each time I put in something about John's surroundings, which are really my surroundings, I have to stop, look at it, and ask myself if it really drives the story.  What I'm experiencing is run-away self-indulgence.  I, as the writer, am walking in John's footsteps, and at every physical turn, I'm seeing the view not through his eyes, but through the eyes of a thousand anecdotes that have come up over the years.  It's tough not to put them in. 

It's a revelation, and it has also taught me how easy it would be to turn a story into something that is more about MY character's life than it is about the Farscape characters. 



Wow!  I don't think I could do that.  I think I've so programed myself to not write a mary sue story, that I can't break out of it.  Really don't think I could take that on... 

It seems very hard.  Can't wait to read it when you finish...
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 07:42:24 PM by Domino »
Ben/John/Cam are sex in leather.

I love the pairing of Cam Mitchell and John Sheppard.