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1. Have a sense of humor.

2. Learn to do some things for yourself; don't just sit around and expect someone else to handle all the work.

3. Have a listening ear and a sympathetic heart.

4. Dream about true love, but at the same time know how to care for yourself.

5. If you do find love, love him for who he is, not for what you want him to be.

6. Never be controlling or manipulative.

7. Never let anyone push you around.

8. Cry when necessary, but don't get carried away.

9. Always stand by those whom you truly care about.

10. Don't be so serious that you forget to have fun, but don't have so much fun that you forget to be serious.
With all these lists of "How to be a Mary Sue" or "Life Lessons from Mary Sue" and yadda, yadda, I figured I'd make a list that shows how to be the opposite of a Mary Sue, how to have a female character that people will actually like. I'm proud to say that virtually all of my women in my stories (thus far) fit these descriptions. :D

:bulletred: How to Be a Likeable Male Character :bulletred: [link]
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:iconladyjane6374:
LadyJane6374 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
***
...This all seems very generic. 'Likable' is used in a sense of your own opinion- because I don't think this should be a "How to" when everything listed can be justified, as it is on the topic of personality. But here's my opinion..

I have a better idea to make a 'likable' female character.

Character first. Female LAST.

Seriously, if people have to generalize what makes a female character 'better', 'cooler', 'eviler', 'fun', 'etc' than that is probably the BIGGEST reason why they can't write for one. I see it happen all the time in books and movies and I think, that if you want a 'likable' character or ANY kind, you need to think about them as a CHARACTER first so they don't end up being placed under gender cliches. Then realize what audience you're speaking out to- do they enjoy bubbly things or want something tragic? 

To speak philosophically, what makes a female character 'likable'? In what context? Likable as a person for the other characters to enjoy, or likable for the audience to enjoy- and in that case, which audience? Because honestly, a female character could be almost the opposite of all that is listed on this article and still be 'likable' to a specific group- she'd just be darker- or edgy- or shy- or emotional... but that's just my two cents. No hard feelings or anything.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
Thanks for your input, mate.
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:iconxonen:
Xonen Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
*slight grimace* yeah... Maybe for girls irl this may work, but for fiction... no.

Like mentioned before, characters like these are very unlikable and are considered "Sues". They are just too out of touch. Some of the most loved characters have very negative traits. Yet you could make the argument that it doesn't really matter. People go out of their way to find a reason to hate every female character they come across no matter their personality.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
I see.
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:icontechta:
Techta Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm assuming likable protagonist female? My two main females that I don't write about publicly are either a) antagonist or b) a really asshole military alien. But they are extremely likable as characters thusfar with audience reviews.
Or do you mean likable by other characters? My characters really hate my female characters, because they are heartless mean assholes, but the audience likes them.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
I guess it all depends on how you want to make them. These are just personal tips.
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:iconjesteroflullaby:
JesterOfLullaby Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013
I'm glad there's a list like this!
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Thanks, mate. :nod:
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:iconplatinastar:
PlatinaStar Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:T In my opinion characters are more fun if they ARE sometimes controlling/manipulative, or so now and then incredible selfish. Because that makes them realistic. xD
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012
True, but I think we sometimes get a little too caught up in their faults.
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:iconx-i-l2048:
X-I-L2048 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Good rules to live by! =D
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012
Thanks! Glad you think so.
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:iconx-i-l2048:
X-I-L2048 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Welcome. :)
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:iconr00-ha-ha:
R00-ha-ha Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Student General Artist
This sounds pretty Sue-y to me . . .
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
Not necessarily. And it is important to have good traits; I think we're getting a little too caught up in a character's weaknesses. Sure, weaknesses make a character more believable and plausible, but they shouldn't take away from the noble qualities. We need to try to keep the scales balanced both ways.
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:iconr00-ha-ha:
R00-ha-ha Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Well honestly, I don't think anybody has a balanced "scale" of "noble" and "weak" qualities. That's what makes a character realistic.

And I don't think that a weakness shouldn't take away from noble qualities; it's the meshing of the two that gives a character depth.

Plus, it really depends on the situation for having what you classify as "good" traits to BE good traits. What if your character's a villain, or something? Or a sociopath?

You're asking yourself, "why should a character have so many weak traits?". And equally, it could be asked, "why should a character have so many 'good' traits?"
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
Frankly, if you ask me, there's no such thing as too many good traits.

Goodness knows we could use more people with such traits in today's world.
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:iconr00-ha-ha:
R00-ha-ha Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Well, a Mary Sue is usually called a Mary Sue because of too many good traits. So this list would, again, seem very Mary Sue-ish to me.

