I was checking my friends’ page when I realized that someone in one of the communities I watch had posted a link to a test that supposedly determines whether your central character is a Mary Sue or not. Being naturally curious about this, I decided to take the test using the main character of my novel.
I’ll admit to being marginally worried about this, as I wonder sometimes if my character’s flaws, which can be subtle at times, come across on the page. Anyway, I typed in the name and went to work checking all the boxes that applied. The first page had me pulling an "oh crap" to myself, as it was all about cases of author inserting self into character. Which I am guilty of at times because I figured that the first novel I wrote would be easier to write if I didn’t have to research everything my main character did. As the test got progressively more ridiculous in terms of options available, I checked fewer and fewer boxes.
My answer turned out to be something along the lines of, "Your character is like you, but not in a bad way. She is still capable of standing on her own without any silly drama or depressing back story to make her seem more interesting. Congratulations and keep up the good work."
In other words, thank you God. Finding out that I had to go back and do more editing before I’ve even heard back from the agent would have been incredibly depressing.