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Deus Ex Machina
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The Mary Sue Test

Having an original character and
not a Mary Sue can make all
the difference.

This test was inspired by Dr. Merlin's test, which can be found here. I owe a great deal to her Mary Sue Litmus test. This is a more generic test that can be used with virtually any realm of fandom.
So get out a notebook and calculator and get going!
 

THE NAME

-Is the character named after you?

            First name: +15

            Middle name: +25

            Last name: +20

            Nickname/Internet name: +50

-Is the name common but spelled unusually? (ie: Ashley- Ashelee): +3

-Is the name usually used for a boy? (ie: Hunter, Cameron, etc.): +4

-Did the character change her own name in the course of the story?: +5

-Is the name a noun or an adjective? (ie: Lovely, Butterfly, etc.): +1

-Is this the name you’ve always wanted?: +3

-Have you used this name for a character before?: +2

-Is the character’s name used in the title of the story?: +2

-Is the character named for a canon character mentioned but not seen?: +3

-Does the character have multiple names or middle names?: +2

-Does your character go by a separate nickname?: +1

-Have you spent more than a day searching for a name?: +2

-Did you utilize a baby name book or telephone book in your search?: +3

-Did you pick a name because of its meaning?: +4

-Have you considered naming your pet or child the name you gave your character?: +5

Your Points:                                       Maximum Score: 150

 

THE APPEARANCE

-Is the character the same age as you?: +1

-Does the character look older than her age?: +1

-Does the character look like a teenager, even if she’s not?: +2

            Is there a magic or scientific reason?: -1

-Is the character the age you’d like to be?: +1

-Is the character beautiful?: +3

-Does one of the canon characters find her beautiful?: +2

            Does more than one of the canon characters find her beautiful?: +5

-Do any of the other canon characters see her as a threat because of her beauty?: +4

-Does the character have an unusual eye color for no apparent reason?: +2

            Is there a magic or scientific reason?: -1

-Does the character have nice hair that you describe more than once?: +1

            Do you describe her hair on the first page?: +2

-Does your character wear “punkish” getup? (ie: duct tape, black nail polish, etc.): +4

-Does the character have an accent which you do not share?: +1

-Does the character have a scar or marking that is noticeable but not distracting from her appearance?: +1

            Is it a tattoo?: +2

-Do you describe the character’s appearance on the first page?: +7

-Does your character match a definite “clique”? (ie: punk, prep, goth, etc.?): +5

-Does your character make her own clothes?: -2

-Does your character get a makeover from another character?: +3

            Does another character find her attractive afterwards?: +5

-Is the character deaf?: -1

-Is the character blind:? -1

-Is the character mute?: -2

            Is the character taunted or teased by the canon characters for this?: -4

            Is she no longer mute/deaf/blind by the end of the story or series?: +5

            (If the character is still deaf/mute/blind by the end, subtract 2 points)

-Is the character physically disabled? (This means limited mobility of limbs): -3

            Is the character taunted or teased by the canon characters for this?: -4

            Is the character no longer disabled at the end of the story or series?: +5

            (if the character is still disabled by the end of the story or series, subtract 2 points)

-Is the character mentally disabled? (think Joon from “Benny and Joon”) -4

            Is the character taunted or teased by the canon characters for this?: -4

            Does the character have telekinetic/psychic powers because of/despite of this?: +2

            Is she no longer disabled by the end of the story or series?: +5

            (If the character is still disabled by the end of the story or series, subtract 2 points)

-Is the character overweight? (not chubby, really fat): -3

            Does this incite teasing or taunting from the canon characters?: -5

            Is she no longer fat by the end of the story or series?: +7

            (If the character is still fat by the end of the story or series, subtract 2 points)

Your Score:                                        Maximum Score: 50

 

THE PERSONALITY

-Is the character related to a canon character? (sister/child/aunt/cousin, etc.): +2

-Is the character related to one of your own characters?: +3

-Was the character abandoned or orphaned as a child?: +1

            Was the character abandoned after the age of eight?: -1

            Was your character the sole survivor of a calamity?: +1

            Was the character legally adopted by strangers?: -2

            Did the character live with relatives?: +1

            Did the character live in foster homes?: +1

            Did the character live on the streets?: +1

            Is your character the last remaining member of a family or race?: +1

-Is your character transported to this world from another?: +3

-Was your character born or forced into slavery?: +1

-Was your character born or raised in a poor household?: +1

            Was it extreme poverty?: +2

-Was your character abused?

            Physically?: +3

            Sexually?: +2

            Emotionally?: +1

-Was your character an illegitimate child?: +2

            Does your character later become the mother of an illegitimate child?: +5

-Does your character suffer from guilt for something from her past?: +3

            Do the other characters convince her it wasn’t her fault?: +5

            Was it her fault?: -2

-Did your character have an unusual birth? (kidnapped, prophesied about, etc.): +1

-Does your character have a twin?: +1

            An identical twin?: +2

-Does your character have an evil twin if she’s good/ a good twin if she’s evil?: +5

-Does your character have a clone?: +7

-Are you planning to write a story about the character’s siblings?: +4

-Does the character have an excellent singing voice?: +1

            Is she classically trained?: +2

-Does she play a musical instrument?: +1

            Does she play the guitar or flute?: +2

-Does the character have the same hobbies as you?: +1

-Does the character have the same job as you?: +1

-Is the character royalty of any kind?: +3.