And are we talking about how to make a likeable girl in today's society? Or a character in a story? I don't think we need people with all the same values and traits . . . where'd the fun be in that? You can't have the good without the bad.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
This is true. All I'm saying is we shouldn't get so caught up in the good that we overlook the bad, nor should we get so caught up in the bad that we overlook the good.
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:iconr00-ha-ha:
R00-ha-ha Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Eh, I don't really agree with that either . . . (you probably don't look at the 'good' qualities of say, Hitler), but okay.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
Anyway, you know what I mean.
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(1 Reply)
:iconfutilitarian:
futilitarian Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012   Writer
I hoped at first that this was a satire, but having read your other comments I realise it is just terribly patronising. This sounds like some kind of sorority girl motto list or something.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
I'm sorry if you got the wrong idea. I'm not trying to talk down to others, saying that this is the way all girls absolutely have to be in order for people to like them. My whole point was trying to show how to create a character that's the opposite of a Mary Sue. People often wonder how to create a suitable character when writing, and I was basically offering some "tips."
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:iconfutilitarian:
futilitarian Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012   Writer
As has already been pointed out, this is a recipe for a 'Mary Sue'; it's also like the last two hundred years of progress in women's rights never happened.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
I know all about Mary Sues and the problems they pose in literature, but we shouldn't criticize characters for being genuinely nice and friendly. This world would be in at least a little better shape if more girls started behaving this way.
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:iconmarydemauro:
marydemauro Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Nobody is saying it is wrong for characters to have these traits. But this is not a recipe for a character or how to make a character--this is just a list of traits. You can call it that if you want: "desirable traits for a girl char"--but having these traits will not keep a character from being a Mary sue. Character development is very complicated and there's a lot of subtlety involved. In fact that's something I think your characters could benefit from--subtlety. Not trying to sound mean, just critiquing/explaining
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
All right, thanks for your critique.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
Patronizing was never my intention.
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:iconthewickedkid:
TheWickedKid Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Um...you could be a Sue and have all of those traits. :I
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
You could also have these traits and not be a Sue.
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:iconthewickedkid:
TheWickedKid Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
But it's not really a how-to-not-be-a-sue list if the same traits can make a sue.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
A Mary Sue is a character who has no weaknesses at all (and having these good traits doesn't mean there's no room for weaknesses) and never learns anything, and everything works out in her favor. No one's perfect, but some good traits are nothing to be ashamed of, either.
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:iconthewickedkid:
TheWickedKid Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I think you're missing the point.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
Well, what is the point, then?
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:iconthewickedkid:
TheWickedKid Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
You just listed the traits of a character without any flaws.

That IS a sue.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
On the contrary, it is possible to have these noble traits AND still have room for weaknesses. Even if these make a character "unbelievable," goodness knows we could use such traits in today's society.
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:icondigipup:
digipup Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This seems a bit.... Stereotypical. So the ONLY way for a female character to be likeable is if she's sympathetic and kind-hearted, not serious, "the good guy", blah dee blah blah blah. Oh happy joy, joy, joy, I see I've screwed up 90% of my characters big-time.
There's more to creating likeable characters than just ten easy steps. -.-
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
Well, I didn't mean to make it stereotypical. This is just what I personally believe puts a female character in a favorable light.

You're welcome to agree or disagree.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Why does a female character need to be likeable? Isn't it better to be admirable instead? :O
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012
Likeable and admirable are pretty much the same thing, don't you think? Anyway, this is a list of traits that a female character ought to have for the audience to like her and want to keep on reading about her. Of course, this can also pertain to girls in the real world.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This sounds more like general traits for a loveable character. Why can't dudes have all of these traits? I don't see anything here that has vagina as a prerequisite.

And no. No, likeable and admirable aren't the same. Likeable is pals, admirable is someone you want to be like.
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:iconmarydemauro:
marydemauro Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you for saying what I've been saying, only better XD
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:highfive: I try!

Also, if you know what the point is supposed to be here, could you tell me? I can't tell if I got it right or not :/
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012
Anyway, I think I've made my point. You're free to agree or disagree.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You didn't make a specific point at all :confused:
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012
Then you must not have caught it.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Would you like to restate it? All I got from the original piece was 'to be a likeable female, you have to be generally likeable.' Or, maybe, 'don't be Bella Swan, who's exactly one female character out of a trillion literary ones,' so I couldn't imagine that's your whole point since so many people are doing it already.
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:iconrediie:
Rediie Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Good points! I always keep my main female charas within these rules, and only break them when they're meant to be a joke. XD
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012
Good for you.
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