Musings of a Twiftie

a teen writing for teens

Drop dead, gorgeous March 2, 2010

Filed under: discussions — maenadwrites @ 12:47 am

Funny how much difference a comma can make. For example, “drop dead gorgeous” and “drop dead, gorgeous” are two entirely different phrases. The first describes a lot of MCs and/or LIs. The second is what I’d like these characters to do.

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I’m not beautiful. A lot of people aren’t. I know I’m not, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that we can’t all be supermodels. It drives me nuts when authors can’t seem to realize that. Sure, that doesn’t mean that the characters have to be disgustingly ugly, either. There is no such thing as ugly. But there is such a thing as average looking.

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Maybe I’m just being whiny, but I just can’t stand it when the perfect MC has all the other characters drooling over him/her, or when the MC is always drooling over the flawless LI. PEOPLE AREN’T PERFECT. Some might be really good looking, and great at everything they try, but never perfect.

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I guess the purpose of this post is not only to rant a bit, but to remind all of you writers that perfect characters just come off as really fake. Stop for a minute and think. Is your character flawed? Then s/he is real. Congratulations. If one of your characters is gorgeous, talented, and nothing but virtuous, then go back and try again.

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7 Responses to “Drop dead, gorgeous”

  1. Caitlin Says:

    “Gorgeous, talented, and nothing but virtuous” – sounds like my first-ever MC! Which is the reason that book lives in my closet and won’t ever be allowed out. Ever.

    *hugs to Mae*

  2. Yep, that last line describe an awful lot of Mary Sues. And I love the beginning of this post. “The second is what I’d like these characters to do.” Classic

  3. maenadwrites Says:

    Kyrie: Got any space in that closet for my first novel?

    Sage: I tried to avoid using Mary Sue, but I was thinking it the entire time ^.^

    Glad you guys liked it!

    • Caitlin Says:

      Haha, sorry Mae. That novel is kept company by the two sequels and the prequel to that novel, as well as two utterly unrelated novels. All this occurred before I discovered characterization.

  4. Bee Says:

    Amen to that!

    Fantastic post. I HATE perfect characters. Period. They are unrelatable, un-human (seriously) ans scream out ‘Fake!’

    Characterisation is my favourite part of writing and I love the grey characters. No place for just black or white in the real world. Everything has layers. Peel that back.

    <3 Mae!

  5. parametric Says:

    I also hate physically flawless characters – I’m gearing up for a rant on my blog. :D

  6. Amna Says:

    1000 yes to this post.


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