            Does she find out about her royal blood in the course of the story?: +5

-Do the canon characters mistrust your character at first?: +2

            Do they like her by the end?: +5

-Does everyone like your character?: +5

-Did your character know a canon character in the past?: +4

Your Score:                                        Maximum Score: 80

 

THE POWERS

-Is the character all or part super powered?: +1

            Does the character find out during the story or later in the series?: +3

            -Is the character ostracized because of her powers?: +5

            -Are the powers explained?: (-1 if yes, +2 if no)

-Does your character have telekinesis or telepathy?: +1

-Does your character have a type of “sixth sense”?: +2

-Does your character beat villains without much of struggle?: +3

            Does she make her entrance by beating the villains and thereby saving the others?: +5

-Can the character fly?: +1

            Does she fly without wings?: +2

-Can your character heal with a thought or touch?: +2

-Do animals instinctively like your character?: +2

            Are they cuddly and fuzzy animals? (rabbits, puppies, kitties, etc.): +3

            Are they wolves or foxes?: +5

            Are they creepy crawlies/snakes/lizards, etc?: -2

Your Score:                                        Maximum Score: 35

 

THE ROMANCE

-Does your character fall in love with a canon character?: +1

            Do they kiss?: +1

            Do they start dating?: +2

            Do they consummate the relationship?: +3

            Do they get married?: +4

            Do they have children? (with or without marriage): +5

            Does she fall in love with the character you like the most?: +10

-Does your character help a canon couple realize they’re meant for each other?: +3

-Does the story end with a wedding?: +2

-Does one-half of the couple die, leaving the other in mourning?: +3

-Does your character break up a canon couple in order to get her man?: +7

-Does the guy instantly fall in love with the girl?: +5

-Does the girl fall in love with an original character?: +1

-Does the character have more than one character in love with her?: +5

-Is there a romantic proposal in the story/the course of the series?: +3

-Is your character’s love unrequited?: -3

-Does your character go through the entire story/series without a significant other?: -10

Your Score:                                        Maximum Score: 55

 

THE REAL WORLD

-Do you think everyone should automatically like your character?: +3

-If someone says they don’t like your character, do you get defensive?: +5

-Do you ever pretend, just to yourself, that you’re your character?: +3

-If someone calls your character a Mary Sue, do you get angry and defensive?: +5

            If you can offer real proof that your character isn’t a Mary Sue: -5

            If you know deep down she’s a Mary Sue and you defend her anyways: +10

-Were you forced into taking this test?: +4

Your Score:                                        Maximum Score: 30

 

THE PLOT

-Do you introduce your character on the first page?: +2

            In the first sentence?: +5

            Do you describe their hair or eyes when you introduce them?: +3

            Do you describe their clothing when you introduce them?: +3

-Do you tell the story from the character’s point of view?: +1

-Does the title describe your character? (ie: “The Girl Who Could Fly): +4

-Does your character meet the canon characters, and after a few tense pages of plot, becomes friends?: +3

-Does the character befriend a villain?: +2

            Does the character reform the villain through her goodness?: +5

            Does the villain go back to badness after the character dies, but retains some goodness?: +7

-Is the character transformed into a magical or super-powered higher being?: +5

            Is the character happier this way?: +2

            Do others like the character better this way?: +2

Does the character save the day or another character’s life?: +3

            Does this happen more than once?: +5

            Through a magical or mystical intervention?: +4

            Through a long period of loving nursing and recuperation?: +3

            Through sacrificing herself?: +5

Does the character die?: +2

            Does everyone mourn for a long period of time?: +3

            Does she come back to life at some part in the story or series?:+5

-Do you recreate scenes from the original movie/book/show but write in your own character?: +10

-Do you plan to write more stories using this character?: +3

-Do you plan to write stories about the character’s children?: +3

Your Score:                                        Maximum Score: 90

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

-Did you intend to make a Mary Sue?: +2

-Are you fond of your character?: +2

-Is your character a heroine?: +2

            Subtract 1 point if she’s a villain

-Do you draw fanart for your heroine?: +2

-Did you base your character off of yourself or a friend?: +10

Your Score:                                        Maximum Score: 10

 

The Name                                                       out of               150

The Appearance                                             out of               50

Personal Traits                                               out of               80

Super Powers                                                 out of               35

Love Connection                                            out of               55

The Real World                                             out of               30

The Fiendish Plot                                           out of               90

Final Thoughts                                               out of               10

 

TOTAL SCORE                                            OUT OF          500


 0-50: An Original Character

Congratulations! You’re the proud creator of a completely original character! Keep up the good work. It takes skill and determination to create such a pure individual. You ought to throw a party or something to celebrate.

51-100: A Quasi-Original Character

Your character is about 80%-90% real and original. Don’t get disenchanted. It’s highly difficult to write a completely original character. You don’t have too much to worry about, so keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great!

101-150: A Halfa  Character

You’re riiiight at the border. You’re straddling the line between originality and Mary-Sueism. Don’t go to the dark side of the force! But people should fond of your character, so post away!

151-200: A Marsee

Hm…a Marsee. Marsee is the younger sister of a Mary Sue. You’re perilous close to having a Mary Sue, so be very very careful as you proceed. Remember: a Marsee is Mary Sue with a bad hair day.

200+: A Definite Mary Sue

AUGH! BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES! You have created a Mary Sue! Quick!! Give her some imperfections, or get ready for some flames. Your creation may be perfect in your eyes, but to other people she’s just as scary as Frankenstein. Actually, I might prefer Boris Karloff…Anyways, you have some rewriting to do…get to it!!

500: So Much of Mary Sue…It’s Scary

I would go shoot myself now…give up all writing now…No, not really. Just go back through and rework your character.

All content belongs to Keitorin Asthore unless otherwise notated.