The Sugar Quill
Author: Author By Night  Story: The Many Faces of Mary Sue  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Note: I would like to dedicate this parody to my fellow OC writers and advocates – Clarimonde, Ariana Black, FernWithy, After

Note: I would like to dedicate this parody to my fellow OC writers and advocates – Clarimonde, Britbribribbit, Elsha, Ariana Black, FernWithy, After the Rain, Gileonnen, Spookykat, and anyone else I’ve forgotten.


            Lisa Turpin loved writing.

            She especially liked writing fanfiction to her favorite series, Terry Hotter. Terry Hotter was a book about a wizarding boy who was raised by his evil aunt and uncle until he was taken into the Muggle world, where he met friends and fought with the Evil Gangster, Mort.

            It was an enthralling series to write fanfiction for, and Lisa was especially happy about her new character, Leslie. Leslie was the sister of the horrid teacher, Mr. Epans.  In the fanfic, both were students at Swine Academy.

            “Writing another fanfic?” Padma asked, coming into the room with Mandy Brocklehurst and Jane Playne.

            “Yeah – this time, with a character I made up,” Lisa added.

            “What?” Padma gasped. Mandy and Jane looked equally horrified.

            Lisa frowned. “What’s wrong?”

            Padma snatched the parchment out of Lisa’s hand. “Oh my God, she’s related to Mr. Epans!”

            “And look here! It says she has a sad look in her eyes! Not Angsty-Related-To-A-Character-Sue!” Jane screeched.

            Lisa blinked. “Come again?”

            “A-Angsty Sue,” Mandy said, shaking so hard Lisa thought she might fall over. “The epitome of evil.”

            “She’s not angsty – well, a little, but she was abused…”

            Padma let out a scream. “No! No pasts that aren’t happy!”

            “Rewrite it now,” Jane demanded, shoving the parchment back at Lisa. “Now.”

            “I – but Epans was abused,” Lisa said, confused. “So his sister…”

            “I don’t care, rewrite it,” Padma said.

            “Fine,” Lisa said.

            Mandy fell onto her bed with an exclamation of relief.


            “So, how is it now?”

            Lisa handed her parchment to her friends, and they all read it while eating their soup.

            “NO!” Jane gasped suddenly.

            “Now what?” Lisa asked.

            “You made her laugh at a joke Leo Gray made.”

            Er – so?”

            “First off, she cannot remotely befriend the characters,” Padma said. “Secondly, she’s too happy.”

            “You told me-”

            “No angst, no happiness.”

            “But then, how can I write her? She’s the main-”          

            Mandy burst into tears.

            “If she must speak with Leo at any point, don’t let her be related to Epans,” Padma said. “And don’t let her speak with Leo more than once. Write it in someone else’s point of view.”

            Erm… but I want her to be-”

            “Don’t you get it? She’s in danger of being a full-blown Mary Sue!” Mandy sobbed.

            “What’s that again?”

            “A horrible infestation spawned from the mind of the author,” Jane said in a cold voice. “Evil, evil, evil.”

            Lisa raised her eyebrows. “Right-o. Well, I don’t think Leslie is in danger of that. Really.”

            “Are you kidding? Of course she is!” Jane said, sounding astonished.

            “But how can I make her not one?”

            “No relation to any character,” Padma said.

            “Don’t let her have any angst or drama,” Mandy added with a sniff.

            “She can’t be overly happy either,” Jane added.

            Padma nodded. “No sad ending.”

            Lisa chewed her lip. “She was going to be killed…”

            Padma shuddered. “No. Don’t.”

            “Should I make her just – her own person?” Lisa asked, wondering why she was asking for permission.

            “That works,” Mandy said softly, wiping away a tear.

            “But she can’t be the main character, or at least, the main focus. You need other points of view,” Jane said.

            “That’s right,” Mandy and Padma agreed.

            “Okay…” Lisa said, writing on another piece of parchment. “Fine. Her name is Leslie… Giovanni? Is that Muggle?”

            “Too long, it needs to be something short, and as normal as could be,” Padma said.

            Lisa tried not to let out any exasperated noises. “Fine. Leslie Smith. I’ll give her a normal past… okay, that works. And ooh, she can date Romulus Pinn-”

            “NO DATING MAIN CHARACTERS!” Padma yelled.

            “But I just got an idea for-”

            Mandy shook her head, looking pale again. “Don’t, please… the mere thought of that is giving me a migraine.”

            “You know… what does it matter?” Lisa burst out. “It’s not like she’s some woman from the Ice Age who invents five things per chapter! It’s not like she’s this giggly woman that wears pink and helps airborne girls steal shoes from dead witches! And even those characters aren’t so-”

            Mandy had fainted, perhaps in horror.

            “And look at that!” Lisa shrieked, pointing at her friend. “If that’s not a ‘Drama Sue’, I don’t know what is!”

            “People can’t be Sues,” Padma said, picking Mandy up. “If you’ll excuse me, I must take our friend you injured to the Hospital Wing.”

            Jane helped her, and Lisa looked back at her piece of parchment.


            Lisa approached her friends in the common room later that night.

            “I revised it,” Lisa said.

            “Let’s hope so,” Jane said, snatching the paper and looking at it.

            “What does it say?” Padma asked.

            Jane cleared her throat. “Romulus Pinn passed Leslie Smith. She smiled. He smiled back, and then went on with his life. The end.”

            Mandy let out a moan. “Oh no! Now it’s Boring Sue!”

            Lisa put her face in her hands, wondering why she even bothered.




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