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The Potter Sue of the Day

Featuring your Mary-Sues, one fic at a time!

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I give you the Pottersues FAQ:

Q: What's a Mary-Sue?
A: A Mary-Sue is a new character introduced into a world via a fanfic. She's beautiful, powerful, has a perfect personality, falls in love with the author's favourite canon character, and is the hero of the story. If you want a better definition, click here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Those are mary-Sues.

Q: Why do you do this?
A: Because it makes people laugh. Seriously, that's the only reason. It's your story and you can write what you want. This is my journal and I can review what I want. I'm not on a holy quest to rid the world of Mary Sues. I'm just in it for the funny. My predecessor has written up a slightly longer and more philosophical answer to this question here.

Q: Why am I not allowed to make comments about the Suethor/Stuthor?
A: I'm not doing pottersues to have people hate an author. We've all been Suethors, and I don't think "OMG THEY SHOULD DIE!!!" is a valid and equal response to writing Voldemort's daughter Sue. Neither is calling them a "bitch" or other derogatory names. Can you say that their prose sucks? Sure. Telling them they should never write again? That's not cool. Any negative comments are directed at the Sues only. I will delete comments that break this rule. I know many of you are trying to be funny, but if you can't handle a toxic Mary-Sue then maybe this journal is too much for you.

Q: What are those fried-egg things in the Sue-O-Meter?
A: Eyeballs. They were pried out of their sockets with sporks in accordance with Matthew 5:29. The more eyeballs a Sue gets, the more Sueish it is.

Q: Could you explain the rating system in some more detail, please?
A: Click here.

Q: Why do the minions compete for first comment?
A: I dunno, I guess it makes them feel special.

Q: Hey! I had first comment! Why'd you delete it?
A: Because any comment that only says 'first comment', I delete. You have to prove you read the entry, or else you're cheating.

Q: What's with all the sporking?
A: Beats me. Seriously, I have no idea where the spork thing got started... I think 'spork' is just a funny word. Besides, sporks are exactly the right shape and size for digging out eyeballs. Whoever started this one may have borrowed the term from Television Without Pity. They define 'sporking' here.

Q: Why is 'possessions' spelled wrong in every single Sue report?
A: Because I like to be consistent, and I'm too lazy to go back and change it on the first eight-hundred-odd Sues.

Q: What is 'purple prose'?
A: Prose is considered purple if it insists upon describing everything in nauseating detail. If Harry's eyes 'glow with the dull fire of raw emeralds' and Hermione's hair is 'a shower of butter-brown ringlets, lit with gold in the highlights', if Dumbledore's robes are 'rich purple velvet embroidered with glittering golden lionfish and shifting in the candlelight as if alive' and Snape 'strides into the room in a swirl of crimson-lined black silk'... that's purple prose. The best example might be this feature.

Q: What is 'wangst'?
A: 'Wangst' is a term coined by fandom_wank - the word is derived from a combination of 'wank' and 'angst'. As such, we may define 'wangst' as being like angst, only more self-congratulatory. It's the 'I hate being a princess, nobody understands how heavy all these pretty dresses and jewels are, and I'm allergic to my pony!' kind of angst.

Q: What is the pepper jack cheese joke?
A: Pepper Jack Cheese is a symbol of projecting ones own tastes and desires onto a canon character (thus transforming said character into an OOC Mary-Sue). It derives from a fanfic that described Hermione as liking pepper jack cheese because, as was explained in an author's note, it was the writer's favourite kind.

Q: What are those four made-up house names you keep throwing around?
A: Sparklypoo, Bitchiwitch, Tootsietramp, and Qanonreip are the houses the Mary-Sues get sorted into. 'Sparklypoo' derives from the Pirate Monkeys Mary Sue comic. 'Bitchiwitch' and 'Tootsietramp' I made up (although 'Surlysnarl' floats around as an alternative to 'Bitchiwitch' and was, in fact, invented first... I just didn't want another 's' name), and 'Qanonreip' was suggested by theeternalmind. For more information, see the sorting hat song parody on my profile page.

