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Mary Sue litmus test

So nemaline was playing around with The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test.  I asked her what she was talking about and she linked me, then I decided to run Lizzie Mathews through it to see if she passes.  XD  Here's how she held up.



The name thing she pretty much passed.  I mean, she was originally Casey, but I was writing it at the same time as the whole Casey Anthony trial and decided that was just a terrible name to use for currently bad connotations.  Then I chose Lizzie, only realizing after that it also meant she shared the first name of Lizzie Bordon, another accused murderess.  It totally wasn't planned that way.  It just happened.  So while I jokingly call her my little murderer, she's really nothing of the sort and I just chose the name cause she sounded like a Lizzie. 

She got points for being 'exceptionally beautiful'.  But then, that was also part of the point.  The Master was looking for a pretty young thing that would make the Doctor jealous.  She had to fit the bill of one of the Doctor's companions, and let's face it... Amy totally had a point.  Actually, I don't really know if I described her as beautiful, but more pretty and rather stereotypically valley girl.  And since it's the Master's POV, he generally just takes note of it, the fact he can use it, and doesn't dwell on it past that.  I also had to add her attractiveness being a threat for the same reasons, as the Master is using her to make the Doctor jealous.  That was about all she got in the looks questions, because really, it was just a physical trait for her that worked to the Master's advantage so it was a fairly minor thing.

I definitely did not go on at length over her physique, though admittedly, she had to have had a good body as a dancer.  She was in shape because she worked out on a regular basis, but I don't think it even occurred to me to mention that in fic, so I didn't mark that one.

"Is your character strong enough to wield a huge weapon like a warhammer, giant gun, or huge sword, yet has a waifish figure instead of 'unattractive' bulging muscles?"

That question had nothing to do with Lizzie, considering she doesn't have any weapons (well... she did get a small knife in her travels, but it certainly wasn't for self defense... and that was in the second fic), but my first thought on seeing that was "Every. JRPG. Character. In. Existence."  It amused me.

She did get points for a 'technical' question about her wardrobe.  Yes, she wore something similar to blouse I own and use to go out dancing with.  Why?  A) I'm not a fashion person and didn't want to bother looking up something for her and B) it seemed like the sort of thing someone of her age going out dancing would wear, especially out in California where she's from.  It was once, and the question said frequently, but I checked it anyway out of fairness.

A lot of the species questions/usual questions don't apply to Lizzie.  She's your fairly standard human, so I mostly skipped over those.  She also had no powers, though admittedly she was strong willed enough to mostly resist the Master's hypnosis.  If he worked at it, she'd have fallen under, but for the usual "I am the Master and you will obey me" that the Master throws out when he's not expecting resistance, she can shrug off.  I also had the Master shrug that off because of Americans being more annoying in general, so it's possibly not as special as that seems.

"If your character has a short temper, sharp wit, snarky attitude, or is otherwise prone to verbal assaults, are the tongue-lashings and/or snarkings xe gives other characters always deserved and/or justified?"

Not for Lizzie, but you can totally not pin that one on me.  Ever.  I mean, that's just writing to my strengths.  I'm not just saying that either, because many people have told me I'm good at both verbal and physical sparring.  Also, they're fun as hell.  I enjoy completely breaking characters through verbal fight scenes.  Ask Cy.  XD  Though, if I were doing this for Eira, I'd have had to click that one...  That's basically her MO, though she doesn't always hit the mark with always deserved and/or justified.  And she usually feel terrible after she's calmed down.

She misses a lot of the back story questions, largely because she doesn't technically have a back story.  Well, she does, but not a known one, not even to me.  Sure, I put out a few basic ideas (I've always thought she lost a baby when she was younger, either through miscarriage or soon after birth, with someone who she wasn't married to), but I purposefully didn't let myself draft out a backstory for her.  Her background was meant to be a mystery that doesn't get solved, and if I'd plotted out anything I'd have wanted to use some of it.  So really, she didn't even reveal herself much to me.  I have no clue if she was physically abused in a relationship, or if she'd run away from home.  She might have, because the one thing we do know for certain is that she is desperately unhappy, to the point where it was really one more thing to push her over the edge to suicide, but only she could tell you that for sure.  It was mostly up to the reader to fill in the gaps on their own.

