Babes in Tropeland: Not ANOTHER Alcoholic Dad, Please

For decades the easiest way to get across to the audience the protagonist was a poor-unfortunate soul was to make them an orphan; someone with no northern star to guide them through this perilous hell-scape we call existence. It was a method to make the main character sympathetic from the get-go, but it was also [...]

How to Mary Sue Proof Your Characters

Last week I wrote a post about Mary Sues and why people write them. Today, I want to give you some unsolicited pointers on how to avoid writing a Mary Sue, or even a Gary Stu (the male equivalent). Enjoy! Start with a real person. While it may not be a good idea to base a [...]

Why Do People Write Mary Sues?

For those of you who aren't familiar with what a Mary Sue is, it's essentially a female character that is too perfect. A character that is always morally correct no matter what, has all the male protagonists drooling themselves over her even though she would describe herself as plain, and is special without having to [...]

Why You Should Love Unloveable Characters

I hear readers complain time and time again that they cannot get into a story because the character is a "bad person."Now I can understand not wanting to read something because the character is unbelievable or underdeveloped, but a bad person? I say "bad people" make some of the best characters. Why? Three reasons: 1. They're more [...]