3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not a Mary Sue

We all know of these characters, the ones that barely encounter any obstacles during their journey while winning the hearts of all their potential love interests. I could name several extremely popular books that are focused on a Mary Sue or John Doe. Unfortunately it is also extremely easy to accidentally write your main characters as a Mary Sue, especially if you are in the writing groove and really cranking out that novel. Have no fear, I am here to help guide you along your literary journey and help keep you from straying off the path of a well-developed character and being sucked into the land of absolutely perfect characters that can do no wrong.
Before I can help you I must give you a in-depth guide to the mysterious Mary Sue. The Mary Sue/ John Doe character is one that can probably climb Mt. Everest on their first try with little to no issues. These characters learn fighting quickly and can do things that a normal character would not be able to do as accurately . They are also known for having no enemies, there have even been some instances where even the villain falls for them. This leads to the story becoming dull rather quickly because the main character is completely unrealistic. I know you love your characters and you want what is best for them but they need to be realistic. A reader needs a character to relate to not a character that shoot rainbows of friendship from their fingertips while gliding to the finish line.
What are some ways that I can avoid this from happening? I am glad you asked!

Here are 3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not A Mary Sue:

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1. When you are developing your characters for your novel you need to create a list. For the protagonists list 3 positive traits and 1 negative trait to help balance them out.

Ex. My Protagonist:

  • Optimistic
  • Intelligent
  • Adventurous
  • Anxious

Now when you are creating your balanced antagonist you need to also create a list but this time it needs to be 3 negative traits and 1 positive trait.

Ex. My Antagonist:

  • Manipulative
  • Cold
  • Sadistic
  • Intelligent

By creating these lists you are getting to know your characters and allowing them to become more dynamic and realistic.

2. Create a realistic back story. As much as you want your character to come from a perfect home and perfect life with amazing friends and no issues pre-novel you need to understand that a back story like that is boring. No one has a perfect life and in order for you character to evolve over the course of your novel you need to give them some form of obstacle or issue in their back story that needs to be addressed during the events of the novel.

Ex. My main character has to overcome her anxiety she gained after a frightening near death experience before the events of the novel. She learns to accept her faults and how to be a stronger person so her anxiety  can no longer define her.

Having something like this allows the character to be more relatable to the reader and it is a lot more enjoyable to write these characters and really watch them grow.
3. Make sure they fail. Yes, you read that right. Failure is a part of life and so it is important that failure is present at some point during your character’s story. You can make it something as minor as losing her car keys or something as major as running from the monster instead of facing them.

Ex. My character has problems mastering her bow and ends up missing a major target during the first altercation, this causes her to have a full-blown anxiety attack.

When you are writing about failure you are allowing the hero to travel along a journey where they can evolve and face their failures head on.

Creating characters for your novel may seem like an easy process but it is important to remember to make them human while you are actually writing your novel. It is easy to get swept away and dive into your story but you need to remember that a realistic and relatable character is one that a reader will love more and it will also allow you to grow along with your character as you write their journey to adventure, success, and freedom.

Have A Wonderfully Literary Day,
Caitlin

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Resolutions, Goals, and Dreaming of 2018

The end of 2017 is approaching and now is the time to set resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Surprisingly, 2017 has been incredible to me. I have written more than ever and I have completely turned my mental and physical health around. I am determined to continue making progress in 2018 and I hope that all of you do the same! I discuss my 2017 more in my post here~

2017

Now that my year in review is out of the way it is now time to plan for 2018. I am an optimist so I can’t help but have a ton of resolutions, goals, and dreams for the upcoming year. Setting resolutions is one thing but keeping up with them is a battle and I determined to actually stick to them while crushing my goals for 2018! I am not to going to lie, picking  resolutions for the next year was actually kind of difficult. I had to sit down and really think about what I planned to accomplish next year and how these resolutions will help me meet my goals and hopefully achieve my dreams.

2018 REsolutions

My 2018 Resolutions help make me continue my journey to becoming healthier and also try to keep me from becoming a hermit. I also decided to actually try to go on more adventures and make some amazing memories in 2018. I am positive that I can stick to my resolutions and crush my goals!

2018 Goals

Goals, goals, goals! I can’t wait to crush my goals and achieve my dreams. I decided to buckle down and work hard to achieve my dreams of publishing, traveling, and living a more creative life.

2018 Goals-3

Dreams are a lot harder to reach but I am determined to achieve at least one of my dreams in 2018!

Publishing a novel has been my dream for as long as I can remember. After crushing my 2017 word count goals, I am more determined than ever to publish one if not both of my novels by the end of 2018. It is quite the mouthful but I can handle it and I can’t wait to finally share my literary worlds with everyone.
Ireland is one of the places that I have always wanted to visit. My family’s ancestors are from there and I am in love with the mythology and fairy tales that are woven into the rich history of the country. I want to visit Ireland so I can appreciate where I came from and also visit one of the towns that I am writing about in my novel.
I have been wanting to see the Grand Canyon and since I live in Texas, the drive would be excruciatingly long. Going on an epic road trip has always been on my bucket list so I want to finally cross it off by going on a journey to the Grand Canyon.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed learning more about me and that you also decide to make 2018 your year. Chase those dreams, make those important lifestyle changes, and crush all of the obstacles that stand in your way. 2018 is the year for the dreamers and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

Have a wonderfully literary day and I will see all of you in the new year!