Q: What are 'magic sticks' and 'taco shows'?
A: 'Magic stick' is the local slang for 'penis'. 'Taco show' means either female genetalia or a genderbender fanfic. Both terms were stolen from this particularly dreadful feature.

Q: What's this 'temporary uterus' thing people keep talking about?
A: You don't want to know.

Q: No, really.
A: It's here. But first, understand that by clicking that link you agree to waive pottersues of any and all responsibility for physical, mental, and/or emotional pain you may suffer as a result. May God have mercy upon your soul.

Q: What's with the "IT'S MY LIFE!!!" joke?
A: Some girls decided that the end of OotP would be better if Harry jumped out of Dumbledore's office, turned into a phoenix, screamed "IT'S MY LIFE!!!" at everyone and flew away forever. It can be found here.

Q: What's 'Earth Logic'?
A: 'Earth Logic' is the kind that makes sense on our planet... the rules appear to be different on Planet Sue. For example: say Mary-Sue finds an injured dog on the street and takes it home to nurse back to health, only to see it transform into Sirius Black, the guy she's seen on the news with the 'WARNING: INSANE SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE' sign around his neck. If she barracades herself in her room and calls the police to report his presence and/or her own apparent mental breakdown, then she's following Earth Logic. If she immediately thinks he's wicked sexy and decides on a hunch to protect him without having any real reason why she would, that's the logic of Planet Sue.

Q: What the heck is the 'Pit of Voles'?
A: The Pit of Voles is a nickname for fanfiction.net (another, less common one, is 'the Walls of Flesh'). I first saw it used by the ficbitches, but I am told that the very first ever appearance of it is archived here, in the ex-blog of tsukikoushi. I think the rationale behind it is something like since an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters will eventually give you Shakespeare's plays, then whatever the writers in the pit are, they aren't monkeys.

Q: What about the 'Pit of Skrewts'?
A: That's my personal nickname for harrypotterfanfiction.com. I was hoping it'd catch on, but no such luck - nobody seems to use it but me. Although, I'm told some people use it as a name for FanDomination.net.

Q: What's this thing about the King of Rome?
A: Supposedly, somebody once tried to correct Sigismund I's (if you really care who he is, here's his Wikipedia entry) Latin, only to be told "ego sum rex Romanus, et super grammatica", which means "I'm the King of Rome, I'm above grammar." This is fine for Sigismund, but if you're not the King of Rome, you're expected to know the difference between 'its' and 'it's'.

Q: What is 'Canon'?
A: 'Canon' is a word taken from the Catholic Church - its general definition refers to religious orthodoxy, making it a particularly apt term to adapt into fandom. In a fandom context, it means information which the author's original work has established as fact, and which therefore should not be contradicted in fanfiction except in alternate universes. An example of a canonical fact is that Voldemort is the last of his family - he does not have siblings, cousins, children, or living parents, and fanfics which give him any of those are alternate universes.

Q: What is 'Fanon'?
A: 'Fanon' is a pun on 'canon', and refers to things that have not been explicitly established in the books, but which are so common on fanfiction that everybody takes them for granted anyway. An example of a fanon 'fact' is the idea that Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were lovers.

Q: What is 'snacky's Law'?
A: snacky's Law is a variation on 'Godwin's Law', which states that in an argument, if one side compares the other to Hitler or the Nazi regime, the discussion is over and the person who made the analogy has lost. There are many permutations of this law - in addition to Hitler, it can also apply
to comparisons with Stalin, Bin Laden, and Bush, among others - but the only one which seems to actually have a name is snacky's, in which the vilified party are 'those girls who were mean to me in high school'.

Q: What is 'Ebert's Law'?
A: When you ask somebody to try their own hand at something before criticizing your efforts, you have violated Ebert's Law and lost the argument. Roger Ebert is not a filmmaker, but he knows what he likes and doesn't, and has every right to say so. Similarly, people don't need to be chefs to recognize a good restaurant, or musicians to appreciate a symphony.

