Nora’s Sunday Quickie: Mary Sue with dragons!

I’ve been writing since I was nine years old. I “published” my first book on construction paper, with cardboard (hardcover!) and yarn binding. My first few stories were probably the wildest things I’ve ever written, because I started out using the smorgasbord method of idea generation — a nuclear holocaust here, some talking cats there, toss in some ESP and bazookas. (I was unduly influenced by Seventies science fiction films.) I can’t say they were good, but they were certainly… hmm… imaginative. But as I hit my teens, the stories changed, and suddenly I started writing female protagonists who were brave, beautiful, charismatic, and surrounded by people who liked them and would do anything for them.

That’s right. I had discovered Mary Sue.

Now, I’m firmly convinced that all young writers have a brush with Mary Sueism (or Marty Stuism, if you want the male version). It’s an unholy conjunction of timing (being a teen or young adult in search of an identity) with opportunity (a young writer’s discovery of the wish-fulfillment power of fiction). I was a shy, bookish, bespectacled and klutzy thing, so naturally the protagonists of my fiction were the exact opposite. Most writers do this, and most outgrow it, and most then try to forget it ever happened. But in the spirit of sharing, I’m going to tell you about my Mary Sue magnum opus.

It was my first finished novel — all handwritten in No. 1 pencil on college-ruled notebook paper. I think I was fifteen. The title of it was Dragonman, Dragonman, shamelessly ripped off from some song lyric or poem in some Anne McCaffrey novel — she was my favorite author at the time. The story was set in a medieval Europeanish fantasy world in which, somehow, a love spell gone Horribly Wrong had caused a king to fall in love with a female dragon (yeah… I know), resulting in a child who could shapeshift from human to dragon form. The story was all about the princess of a neighboring kingdom who was sent to this half-dragon prince as part of an arranged marriage, mostly because her father’s kingdom was really poor and had no choice. Everyone was freaked out by the idea, but she was brave, beautiful (you get the idea) and remarkably open-minded, willing to at least meet the guy. Turned out he was pretty hot, not to mention handy whenever she needed a firebreathing dragon for whatever reason. Then there was a subplot about a guy from a neighboring kingdom trying to prevent the marriage — not for any political reason, just because I needed a bad guy. Besides, why have one guy interested in my Mary Sue when I could have two?

I don’t remember how the story ended. But I can kind of guess. -_-

I think I’m going to go crawl into a large hole now.

1 Response to “Nora’s Sunday Quickie: Mary Sue with dragons!”

  1. February 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Hasn’t that book been published? With more dragon sex, I think, but yeah?


    ” The title of it was Dragonman, Dragonman, shamelessly ripped off from some song lyric or poem in some Anne McCaffrey novel”

    Heh. She’s like a gateway drug.

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