Lizzie does get checked off for sharing my hobby.  But again, that was rather the point of the story.  XD  I wrote the prompt because it was asking for the Doctor and Master dancing, and being well versed in West Coast Swing, I could do a lot more than just 'swaying back and forth' like so many of the Cap pairing writers do.  And I could do it well enough not to annoy other dancers (which I also see frequently in other Cap fics.  Seriously, a half hour on wikipedia looking up the basic and a few moves of each dance would not kill you and would make the rest of us much happier.  If I can do it with fencing well enough real fencers approved, you can do it for dancers.  I only needed an hour on wikipedia and most of that was me getting distracted by other things), which is always a plus.  I didn't even realize I'd need an OC at first.  That was just how the plot went.  So the fact that she shares my love of West Coast Swing was actually necessary for the prompt.  Still, for fairness, I checked it.

I didn't check 'unusually accomplished' though.  Lizzie was good, granted.  I don't remember if I stuck her in the Masters or Intermediate, but she wasn't like, Invitational level of competing.  The Master thinks she's really good, but he's biased and seeing the dance for the first time.  He also needed someone good to teach him.  I've always put her about the level of a pro dancer, someone who could make a living off teaching if she wanted to and does decently well when she competes.  And she earned those points to get her to Masters level through many competitions and lots of group, private, and semi-private lessons.  She's way better than Blake, my original teacher, but that's because he was mostly a country-western dancer.  And if he could get to Masters level, Lizzie totally could too.  That's all I'm saying.  XD  Same applies for being the 'best' or 'among the best' question.  I just decided against it.

The music question amused the hell out of me because it had everything but dancing.  So she's good on those.  XD

"Does your character manage to become friends with a villain, and through this friendship cause the villain to become reformed? /  Does the villain revert back to his old ways, but retains some bit of goodness, caused by your character committing a selfless act of some kind?"

Okay, that one is kind of iffy.  Yes, she becomes friends with the Master.  Does she reform him?  She certainly wasn't actively trying and I don't think the Master changed any of his morals to suit her.  She was just simply a little naive when it came to him being a mass murdering lunatic and he needed her as part of his plot, so he cut back on his dastardly doing.  He certainly didn't retain some goodness from her, though he acts to protect her at one point because BACK AWAY FROM HIS PAWN.  He's put far too much effort into her and other bad guys trying to get to her is completely unacceptable.  I checked the former, but it's only half right. 

Eirwen would totally be failing some of those background choices, but I could make a case for it being part of the world she was born to and therefore not valid...  Plus, I'm not running her through this at the moment.

"If your character lost xir virginity unwillingly, does xe find a way to restore it? (Yes, this really is a thing.)"

wtf, mate?  I... don't even know what to do with that question.  WHY IS THAT A THING?  Moving on.

"Does your character angst about something that xe did in the past?"

Okay, honestly, who doesn't?  But since I didn't give her a detailed background, I didn't check it.  Maybe she did, maybe she didn't.

At least I can honestly say the Master isn't fixated with her.  He might have eventually become friends with her after the inevitable falling out with the Doctor, and he was definitely fond of her, but she was a pawn that he could use and discard when needed.  And he does discard her for a bit, after he leaves with the Doctor.  If she's spared by the Master... that's a trickier question.  It's Delgado Master, who certainly got annoyed at her and thought about killing her a few times, but she was useful and he had a cover to protect.  I think it's reasonable that while he can be a ruthless villain, he wouldn't have actually killed her unless she actively got in his way.  So I left that one unchecked.  He does protect her though, in the fact she's his pawn, so I marked that one...

She does get introduced on the first page, but really, that's because I wanted the plot to move.  Checked though.

The original arc/story was not all about her but about the Doctor/Master conflict, so I left that one unmarked. The second story was more about her, but that was also more or less prompted to me.  XD

She is definitely not liked by all canon characters I like.  I got the feeling Three and Jo were frustrated/annoyed by her.  Eight liked her, but I'm not a big Eight fan.  The Master is fond of her, but that sort of happened through plot.  She passed all the romance questions too.

"Does your character make canon any characters realize their romantic feelings for each other?"

Eh...  Sort of?  He was actively trying to make the Doctor jealous, so on some level he knew, even if he was a little surprised with the turn of events at the end.  *shrugs*  Could be argued both ways.

Also, Lizzie totally has non-canon friends she hangs out with.  The other dancers for one, whom she's more than passingly familiar with.  So while the fic is from the Master's POV and she's constantly with him from his perspective, she actually has a life that he uses the TARDIS to skip around in.  Unchecked.  Also, traveling through time and space was unchecked, because that's totally a Whovian thing.  Standard part of the universe.

Solving the problems of canon characters is a bit trickier... Marked it, even thought the Master was using her to solve his problems.  She was trying to help, after all, regardless of if he was using her. 

Planning on writing more for her?  I did, technically, but Cy and I decided against it, since the sequel was prompted rather than me planning on writing it.  I had a couple people asking for more of their epic dancing adventures through time and space, and so I decided to write an extra side story of them at a competition for them.  I probably wouldn't have written it if no one had asked for it though.  Granted, if I do ever find a Cap/Tony dancing prompt that looks interesting, Lizzie and Victor might be making a comeback...  Because seriously, I think some people would murder me for not doing so.  ^_^;;;

So... that's up to an 13 without the De-Suifiers.  On to those.

"Do you ever poke fun at your character's faults/weaknesses and/or use them as plot devices or gags?"

Are you kidding?  The Master did not approve of her valley girl-ness.  Or her American-ness.  And I definitely used both of those as gags. 

"Has your character ever been in a situation that xe had no way of overcoming on xir own and had to rely on others for help?"

While she had her taser, she (unknowingly) was up against an alien, so I'm putting the Master saving her from her evil ex as legit for this question.

"Is your character ever manipulated or used as an unwitting pawn by someone without the aid of mind-control technology, magic, or drugs?"

*snorts*  That's basically happening the whole plot.  The Master's using her to advance his plot (though he did attempt mind-control at first, he never made a second, more serious try after that didn't work) and he meant that.  I think after the Doctor ditched him again though, he'd have gone back and... well, he'd still be using her to get sympathy and ice cream for a break up, but I think he's genuinely fond enough of her that it could shift into a sort of strange friendship on his part.  But that didn't happen yet in either fic, so.

"Has your character ever ignored wrong-doings against xirself and/or others because xe simply didn't want to get into trouble?"

Again, tricky. She is basically ignoring the fact that the Master is an evil megalomaniac, but he's purposefully keeping her in the dark about that, and she's fine with that.  Not because she didn't want to get in trouble though, so unmarked.

"Do you view your characters more like tools than friends/children?"

My characters are not tools.  They are my victims to torment and destroy!  Certainly not friends/children, though I am terrible fond of some of them.  XD

Final score: 11.  Huh.  I think I got a 15 the first time I went through it with her.  Must have missed one this time.  Anyway, she works fairly well for a non Mary Sue.  And she's popular enough that I don't think I'd worry about it anyway.

I'm almost tempted to go through it with Phelan, though he'd get a much higher score for angsty backgrounds and... well he is a werewolf in most incarnations that I've used him for, but he's originally from a 'verse that it's common in, so I probably could get out of that one.  Same with his name.  It's usual and picked for meaning, but that was a thing for that universe.  I do love Phelan though.  He's one of my favorite OC's.  Eirwen would also probably get a much higher score (admittedly some of it mitigated through her being part of a post-apocalyptic world where Torchwood was evil and took over everything, so being impoverished and ansgty was expected), but Cy says that Eirwen is awesome so it doesn't matter.  Since she's the one who most frequently interacted with Eira, I'll take her word on that.  XD

Honestly though, on Mary-Sues?  I'm never too worried about them.  When I've based characters around me, it was either for a roleplay with friends that started off as a joke before turning into something more serious (and less and less based off us), or have just been part of the gag.  Example, I did a self-insert in a Mary-Sue parody fic, just because.  It was a bit part and I went for silly.  But if I'm making a character for a fic or original work?  I'm fairly confident in my abilities to make an interesting, well-rounded character even if I do use some tropes.  Most people seem to like my OC's, so I'm not too worried. 

I'm really tempted to throw one of the Marvel or DC super-heroes through the test just to see how badly they'll fail though.  XD

Edit: I've just remembered what I must have missed when I went through the test to write this post.  Moving in with a canon character/living close to them.  Which, technically TARDIS.  But that's also part of Whovian MO, that the companion moves into the TARDIS.  So yes, she does technically move in to the TARDIS during their epic dance adventures through time and space, but it's agruably just part of the 'verse and could be left unchecked.  I must have missed seeing that one my second time through it.