META: Wish Fulfillment, WCs, and Mary Sues

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Sun Mar 12 21:06:41 PST 2006

Adrian James McClure wrote:
> I just wanted to let you know how much I've appreciated your recent
> incredibly long essays.  In particular, the stuff about Golden Age

Thank you for taking the time to read them.  I am sorry if I do go on a
bit too long; far too often in the past, what I say has been
misinterpetted to my detriment.  This is, of course, because I leave it
open to be misinterpetted and I can, on occassion, be clumsy with my
words.  So now I try to be careful and to express my complete thought.

> years!)  I will say that all of my major characters tend to have some
> aspects of my personality.  I tend to be a bit distrustful of giving my

I think that's a given for most authors, as Mr. Willey aptly pointed
out in this thread.  In fact, I can't think of a single character that
I've created-- other than gag characters-- that didn't share or
represent some aspect of myself or my personality.

How about all of you out there in RACC-land?  Which
major/three-dimensional characters of yours, if any, don't share an
aspect of their creator?

> Also, I can't help but feel that another creation of yours who had
> aspects of you at the point you created him, whether you were aware of
> it or not, was Ultimate Mercenary.  Ultimate Mercenary is extremely
> naive and exuberant and not the brightest tool in the shed.  He's
> dedicated to living up to the ideal of Ultimate Ninja but doesn't have
> enough self-awareness to realize that he's not succeeding.  Replace
> Ultimate Ninja with Dave van Domelen and that's very much the portrait
> you currently give of yourself circa 1997.  :)

It's true that I've spent a lot of time in my life trying to garner the
acceptance/approval of people I admire-- and that I fixated on those
whose approval was unlikely, Dave included.  And I understand perfectly
why Dave didn't read or enjoy my stuff, why the praise and pat on the
head I was waiting for was not forthcoming: my stuff was bad!  It was
shit!  And, to top it off, I acted like a shit!

And yet, despite my antics and whining, Dave conducted himself like a
prince.  He didn't dismiss me outright, but rather offered damn sound

"No one reads Teenfactor," he said.  (Well, more or less.  I'm
paraphrasing here.)  "It has a stigma attached to it.  Why don't you
try writing something else that doesn't have that stigma?  And, once
you've got people reading, if you still want, switch back to

That was great advice.  I should have taken it.  Instead, I whined.
And, despite the whining, he didn't ignore me: whenever I sent an
email, he answered it.  When I asked to borrow the Cheeez Zeppelin, he
said okay.

There were a lot of people besides Dave who I pissed off and/or acted
like a shit towards.  I remember that after my first post-- the
excreble MANGA GIRL # 1-- Jamas Enright kindly suggested that it might
be better suited to rec.arts.anime.creative.  He was being extremely
helpful, and I bit his head off for it.  Not exactly the way to win
friends and influence people.

And there were so many others, too many to count.  I want to take a
moment here and say that, again, I'm very sorry.  There was no excuse
for the way I acted.


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