I’m a big fan of stories. I’m always consuming some kind of story, whether book or TV show, magical realism or Grimms-inspired sci-fi, anything I can react to, analyze, or write about.
Come watch me write about stories, even if you should be writing yourself. Especially if you should be writing yourself. Reading about writing isn’t writing, and reading other peoples’ writing isn’t writing, but it’s a lot of fun.
I wrote this a million years ago and I think it still holds up.
Author’s note: I tried to keep this essay spoiler free, but found it hard to come up with any supporting evidence without detailing plot events. So, if you would like your Harry Potter experience to remain unspoiled, read no further.
Additionally, I’m familiar with the term “Mary Sue,” but have chosen to use “Gary Stu” because Harry is male.
“Ugh! I hate Harry! Hermione should have been the protagonist.”
“He’s so angsty and whiny! Seriously, get over yourself!”
“He thinks he’s so much better than everyone, including his best friends!”
“He’s such a Mary Sue. Seriously, he’s good at Quidditch, and he can talk to snakes, and he’s the Chosen One? What a tool.”
“I’ve never cared about Harry. He’s just a vehicle for the plot.”
I heard this last criticism at Bible study during a discussion of our favorite and least favorite films. I had to grip the edge of my chair…