Ask @SyeraMiktayee:

on the mary sue test, "is xe truly mentally disabled in some way," etc is kind of ableist. i'm autistic, but people often say that i'm "not really disabled" because i don't look it, and the whole idea of being "too disabled" for having cool stories is used as gatekeeping by ableists in fandom, etc

I have reworded the question is what I hope is a less ambiguous manner. That said, neither you nor I have any control over what other fans think is "disabled enough" or "too disabled," and it's ultimately up to you to decide what what constitutes a genuine disability and whatnot for the purpose of your story.

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On your Mary Sue test a faceclaim (saying that a character looks like a certain celebrity) is instant 10 points, which is a lot. I have a character in high fantasy setting whom another person from modern Earth finds similiar to a celebrity once or twice (to xir it's just an observation, used later

for a funny gag and not as excuse to make said character seem more attractive). Xe is the only person to note this similiarity as noone else there ever heard or this or other celebrities. Would that really be so mary-sueish?
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Yeah, your context there justifies it. Go forth!

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In your article, Tips 'N Stuff To Create, Write, & Draw Better Female Action Heroes', I have a character who I was inspired by Bayonetta to be sexy but kicks ass. Its part of her character to be flirty and dress sexy and uses this to her advantage against guys who get distracted by her looks.

My character is an immortal goddess who has magical powers and such. She has a personalty and backstory, ect. I see her and Bayonetta as an inspiration for me to be more confident. Is this ok?
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There's nothing wrong with a sexy goddess who kicks ass, but since "sexy distraction" is not actually a useful combat tactic, it doesn't work as a justification. The whole concept of a "sexy distraction" as a combat tactic was invented by straight guys fumbling around for an excuse to dress their female characters in ways they found arousing.

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I have some issues with social skills. In particular, I'm really blunt. It isn't that I don't care about others' feelings, I do very much, I just don't understand how to communicate important information tactfully when it regards someone else. I can usually pick up on when I've hurt (continued)

(continued) someone's feelings, but it's often really difficult for me to understand why what I said was rude. Do you have any advice on being honest, yet tactful?
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Few things that come to mind:
-Cut down on any hyperbole that you might be inclined to use.
-Don't call names, and avoid using labels.
-Aim to frame whatever you're trying to say positively, when possible. EG, instead of saying, "don't do that, this is horrible!" you might say, "I think you might get better results if you did this."
-Admit where it's your opinion or perspective.
-Make sure any advice you want to offer is wanted /before/ you offer it.
-Don't lecture or bloviate. Say what you want to say briefly, and let it stand. If you catch yourself repeating yourself, it's time to stop.

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Oh, an example I guess could be the house-elves in Harry Potter that Hermione wants to protect? The only reason I didn't use examples was because I though you may not have seen them.

Yeah, the thing with how Hermione's interest in helping house elves is played for laughs always seemed pretty questionable to me - particularly given that house elves are supposed to fill the niche of English servants in the past, who were abused and exploited in so many ways.

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In several shows and books I've seen/read, I've noticed variations on this plot: there are two characters, who I'll call A and B. A wants to do something related to human rights, animal rights, or the environment, but B thinks that A is overreacting. Now, I usually agree with A in these plots, but I

sometimes feel concerned that the writers are siding with B and are making fun of people who care about human and animal rights and the environment (these plots never become morals). What do you think?
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Having no idea which stories these even are, let alone the entire context of what's going on in them, it's hard for me to say, sorry.

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One show I like has this character who is black and is the adopted son of an interracial gay couple. I think this is fine and progressive, but someone said that it was "contrived". What do you think? (P.S. The show doesn't make a big deal out of it, it's just "Hey, here I am with my dads")

This person is ignorant. Lots of LGBT couples have adopted children: https://www.lifelongadoptions.com/lgbt-adoption/lgbt-adoption-statistics

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Hello. I'm autistic but very high-functioning (some special needs as a child, but none now), and I often *don't* want to see autistic characters because people always seem to make them have the same traits and not be a proper character, just "the autistic person". And yet, you said that people like

representation because it makes them feel welcome. But with autism, that never does due to what I mentioned above. How do I do representation (in general) without having something similar to that?
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This entire section covers that: http://www.springhole.net/writing/writing-representation.htm#do-it-well

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This is the one with the alien race again. So a possible solution is for the alien planet to have different governments in different areas but also one "ultra-government" of the whole world, who does things like helps negotiate and prevent nations from becoming corrupt?

Yeah, that could work - though of course, such an organization would probably not be entirely effective, and would be itself prone to corruption.

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I've played with this, since it's a neat idea...but my readers chewed me out for being "inconsistent"/were shocked that the character didn't just catch on (or worse, missed the "shown" part and only went by what I/the narrator was telling them). Any tips for making it obvious that it's intentional?

Here are a few things that come to mind right now:
-Have someone in the story comment that the main character is untrustworthy or often fails to realize things.
-Have a scene where the character makes an observation that turns out to be totally false immediately after - then tries to rationalize it.
-Maybe include a conversation about something like forensic evidence early on, where characters talk about how it's important to look at physical evidence, rather than just take people's word for things.