Q: What is 'Whiney Grammar Nazi's Law'?
A: When you ask someone to improve their grammar and spelling issues before they criticize any portion of your work not related to grammar and spelling issues. This is hypocritical when you yourself have grammar issues, particularly in the sentence you are calling people out for their grammar problems.

Q: What is 'Sturgeon's Law'?
A: The law states "ninety percent of everything is crap". Now, we here on Pottersues actually enjoy reading badfic. We just recognize that it can be better written despite the fact we enjoys it.

Q: What is 'Meyer's Law'?
A: The law states, "when writing is done for pure enjoyment, nintey-nine of everything is crap." Named thus because it has been noted that Twilight fanfiction tends to break 'Sturgeon's Law' when it comes to the quality level put out. Other fandoms have 'Meyer's Law' going on.

Q: What is 'C.S. Lewis' Law'?
A: The law states, "when writing is done for pure enlightenment, one percent of evertyhing is crap." Irony is the fanfics for Chronicle of Narnia actually fall under Meyer's Law.

Q: What is 'Not-Bob's Law'?
A: It's a sort of corollary to Ebert's Law. If you accuse somebody of putting something down because they're just jealous of the creator's 1337 5K1LLZ, particuarly if you invoke the opinions of others who liked it in order to support your argument, you are breaking Not-Bob's Law and have lost the argument. You can think Kill Bill was pointless without being jealous of Quentin Tarantino's filmmaking.

Q: Who - or what - is 'Not-Bob'?
A: 'Not-Bob' is our name for antipottersues and the various people with similar usernames, among them ihatepottersues, pottersuesucks, trueantipsues, bitchoftheday, and theactualtruth. She/he/it/them/whatever is apparently my self-elected nemesis and turns up now and then, in various forms but always spewing vitriol and unable to find the capslock key. Actually, I think 'Not-Bob' is really about three different people... if you've got some time to kill reading something occasionally amusing but mostly pointless, you can head on over to A Brief History of Not-Bob for the details.

Q: Why do you call your readers 'Evil Lesbian Minions'?
A: Not-Bob named them that. They took it up with pride.

Q: Who is 'She Who Must Not Be Named'?
A: A BNF (Big-Name Fan) who is a regular feature on fandom_wank and may be responsible for more annoying fanon than any other fanficcer out there. It's a well known fact that it's not a PotterWank until somebody mentions this individual, so I would prefer to avoid calling her by name. Besides, saying the name of an evil thing sometimes summons it up. She now has a series of published teen novels.

Q: Why can't you review things a bit more constructively?
A: Because it's not funny. This site really isn't for the authors, any more than Mr. Cranky is for moviemakers, and should be taken about as seriously. As the authors themselves are so fond of pointing out, if they don't like this site, nobody's got them at gunpoint forcing them to read it.

Q: I've found a fic that desperately needs to be featured here! What do I do with it?
A: You can send it to me at pottersues@gmail.com. I'll use them, regardless of rating, but I reserve the right to not use the story, and I don't have to send an obligatory email explaining why. As an aside, please don't send me recommendations via my Inbox on livejournal, it likes to delete them after two weeks.

Furthermore, please understand that there will be a backlog, and I don't want anymore emails going, "Did you forget about my story?" "Just a little reminder about the story I sent in." "*poke poke* Don't forget about my story." If you want it sporked that badly, and I'm not getting to it fast enough, go to deleterius. and do it yourself.

Q: Do you actually read the entire fic before posting each night's Sue?
A: About as often as not. It depends on how long the fic is, how difficult it is to read, and how engaging it is. I'm much more likely to read all of a short fic than all of a long one, all of a well-formatted fic than all of one in which each chapter is a single giant eyebleeding paragraph of badly-spelled doom, and much more likely to read a train wreck of a fic that just keeps getting worse and worse than a sappy romance novel that has characters getting together and breaking up over and over and over. If it is a quiet, rainy day I will go through a long story no matter the content.

