The Mary Sue


Stuck While Writing? Try This Brilliant Advice

Sometimes the act of writing is like pulling teeth. Actually, pulling teeth sounds a lot easier than attempting to write when you're blocked. The following approaches to getting unstuck could prove extremely helpful—I know they've helped me.

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Interview: Rhianna Pratchett Talks Tomb Raider and How to Make Video Games Better

A lot has been made of the modern Lara Croft, and her evolution from her origins as a pioneer for female protagonists in games. And it’s the writers behind the new games who have shaped this reimagined Lara, particularly Rhianna Pratchett, the lead writer for the 2013 Tomb Raider and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider. We reached out to Pratchett to ask her about her work on the Tomb Raider franchise and her writing process as a whole.

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Why Is Feminism in Fantasy So Important?

Because sometimes you need more than "it just IS, okay?"

Have you ever been in a situation where a conversation heads into a topic you are so passionate about that you can’t actually express your feelings on it? A topic you have spent so much time thinking about, so much time raging about (often within the confines of your own skull) that when another person turns to you and says “So why is this such a big deal anyway?” you find yourself unable to speak? That’s how I reacted when I was asked to write about the importance of feminism in fantasy.

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More Than “Strong”: Why Men Need to Write More Complex Female Characters

I remember when first daring to write a novel in first person with a female protagonist that I feared it wouldn’t work. I’d written about vampires, werewolves, ogres, and ghost dogs, but I was genuinely concerned that writing from the perspective of an undead, cannibal, witch woman would be beyond my abilities. That instinct says everything about how we guys (specifically cisgender ones like myself) are trained to view gender in fiction.

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In Praise of the Difficult Female Friendship

There's a fine line between catfight tropes and real empowerment.

I love a good female friendship story. Whether it’s about sisters-in-arms going into glorious battle together or childhood besties who share a pair of traveling pants, I’m there, ready to gobble it all up like magically delicious yet empowering candy. But I’ll confess I have a special place in my heart for a certain kind of female friendship story—one that’s tricky to pull off, yet so very rewarding when done well. Call it the Difficult Female Friendship story.

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Writing While Female: How Being a Woman Can Affect Authors’ Works and Careers

Asking the tough questions about gender barriers in publishing.

When I began drafting my first novel five years ago, I just started, assuming that developing my story was all I needed to think about. But it didn’t take long for my mind to start nagging me with certain questions: As a female (and feminist) author, was it okay that my protagonist was male? Didn't I owe it to my gender to present a strong female protagonist? Was my writing feminist enough?

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Things We Saw Today: Vin Diesel Announces Riddick Sequel and TV Show

Last night Our company had a party to launch Our TV division. Very exciting. MERC CITY is a show that will follow the Mercs and Bounty Hunters of the Riddick Universe. Next Month, DT begins writing the next Chapter in the Chronicles of Riddick… FURIA. #HappyFurianFriday A photo posted by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on Nov […]

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Things We Saw Today: Vote for the Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage LEGO Set!

LEGO Ideas has launched a new campaign to have folks vote on a brand new LEGO set, and the Ada Lovelace & Charles Babbage set is totally something you can vote on.

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Novelist’s Research Finds That Writing Books about Women Won’t Win You Any Big Awards

It's not exactly Puppygate, but...

According to some research done by novelist Nicola Griffith, if a book is written about women or if it's from the female perspective, then it's not likely to win an award. She took the results from a selection of major awards within the past 15 years and separated them down into different categories focused around the gender of the author and who the book was about.

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Calling All Writers—Games Are the New Frontier

Boring old stories for video game? Ocarinah.

I live a strange double life, stuck between the diametrically opposed worlds of writing and gaming. When I go to an English class and mention that I’m a gamer, people treat it as a non-sequitur and the chatter moves on to the latest in an ever-growing list of efforts to get John Green to come to campus. But when I go to a game studies class, the conversation completely flips, and I get blank stares or condescending remarks if I try to defend story as an important part of games.

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Writer and Poet Maya Angelou Passes Away at 86

so long and thanks for all the fish

A statement form Maya Angelou's family has confirmed that the renowned writer passed away this morning in her North Carolina home.

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Graphic Posters For Your Library, Word Nerds

Why Not Do It With Some Style?

