sevendials: (ken - i'm in a box)
laila ([personal profile] sevendials) wrote on March 1st, 2011 at 09:07 pm
Stuff I Don't Get, Part 1,397,228.
Sometimes I guess I have no conclusions to come to or particularly deep thoughts to impart. I just have Stuff That's Bugging Me with no very clear rhyme or reason for it. Today is one of those times.

So. Mary Sues. Basically they're wish-fulfilment. That much is obvious, right? Characters like this are, in their purest form, their creator's fantasy life (usually with the totally unattainable, for reasons of fame or fictitiousness, guy of their dreams) written up for all the world to share in. Which is great for their creators, but not so much so for everybody else, because other people's personal fantasies are just that - their personal fantasies.

What I do not, absolutely do not get is how in the world these characters manage to get actual fans.

What is the appeal about reading someone else's fantasy of - to put it crudely - being the center of attention and banging a hot fantasy man? Okay, I get the appeal of wanting people to look at you and wanting to bang the fantasy man yourself: I don't get why you'd want to go through someone else's surrogate to do so. That puts you three times removed from the object of your affection, right? You're not the Sue; you're not the Suethor. You're just watching it all.

Since realizing I was basically vicariously participating in someone else's dream life, Mary Sues in general have left me feeling a little awkward. I really start to get antsy when people create the one 'OC' and use them in absolutely everything they do, tweaking the character ever so slightly to fit whatever their latest daydream is but otherwise making it very very obvious it's the same girl - because it's so very very obviously meant to be them up there, at least as they wish to be. The character is so plainly Their Idealized Fantasy Stand-In it's just vaguely embarrassing to me. Take the creator of this Mary Sue:

Twin Blade Illusion
This Fan Fic was started by my cousin and then handed to me by him to finish it so I did. The plot follows a young girl that is a double agent, Nori Nanba Mutsu and she is everything but normal. Come follow her in her twisted and hidden world of Illusion.

At a quick check I count something like five other stories on this fanficcer's profile about this girl Nori Nanba Mutsu. Four are for Weiss Kreuz, one is for Peacemaker Kurogane, one is apparently original. It's so obviously her fantasy life writ large up there that it's just kind of embarrassing to read it. I don't know why the author - a grown woman, but that's a rant for another day - should want me to read it. But there it is and well, okay, if that's what does it for her then who am I to say her nay? It might be oversharing and it might be a bit creepy, but the motivations are at least understandable. The ficcer would like to be a hot teenage superspy who kicks the bad guys' asses and has all the boys wowed. Whatever gets you through the night, I guess.

But where's the fun in reading about a total stranger's Mary Sue fantasy?

I can get my head round Suethors. I cannot understand their fans.

What is the appeal in being this person? What's 'koneko15' getting out of this? Where exactly is the fun in cooing over some idiot Snapewife's pouty, vacant-looking Mary Sue self-insert draping herself all over the object of you and the artist's shared affection like a sparkly rash? Okay, so this girl's Mary Sue is at least a well-drawn sparkly rash and I know not all of us have the time or the talent to put our daydreams onto paper in the way RedPassion here does, but still. It's not believable and it's certainly not at all inclusive. It's someone else's fantasy life in a pretty, shiny package.

Don't these people realize that they can have Mary Sue fantasies of their own and they don't actually have to live vicariously through someone else's?

I can think of only two reasons why people would do this. Failure of imagination, or failure to realize that anybody can do this, and I can't believe anyone out there could be so devoid of imagination they can't even have a decent daydream about a hot fantasy guy. The RedPassions of this world aren't necessarily remarkably talented or divinely inspired. They're just fangirls like everyone else, and it is not that hard to come up with your own Mary Sue.

So these people - the fangirl's fangirls - are the ones I really, really don't get. I can understand the desire to write a Mary Sue fanfic or draw your fantasy stand-in swooning in the arms of the fictional character of your, and her dreams. Even if I think the end result is usually made of suck and lose and should be kept to yourself, I can totally understand why people do it. Because they're your daydreams, and if your daydreams are not even fun for you, then you're probably doing something wrong. What I cannot understand for the life of me though? Is why anybody out there would want to waste time they could be spending on having a perfectly decent - or at the very least personal - fantasy life of their own in gushing all over someone else's.
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