~Caitlin~

Holiday Reflection

The holiday season is full of love, celebration, and reflection.  I can’t help but realize just how blessed I am. I am surrounded by friends and family that support my writing career and mental health journey. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be in this amazing place in my life, I would have called them a liar.  I am honestly happy that I have let go of my toxic and negative past and have embraced the bright future in front of me. My best friend from childhood reconnected with me recently as well and for this first time in a long time I am actually happy with how my year has turned out.

So many wonderful things have happened over this past year including:

  1. I graduated college!
  2. I started medication that helped me manage my anxiety!
  3. I have written a good chunk of my pirate novel!
  4. I  started to take better care of myself!

It may not seem like a lot, but I feel like I have conquered so much this past year. If 2018 is anything like 2017 then I can honestly say I am ready for the new year. Sure, there were a lot of times where I honestly doubted myself. It can be hard to fight the feeling of doubt but I did and now I am ending this year on a positive note. When it comes to the holiday season, you can use this time to ignore your doubt and look around. You are surrounded by the people that love and care about you  and that can be the boost you need to break through that wall of doubt. If you are alone this holiday season just know that I am here for you. I am supportive of whatever your dreams and goals are and you are more than welcome to connect through comments below so we can have our own little literary tribe.

My Bookmas Tree
My Bookmas Tree

I am going to wrap this up now so I can get back to my little Christmas celebration! hope ya’ll have the happiest of holidays and keep an eye out for more posts in the future!

Enjoy this picture of my Bookmas Tree~

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

Progress

Hello World! 

It is hard to believe that it has been almost six whole months since I swallowed my pride and accepted the fact that I needed help for my anxiety. So much has changed in the last six months and I am so proud of myself for the insane amount of progress I have made. I feel like I can finally live again and not be controlled by constant worry, paranoia, or the  defensiveness that accompany anxiety. The people that I surround myself with now are positive and loving and that has made my journey a lot easier for me. Looking back at how certain events and friendships played out I feel like if I had figured out the anxiety situation sooner, then some of those events would have ended differently. That is life for you though! Can’t change the past but you can take control of your future! 

I guess I wanted to share this because I want y’all to know that it is ok to accept that you need help. Trust me, I was horrified at the thought of taking medication because I was afraid that I would lose my creativity. I know that is a silly fear but for me writing is everything, so the thought of losing the ability to create my literary worlds was terrifying. I realized after taking my medication that it does the opposite. By correcting the imbalance that caused my anxiety, I have been able to create, write, and adventure more because I am not shackled by my constant fear. All this progress would not have been possible if I did not decide that it was time to go see a doctor.

Six months and one medicine adjustment later and I can tell you that I defeated my anxiety dragon! Anxiety will always be a part of my life but I will no longer let it define me!
I hope y’all enjoyed my little update and I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

Ending A Chapter

Hello World! 

   Yesterday, I had to make an important decision and end a friendship that had become toxic. The friendship I had to end was with my writing partner so the novel we worked on together will never be complete. I honestly wanted the friendship to work, but it had just become extremely unhealthy and there were so many other factors that made that friendship as bad as it was at the end. It sucks that it had to happen but at this point my mental health was more important than the friendship. Toxic friendships are the worst! You want it to work so badly but all it is actually doing is making you cry all the time while also  feeling like there is a weight constantly pressing against your chest  . As soon as  I ended it I felt like I could finally breathe again. It is a  bittersweet feeling because a cool friendship had to end but I honestly had to do what was best for me.

   I guess the message of this post is that it is okay to walk away. If you are in a friendship or relationship with someone and it is constantly bringing you down, then it is time to let go. No one is worth the unnecessary tears and stress. If it were healthy and they honestly cared then you wouldn’t be feeling the extreme amount of  negativity everytime you are around them. It may be hard at first but in the end you have to do what is best for you and let them go. Only then can you set yourself free and allow more positivity to flow into your life and writing.
Until Next Time Everyone!

~Caitlin

My Return to The Blogiverse!

Hello World!

I know, it has been a while since I have posted on my lovely blog. Good News! I am back from my little hiatus and I plan on being more active with my posting schedule!

A lot has happened since I have posted on here in December:

  •  I tried to start a fancy paid blog and I hated it so that is over.
  • My anxiety had been acting up since my major attack last May and around late January I decided that I was tired of being paranoid and crying everyday due to me feeling like I was always stressed and that the world was against me, so I finally went to the doctor and they helped me tremendously.
  • Because of my little meltdown, my schoolwork and writing life fell out of balance and to be honest I felt like I was losing control of my life so I had to get that balance back.

 

Everything is ok now! I have been on my medication for almost three months and I have finally regained control over my emotions and have rediscovered  the balance between school and writing again! To be completely honest, I feel rejuvenated , like I have regained my sanity and I am kicking myself of not doing this years ago. Since I am no longer stressing out, panicking, or feeling paranoid 24/7 , I can officially say that I am back! I can’t wait to share my musings with y’all!

 

Happy Reading!

~Caitlin