Etsy shop Folio Creations has some fantastic prints with pretty graphic design available for sale for the word nerds, writers, editors, readers, and lovers of shenanigans out there. Currently available posters include quotes from Gilmore Girls, Downton Abbey, The Princess Bride, Mary PoppinsEmma, and Anne of Green Gables. They also have a line of posters featuring punctuation that's pretty great.  Plus, they'll do custom quotes for you!

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Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin Experiences The Pains Of Writing, Just Like All Of Us

You know nothing Jon Snow

As a writer, I think I can safely say a lot of us put our favorite authors on a pedestal. We somehow manage to convince ourselves that just because they're successful and prolific means they never suffer with self-doubt or writer's block. That's usually not the case. And now we know A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R.R. Martin is not except from the usual trials and tribulations. 

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The Jim Henson Company Wants You to Write a New Dark Crystal Novel

The Dark Crystal scared the hell out of me when I was a kid, but that's not going to stop me from submitting to this.

Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal is one of the most terrifying and yet fondly remembered films from the '80s. It created an entire world from Henson's imagination, but that world has gone largely untouched for more than twenty years. The Jim Henson Company wants to change that. The JHC wants to start creating novels set in the Dark Crystal world, and you can compete to write one.

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E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed Up Files… Author, Dies at 83

so long and thanks for all the fish

E. L. Konigsburg, Elaine Lobl Konigsburg, is probably remembered best as the long-named author of the even longer named From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, a book about a brother and sister who ran away to live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to teach their parents a lesson about appreciating them and to live in comfort while doing it, and wind up uncovering the secret origins of an unattributed angel statue in the Met's collection, a mystery as old as Michelangelo. The author, not just of Mixed-Up Files but rahter a score of books and novels died this last Friday in Falls Church, Virginia.

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Original Charlotte Brontë Manuscript Goes for $141,000

Not all that glitters is gold

One of the odd side effects of the digital age is the gradual loss of the acres and acres of handwritten or typed manuscripts that could be catalogued by archivists interested in following the career of an author. With "save" taking primacy over "save as," those windows (no pun intended) into the process of an author stay shut. Probably there are a lot of writers who prefer it that way. Like most smaller changes wrought by advancing technology these days, I find this more interesting than depressing or uplifting. However, it does mean that two hundred years from now, probably nobody is going to be bidding six figures for a copy of my Scrivener file.

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Writer Creates Jane Austen Spellcheck List To Get Period Language Correct For Novel

This Exists... Because of A Lady

Have you ever been reading a story, supposedly set in a past time period, and spotted words you just know don't belong? Hugo-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal has, and she's determined to not let it happen in her books. So she did something ingenius. She compiled a huge list of words from the collected works of Jane Austen and hopes to apply them to her spellcheck dictionary in order to weed out inappropriate usage in her novels. She just needs a little help. 

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World’s Most Prolific Novelist Still Had Time to be a Daredevil Aviator; Meet Barbara Cartland

Our Adorable Past

Barbara Cartland is best known for penning "risqué" (though they rarely contained anything of an, ah, suggestive nature) thrillers, plays, and romance novels with titles like The Bitter Winds of Love, and The Wicked Marquis, and penning a lot of them. She holds the world record for most books written in a single year (twenty-three, in 1983 when she was fifty-eight), and has been named the top selling author in the world by Guinness. She sold more than a billion books over her career, with a total of nearly nine hundred novels, one hundred and sixty of which were published posthumously. But what she isn't well known for, as io9 shows us today, is her contributions to aviation and, relatedly, the war effort in England during WWII.

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Neil Gaiman Gives A Commencement Speech I Wish I’d Heard Ten Years Ago

Imagine What You'll Know Tomorrow

Author Neil Gaiman recently gave the Commencement Address to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia chock-full of advice for aspiring artists of all kinds. He started his speech by admitting he never continued on to higher education and then talked about he simply started writing, wrote some more, and never stopped. Hit the jump to watch the speech in its entirety and find out why I'll be directing aspiring writers to it in the future. 

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Feel Good of the Day: First Grader Wins National Handwriting Award, Despite Being Born Without Hands

i'll just leave this here

According to her mom, Annie Clark seemed overwhelmed when contest organizers from textbook publishers Zaner-Bloser announced that she was the winner of a national penmanship contest, but as the first grader received her trophy, things appeared to sink in, and a big smile made an appearance. Though Annie was born without hands, her adoptive parents say she's determined to do pretty much anything the other kids can do, whether it's bike riding, swimming, or even simply writing, and she's succeeded on all fronts.

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