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Showing posts from July, 2021

Strong Female Characters

Time to talk about Strong Female Characters again. I actually saw that shortened to SFC. Time to talk about SFC's again. Why? Because there is a blow-up about a remake of a kid's cartoon and everyone is on about "Teela and the Masters of the Universe" and a couple of people have pointed out an element of the story that does seem rather odd as it's described: Does anyone care about spoilers? Prince Adam dies. According to what people are saying, Teela's "take away" on this is the need to berate his parents, fresh in their grief at the loss of their only child, that no one told her that he was He Man. She has a tantrum and leaves. She stays mad. She resists the call to be a hero when the universe is going to be destroyed. Later she treats Prince Adam badly. Or so I'm hearing. Tell me I've heard wrong. But the charge that her response when finding out that she'd been kept in the dark is self-absorbed, that tracks with the current tre

Call Me Mary Sue

 Call me Mary Sue. Writers have all heard of a Mary Sue.  In truth, these days even non-writers have probably heard of a Mary Sue. In short, a Mary Sue is a character who doesn't have to try very hard.  She is talented and loved by all without having paid her dues.  Mary Sue might be an orphan, but she's secretly a princess.  She's unusual and beautiful. She seems to inspire love and loyalty for no reason. She never faces the possibility of failure when it comes to the stakes of the story. And it's a fine line. One of my favorite novels, Perilous Waif by E. William Brown, seems to be a deliberate send up of the idea of a Mary Sue, complete with the violet eyes, the orphan condition, the inexplicable love and loyalty, and the secret princess. Everything. And yet, the character works because she makes mistakes that have weight and you know that she may fail at the stakes of the story at any point.  So the definition of a Mary Sue is not just being overpowered or uncritica