The Boy Who Cried ‘Mary Sue’

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Looking back on the past decade or so, it’s almost impossible to remember a time in which I was not either surrounded by books or scribbling my own silly stories on a notebook. I was twelve, I think, when I wrote my first disgraceful piece of fanfiction in collaboration with a classmate—it was about the manga Naruto, with our own original characters (or OCs) thrown into the mix, and not so bad on the narrative aspect for a couple of preteens but absolutely terrible in everything else. I must have been around the same age when I was introduced to the concept of the Mary Sue, a monster of epic proportions any self-respectable writer should avoid at all costs. What am I trying to transmit by sharing this insignificant episode of my life? Well, I recently turned twenty-three and still partake in writing fiction, but in the last ten years I have become a considerably more active author, reader and reviewer in such websites, and I have the feeling certain attitudes have not changed in the slightest over those long ten years.

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