Q: HEY! What is MY story doing here?!
A: It has a Mary-Sue.

Q: It does not!
A: Yes, it does.

Q: Well, you're the only one who thinks so! I'm on twenty people's favourites lists and have five hundred positive reviews, so there!
A: Good for you - those people are welcome to their opinions. But this journal is about my opinions, and I think your fic has a Mary-Sue, okay? Next question, please.

Q: Fanfiction was my only source of comfort and you have destroyed my will to live! I'm going to go listen to Evanescence and cut myself now!
A: I suggest you never try to publish anything, or that if you do, you never read reviews of it. Because professional critics never say things like "This is so good! Write the next chapter soon!"

Q: When you posted an entry featuring my Mary Sue, why did it contain personal information about myself?
A: I don't post information that a Suethor posts to their profile that would lead to identifying exactly who they are. In other words, I don't post names, birthdays or e-mails that the Suethor posted to their profile. However, if the Suethor puts personal information into the story it may end up getting put into the entry without me realizing it is personal.

Q: Would you please edit the personal information out?
A: This depends on how pertinent the information is to the Sue report. If you used your complete real name for your OC or user name, should I change it once I find out it is your real name? What am I to change it too? Wouldn't changing it be a lie? I have to be careful about editing the entries and I have to have a very good reason to do so.

Q: But I'm worried that college recruiters and/or potential employers will find it. That is a good reason isn't it?
A: No, its actually not. I'm not going to help people lie on their college and job applications and asking me to do so is wrong. And before anyone plays the "but it is for professional reasons" card let me make this clear. Covering up your past is an unprofessional thing to do. I'll say again, I have to have a very good reason for editing an entry.

Q: But I didn't know better! You should edit it out anyways!
A: The Pit of Voles says under its posting guidelines that you aren't allowed to use characters that aren't historical and that aren't fictional in your fanfics. Just because you fictionalize small elements of your character doesn't a make you a fictional character. In the long run, I don't know when I post these which Sues are “real person fic” unless the Suethor writes something on their profile. And typically the Suethor only uses their first name in these cases. I'm going to treat all Sues here as “fictional” unless I have something telling me it is “RPF”.

Q: I'm worried though my name being associated with a Mary Sue is going to effect me being able to do things in the future.
A: While fanfiction is in a legal gray area, Harry Potter fanfiction is in the legal white unless you are writing about issues that a minor shouldn't be reading about. There is nothing wrong with writing a Mary Sue, it is part of the growing process as a writer. It isn't that big of a deal compared to other things, unless your fic contained personal stuff that would make you look bad. However, you shouldn't ask people to lie and cover up stuff either. As I've said, I have to have good reason to edit the information out.

Q: You edited the entry in the past but it the personal information is still showing up via search engines. Can you delete or place the entry on friends only?
A: Placing an entry on friends only or deleting it won't solve the problem. Not to mention doing this defeats the purpose of Pottersues. The problem lies with the search engine and the fact it still has a “cache” for the unedited page rather then the new one. It is up to the Suethor to take care of the “cache removal requests”. Pottersues has passed through many hands and the future Pottersues doesn't have the edits a past Pottersues has made. Not to mention the fact one Pottersues can't remember every important detail to pass onto the next.

Q: Do you write fanfiction?
A: Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.

Q: Can I see some of it?
A: Nope.

Q: Why not?
A: Because if you don't mind, I'd rather not have pissed-off little Sue authors flaming my fics and reporting me to the Voles that Be for imaginary abuses, trying to get my account banned. And yes, this is called 'hiding behind the anonymity of the internet', so don't even start. (Not to mention the journal has passed down through multiple hands and the only people who know who the current Pottersues is happens to be the current Pottersues and the previous ones. We're not going to break from tradition.)

Q: You're a hypocrite! You flame other people's fics and then won't let them retaliate!
A: If I were flaming, I would post these as reviews... but I don't, I post them in my journal where those who want to find them can. If one of my readers gives the author the link to an entry, that's out of my hands.

