2/4/13: Alternate Universe: Your Character as Hero, or Not
The most bizarre alternate universe I can think of is my own, so this is where Selene will grow up. Same story—orphaned by her parents at an early age after both were killed in Afghanastan. She went to live with her abusive aunt and uncle in New York City, finally running away after her uncle bruised her face once too often. She lived on the streets, doing whatever she had to do to survive short of prostitution. Jobs were unheard of for a preteen, so she took to theft. She was only caught once, after which she did a stint in juvie and got placed in a foster home. Selene stayed in the foster home exactly one week before hitting the streets again.
By the time she turned eighteen, she was a capable pickpocket and thief. She made enough money stealing to get a nice apartment in the East Village. She liked New York because nobody really paid any attention to anything. Not long after she moved into her new place, she picked the wrong pocket—or the right pocket, depending on how you look at it—that of Brynjolf Jorgensen, second in command of an international theft ring (because he must live in this alternate universe, too). A few phone calls and one or two grunt jobs later, and she was a full member of the organization.
Under Brynjolf’s tutelage, Selene expanded her skillset and became a master at what she did, stealing everything from jewels to priceless artifacts, to one-of-a-kind paintings for the guild’s clients—wealthy investors who would rather resort to less than legal means of obtaining their trinkets. By her thirtieth birthday, she was rich enough to retire. She married Brynjolf and moved away, and now they live like royalty on a small island in the South Pacific. They still take a few jobs a year so they don’t get rusty. Plus, theft at this level isn’t done out of need; it’s done for the thrill.
There are no dragons in this story and very few heroes. Selene is the best at what she does, but she leaves the heroism to the military, the firemen, and the police. She just keeps her head down and enjoys a life of excitement, ease, and anonymity.
It’s kind of Mary-Sue, I know, but what the hell.
I think it’s a brilliant take on today’s writing prompt. And I also like a good Mary Sue spin on our protagonists. Someone at ff.net called Elspeth a Little Sue. The thing is, there is an element of truth to that in that I wanted to to sustain that fantasy-hero-extraordinary person aspect of what makes fan fiction writing so enjoyable. But, I’ve also done a great deal to laden her with baggage and make her less than a paragon.
The thing is, I have seen and written Elspeth as a Mary Sue. It’s sort of hilarious and one day I will share it.
I choked on my coffee.
But I really loved this and now I want to write Onspeth into my little hippie neighborhood. Like they get dropped into the food co-op down the street and I have to help them navigate the world and get them back to Skyrim.
Yeah, people complain about Mary Sues, but this is fantasy, and it’s escape. I don’t mind banging my heroes up some, and I don’t mind giving them flaws, but I like happy endings.
I don’t know whether or not to be happy or sad that her story would stay the same, I have very conflicting feelings about this right now. On one hand it is awesome she would be the same person but on the other hand all that stuff still happened soooo yeah conflict. Oh and newb question I guess but who or what is a mary sue?
From what I’ve heard, a Mary Sue is the type of character that lives a life of ease, and nothing bad ever happens to them. No injuries, no deaths, never getting caught stealing, that kind of thing.
I see, thank you for the clarification.