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+1 answer in: “Show not tell means that readers should come to conclusions by themselves and not just be informed of stuff, and it's annoying if what we see disagrees with what we're told. Can it be used on purpose? A PoV character says that certain people (group A) are her best friends but from plot you can see”

Is it feasible to have a vampire only take a little bit of blood so as not to kill the human, and to use a mind-altering spell? (read the article on vampire plotholes).

Since how much blood vampires need and what kind of powers they have is entirely up to you, yes! Just keep in mind that a mind altering spell might not solve everything, though - depending on how things are in your story, vampires might still have to take into account things like potential witnesses, security footage, bite wounds, and blood left behind on the scene, clothes, etc.

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As cliche as 'twins separated at young age' is, would it make it more original if by the time they reunite they're different age (time paradox happened) and their connection is for plot and drama not some lost royalty or magical twin powers?

I think that would make a pretty interesting spin, actually, since a lot of things could happen that haven't really been explored before.

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I have a character that's forced to embark on a long journey in fantasy world, being cut away from her home. She takes her 2 cats with (emotional attachment, psychologial comfort, need to have something familiar to lean onto and worry that they'd be hurt if she left them alone are her reasons). It's

kinda silly and 'Disney princess-like', but could it be accepted if I show that it wasn't very good decision (even if she won't change it), because cats' presence causes actual difficulties (having to keep them fed, few occasions of their presence getting her in trouble) and others point it out? There are also some situations where the cats are useful for plot proression, but mostly their presence is result of the girl's emotional decision, which is a notable part of her character.
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I don't see why not! This seems like one of those things where whether or not it'll work all comes down to the execution.

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Is it OK for my Asian character to have slant eyes if she has Down Syndrome? I was thinking of writing a little Asian girl with Down Syndrome but I'm worried that people will get the wrong idea about her eyes.

I imagine it ought to be fine as long as you don't make a point of mentioning that the character has "slant eyes." If this is a visual medium, it would probably help to depict her family for contrast, as well.

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Show not tell means that readers should come to conclusions by themselves and not just be informed of stuff, and it's annoying if what we see disagrees with what we're told. Can it be used on purpose? A PoV character says that certain people (group A) are her best friends but from plot you can see

that she has better bonds with others (group B). A are the people someone like her is expected to be friends with, what popculture shows should be girl's BFFs. Only much later she realizes that B were her true best friends (though A in no way become antagonists or anything). In this case is it ok to tell one thing and show the opposite?
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Absolutely yes!

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I've done a lot of ?world? building on a more sciency-magic system, and I'd really like to put it in the story form. Do you have any tips to start? Also I feel like it'd make sense to have a school of magic, but I don't want it to feel like a rip-off of Hogwarts. ('ve read "I'm worried..cliche) Thx!

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Firstly, you need to develop a plotline that's set in your world. Ask yourself what kind of problems might arise that someone might want to solve, or what there might be to discover, and try to develop something from there.
If you're worried about ending up with a Hogwarts clone, I'd suggest looking into a few different real life school systems and see how they did things. Then you can use their examples to create your own magic school that isn't just mapped off of Hogwarts.

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I have a tendency towards control issues. I'm trying (working with a therapist) to form healthier relationships, but since you have a lot of articles on various forms of manipulative behavior, I was wondering if you have any advice on what to do if you notice those behaviors in yourself.

Stop, take deep breaths, and remind yourself of the following:
-The world will not explode if you just let go and let things be. Things will be okay.
-People are allowed to do whatever they like however they like as long as it's not harming anyone.
-People need that freedom to feel happy and fulfilled - even if they make mistakes in the short term.

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I noticed that the Mary Sue Test only uses the word "villain", which makes it hard to tell if I should answer "if your character is/was a villain..." for a particular character, because they're an antagonist for a while but not really all that villainous. What's the intended meaning here?

The term "villain" is usually meant to refer to someone who is consistently an antagonist throughout the story. In your case, you can answer any villain questions that apply when your character is an antagonist.

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Can I have my protagonist be incompetent without them seeming like a bad person?

Simply being incompetent doesn't make one bad. Being incompetent at something and *then* insisting on doing it even though there are serious consequences at stake make one bad. For example, if a dude with superpowers overestimates himself, makes a mistake, and hurts several people in a way that could and should have been avoided by someone with reasonable competence, he's not bad if he recognizes that he needs to work polishing his skills so he can avoid that kind of thing again, or if he agrees to let someone more capable than himself handle future incidents. If he blames everything but himself and insists that he's fine to keep on as-is, then he's bad.

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I'm writing a novella/ novellette about childhood friends. The narrator is named Travis, and his childhood best friend is named Astrid. They spend a lot of time together and Travis starts falling in love with her as they grow older. Thr narrator is supposed to be Travis, but I think I'm focusing too

(sorry, haven't used Ask.fm much so I'm not sure how to go back to my other question) I think I'm focusing too much on Astrid instead of Travis. How do I shift the attention to Travis?
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This sounds like the kind of thing where some outlining would help - outline your plot, then scan it over to see whether your attention is unbalanced or not. If it is, look for where you can edit or delete anything to rebalance it.

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