Q: Will you review my story here?
A: No. Because if you're asking, either it's a parody fic or else you are so misguided you actually think being on pottersues is some sort of an honour. In the first case: I'm not usually interested in parodies (although some of them are worse than the Sues themselves, and I'll do one occasionally if it's bad enough). And in the second: I am not your free publicity service.

Q: What if I have another question?
A: Email me - my address is pottersues at gmail dot com.

Great list! Hopefully you get less stupid emails now. I love Pirate's Sue comic, I nearly wet myself with the image of Snape and Lupin hugging in the backgroud. Spork!

Here here! GO GMONKEY! You rule!

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I've heard Pit of Skrewts applied to Fandomination rather than harrypotterfanfiction.

I remember reading that comic a while ago, and I always wondered whether Sparklypoo was a reference to the comic or whether it had some other origin. Now I know. Thanks.

Q: HEY! What is MY story doing here?!
A: It sucks.

Q: It does not!
A: Yes, it does.

*salutes pottersues*

Fwah, that's usually how authors act before their sock puppets come out to play.


May Pottersues be honored for destroying many fiercly terrify, toxic Sues that plague the world called "Internet." OH thanks for clearin' this crap up for meh. TRhe comic is wonderful.



Heh heh. Great FAQ, and I'll have to remember Ebert's Law for future reference (I'd heard of Godwin's Law, but not Snacky's or Ebert's), but geez, you misspelled Qanonreip as Quanonreip. Everyone does that! Sheesh. c_c You at the very least ought to know better, pottersues. ^^;

Q: HEY! What is MY story doing here?!
A: It sucks.

Q: It does not!
A: Yes, it does.

This had me laughing so much!

One question that has been hounding me ever since I descended into the quagmire that is The Sue Fandom is:

Q: What is MST, what does it stand for, and why do people do it?

I do wonder. :(

From Writers University:


MST stands for Mystery Science Theater 3000, a cable TV show featuring a man and two wisecracking robots. They are forced to watch bad movies, and they make clever commentary on them as they go.

Fanfiction MSTs are based on the format of that show. In a fanfiction MST, several characters (one of whom is usually the actual author of the MST) read a fic and make running commentary.

It's important to note that an MSTing doesn't necessarily indicate a bad fic. While it's true that some authors do MSTs to make fun of stories that they didn't like, others do them for stories that they did like in order to give them more exposure. Not all MSTs are C&C, either; some of them are just done for their humor value."

This doesn't have much to do with the topic, but I love MST3K. Even if it is only in reruns now.

This doesn't have much to do with the topic, but I love MST3K. Even if it is only in reruns now.

Me too. I'm totally addicted to it. Even though it's not even in reruns anymore (that I know of). Boo.

Re Pirate Monkey's comic

Why does Draco look like Eminem in the artwork?

Re: Re Pirate Monkey's comic

He looks like little Eminem in the movies too (to me anyway) before they changed his hair. I was half expecting him to start rapping insults about Potter and Mudbloods.

Ooo! My law is in the FAQ! So shiny! I'm all puffed up with pride now.

Q: HEY! What is MY story doing here?!
A: It sucks.

Q: It does not!
A: Yes, it does.

Hehehehehe... *worships pottersues*

I just have to say... that is the. coolest. icon. ever.

Well I, with familiar irrelevancy, love MST3K. I also would like to ask that you -never- review me here. If I ever earn this please warn me before posting and I'll rewrite! Or just take everything down and hide in Saddam's old spider hole.

On Snacky's Law, what's a regieme?

"Regime" is basically the same as "reign", but it doesn't necessarily apply just to rulers; it's more of a basic "state of being politically controlled"-- one can have a terrorist regime, a police regime, etc.

I've always wondered what BDSM stood for. I know what it is, but I don't know what it means!!!!

It stands for Bondage and Discipline - Dominance and Submission - Sadism and Masochism.

Convenient, huh?

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand