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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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:iconjnsucker12:
jnsucker12 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015
This almost what making a likeable female character would be like. While old (but not all) writers usually had a bad grasp of the female gender, and thus each character only had a few points on this page, I've read that people don't like perfect characters. I'd make a female hero with around 7-9 of these characteristics, while I'd make a female villain 4-7 characteristics here. (And I mght go for less if she's particularily evil, like a serial killer or something).
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015
I know characters aren't perfect (they're as human as their creators), but goodness knows we need better role models in today's literature.
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:iconmakingfunofstuff:
This almost hits the nail on the head, but it's more like a list to avoid cliches or things that should just be handled better.
I kinda think every character should be any way we want.
But if they have a fault, like crying too much, just portray it honestly as a fault.
I don't really get why every character has to be a role model these days. They should be first and foremost, entertaining. The problem comes in when we portray faults like cowardice or the over dependence on a boyfriend as expected or normal, I guess. But it could be funny, stupid, weird.
 If it's all about how good of a role model the character is, that's the same trap as a Mary Sue.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2015
I say we can never have enough positive role models. True, these characters may not be real, but never underestimate their influence on a reader. Especially a young reader.
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:iconmakingfunofstuff:
MakingFunOfStuff Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2015
Yeah, this is good if you want to have a character who is a role model.
But I think bad role models can be beneficial to read about too (when portrayed as such). And in some cases even more entertaining. It depends what kind of story you want to tell. :)
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015
Yeah, but I want characters that don't tempt me to chuck the book at the wall.
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:iconmakingfunofstuff:
MakingFunOfStuff Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015
Why would it make you want to chuck the book at the wall? 
If they're like Bella from twilight where it glorifies or portrays their faults as normal, maybe. Not if it's handled tastefully and just for humor or to be more interesting. Characters you're supposed to always agree with or like are boring.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015
Believe me, I would have thrown some books at the wall had they not belonged to someone else. Some books were just that bad.

I did try to give Twilight a chance, but I only got as far as the first chapter before giving up.
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:iconmakingfunofstuff:
MakingFunOfStuff Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015
I only heard about it, from what I know Bella is supposed to be a Mary Sue. 

Like which books? (I just like talking about this stuff for some reason, lol)
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015
Obviously, you know my feelings about Twilight. My aunt lent me a copy, and that's why I refrained from vandalizing it; I just gave it back to her and thought, "Good riddance!"

Then there were Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men. Not horribly written stories; they did have something to say, but boy, did I have to hold myself back when I reached the end. I even swore never to read them again if I could help it.
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(1 Reply)
:iconadam-walker:
Adam-Walker Featured By Owner Edited May 7, 2015   Writer
Absolutely awful.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner May 7, 2015
Absolutely awful how?
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:iconadam-walker:
Adam-Walker Featured By Owner May 7, 2015   Writer
From the comments I've read, this feels like a Mary Sue.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
Every character has flaws, just like every person has flaws. But I don't see how these traits constitute a Mary Sue.
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:iconadam-walker:
Adam-Walker Featured By Owner May 8, 2015   Writer
Having someone who isn't arrogant or manipulative is sort of building towards a Mary Sue, because let's face it there is going to be some female characters that are manipulative.
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
Not all female characters are that way. And they shouldn't be, either. It's not fair to stereotype.
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:iconadam-walker:
Adam-Walker Featured By Owner May 8, 2015   Writer
On the contrary, most female characters are either full of attitude or helpless.

Aren't most female characters meant to be admirable than likeable?
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:iconunicorn-skydancer08:
unicorn-skydancer08 Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
What's the difference between admirable and likeable?
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(1 Reply)
: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)
:iconfyoot:
fyoot 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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:iconfyoot:
fyoot 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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