To tell you the truth, appearance, though the most obvious sign of a Mary Sue, is not the defining characteristic of a Mary Sue.
Mary Sue’s are known for their perfection: how they always have an answer, a secret power manifesting itself at exactly the right instant. The thing that defines a Mary Sue most of all is her personality.
It might take a while, but eventually your reader will get tired of hearing of darling Esmeralda’s miraculous exploits and will eventually leave in frustration. Even loyalty can only take you so far. In the face of atrocious writing, even faith can quail.
I understand how hard it is to add flaws. It somehow makes your character not worthy enough to date one of the boys. And here’s another massive problem: We assume the boys are perfect.
One Direction consists of five exceptional singers, and five cute boys to boot. They have endeared themselves to their fanbase, creating a community rivaling the Beliebers in pride, defense, and protectiveness. This fanbase has supported the boys through thick and thin and is the reason they have made it so far.
However some hardcore fans make the mistake of believing the boys absolutely perfect. I’m sorry that they feel that way because their beliefs translate into their writing, which is really quite a pity because (most of them) are marvelous writers otherwise.
These fans picture the boys as living gods and the only girls good enough to date them veritable goddesses.
This is a big mistake. But, unfortunately, a very common one.
I remember from somewhere one of the boys saying that they’d like someone “not perfect” to date. I can’t remember which one, but it was one of them. Soo, just to be on the safe side, don’t make any of them perfect.
Right. Last chapter I told you how to pick a good name and how to construct a good appearance for a good self insert (name- not too outlandish, suits setting; appearance- looks like you with minor alterations).
This chapter is being dedicated to personality. Specifically, how to make your self insert's personality endearing, realistic, and lovable.
Who are you? What kind of person are you? Crazy, cute, and kind? Happy, optimistic, and “out there”? Shy, dreamy, and mysterious?
Personality is often the hardest thing about characterization. It’s easy to slap on a name. It’s easy to say, “blond hair and blue eyes.” It’s not easy to summarize a personality into three words.
Our personalities are so complex, so many leveled, they’re impossible to just name. No one’s personality is set in stone so don’t try.
But a self-insert is you. You don’t have to make up something. Put your reactions in the situation. How would you react if Harry Styles gave you his phone number? I would probably stare at him with my jaw hanging open, wondering if he was blind. Someone else might scream or squeal. Another person might hug him. A crazed psychopath might set on him with an axe.
I suppose you could go the "cool" route and manipulate your reactions so it seems like you're not bothered at all. But, let's look at it realistically. If Anidori is completely cool about every single thing and knows the answer to every single problem, it's going to get annoying. Fast.
That said, it's okay to sometimes manipulate your reactions. But your real personality has to come out sometime. And your personality, like mine, isn't flawless. You have your grouchy days, your dreamy days, your crazy days.
Work it into your story.
And another thing. Don't over-dramatize. Just because your character is extroverted and outspoken DOES NOT mean that she always has to yell, laugh, and do insane things. That's annoying. Too hyper characters can get old really quickly.
Umm... I can't really think of anything else for Characterization-Self Inserts. I'll write more later if I think of something. If I don't, we'll move into Original Characters. Unless you want to do Plot first? Comment and tell me which one you'd like to get into first.
Oh and this chapter is dedicated to Rachasaur. She's my favorite fanfiction writer right now. Her fanfic, The Cookie Girl, is ABSOLUTELY amazing. Check it out.