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One of the main things that determines a Mary-Sue is how they fit in with the rest of the fandom. The better the OC, the better they are camouflaged into the fandom. A Mary-Sue will stick out like a Weeaboo in Ikea. NEVER use a poorly developed canon character to excuse a Mary-Sue. Its like saying that Jack the Ripper wasn't bad because there were other murderers before him. 

Do all their powers/skills belong in the fandom? Let's say your OC could use a little magic. If they were in the Hunger Games, they'd be a Mary-Sue, but they'd be considered weak in Harry Potter. It would also be pretty normal for someone in our time to speak both Japanese and English, but would not be in medieval Britain. If you characters skills and powers do not fit into the plot, they may be a Mary-Sue.

Are they better than their peers? Let's say two Uchiha OC's are the same age, and have the same amount of training and practice, but one is a million times better. If your character is stronger than their peers for no reason, they may be a Mary-Sue.

Is their name a lot different than the other character's names (or too similar)?  Your OC's name shouldn't be the same as a canon characters name, but shouldn't be too different from everybody else's names. In Pokemon for example, it wouldn't be okay to name your character Sapphirine. An American OC should not have a Japanese name.

Do other characters change their personalities, and act differently towards your OC than they would other characters? Let's take Sasuke for example. He's not a huge people person, and doesn't really show emotion. If he randomly started opening up to an OC, that OC would be a Mary-Sue. Characters will act very OOC around a Mary-Sues, they will often favor a Mary-Sue over characters they've known longer/should canonly care about more.

Do other characters put a lot of trust in your OC? Often after a Mary-Sue saves the life of a canon character, they will put all of their trust into the Mary-Sue, even if the Mary-Sue is/was a villain. If the canon character has a personal treasure that they live to protect (or the like), even if they are untrusting (if a character who trusts everyone at a glance does this, than your OC is not a Mary-Sue), will give it to the Mary-Sue.

Does your character face consequences for their actions that are not similar to those their peers would receive? Sometimes, a Mary-Sue will receive a punishment worse than what their peers would receive for no clear reason. This does not affect the Mary-Sue in any way, just gives them something to angst about. A Mary-Sue may also face no consequences for their actions, this is not limited to punishments by authority figures. A Mary-Sue will not be hated by other characters for being a jerk (if a character is a jerk whose parents are the only ones who care for them, is not a Mary-Sue), and no matter how much they avoid practice/studying, they will still be good at whatever they need to practice/study.

Are all your characters friends/family canon characters? Since a lot of writers with Mary-Sue's believe that their character is part of the canon, all non-canon character relatives or friends will be non-existent. When a Mary-Sue falls into the canon, they will forget everyone they knew who is not canon.

Do you favor your OC over other characters? Writers will often care about their Mary-Sue more than any other character. The Mary-Sue will receive whatever they need, the second they need it. This includes money, love popularity, and much more.

Does your OC have little to no struggles thought your story? A Mary-Sue can pit themselves against the evilest of villains, and not have to put up the least amount of effort to defeat them, even if the strongest of characters can't. 

Do you wish that you were your OC? This is called self-insert, and can be done right, but is almost never done well. Many writers give their self-insert Mary-sues the perfect life, because they know that they'll never have that life.

If your character has an angsty past, does it make sense for where they are? A Mary-Sue's angsty past will make no sense, such as a MLP OC being a rape victim. An OC whose past makes clear, logical sense (like a Hunger Games OC whose father was killed stealing food), then they are not a Mary-Sue.

Do your character's flaws affect them? Writers may try to cover up their Mary-Sues by giving them flaws that don't really cause their Mary-Sues a single problem in the canon, such as a Hunger Games OC being bad at math, or a Pokemon OC who has a Pokemon they can ride around on, who is bad at running.

Do your characters get over their flaws? Flaws aren't something that can be quickly over come, they're a bit like a disease. Characters can learn to live with them, but they can't be overcome.

Does every event center around your OC? Nothing will happen that is not important to a Mary-Sue. Whether it be a breakup of two other characters, or the escape of a random character from prison, the Mary-Sue is some how involved.

Does your character own the spotlight? Its perfectly okay for your story to be about your OC, but a Mary-Sue will steal the limelight of every other character in the story. A powerful character going out alone on a mission? Not without his Mary-Sue partner who happens to do everything, making him look extremely weak. Just because its fanFICTION, doesn't mean you can do whatever you want.

Does your character learn skills/gain ranks unusually fast? A Mary-Sue will pick up any skill that they are taught almost instantly, they will be shooting arrows better than Katniss in a few days. Nobody will bat an eye when a Warriors apprentice instantly becomes a clan leader.

Is shipping your main goal? Its perfectly fine for your OC to be paired with a single character (never to many), but it shouldn't take away from the original plot. Ash will always quit his journey to be with a Mary-Sue.

Is your story extremely rushed? A Mary-Sue will also be subjected to quite a few time skips, or rapid aging so they can be part of the drama. Character development may also be rushed.
These are just some traits of a Mary-Sue to help you spot them quickly. 
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:iconyouprobablyrock:
YouProbablyRock Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
my oc is a self insert but is pretty well wrote in fact i'll update  my profile pic to my oc 
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:iconimafangirl12:
imafangirl12 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2017
This is very good. Im currently writing an oc x canon fanfic and none of those situations in this guide apply for my oc or my fanfic/plot. Guess I'm making a good job?
Reply
:iconbloodblade808:
bloodblade808 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2016  Student Filmographer
Um, can you help out because I think my oc is a Gary sue
Reply
:iconanimedemon001:
Animedemon001 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Sure, send me a note.
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:iconartisticarcanine:
ArtisticArcanine Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2016  Hobbyist
Any tips for a good Hufflepuff girl?
I'm thinking about Emilia Alea.
Adores Charms but sucks at The Dark Arts and History of Magic and normal at everything else.
Half-blood with wizard father and Muggle mother.
Enrolled into Hogwarts years after Harry left.
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:iconanimedemon001:
Animedemon001 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Sound okay to me.
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:iconartisticarcanine:
ArtisticArcanine Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2016  Hobbyist
Thanks. :P
Reply
:iconthatdumbkitty:
ThatDumbKitty Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I named my main OCs Robin and Ben which are common names,I named one of my OCs Roselyn because she is from a wealthy family (but boy is she weak), I named the other two Krista and Blake which are meh names in my opinion because I don't know if they are common or not because I know people with those names. It still makes sense because this doesn't take place in something like Japan.
Reply
:iconryoko-the-neko:
Ryoko-the-neko Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This really helped me. Turns out my poor oc hasn't been getting much love at all. Thanks for the guide!!
Reply
:iconligertaco:
LigerTaco Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
This a great guide, you did well!
Reply
:iconhannahserenitysakura:
HannahSerenitySakura Featured By Owner Edited Apr 27, 2015  Professional
very good guide ^.^ 
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:iconanimedemon001:
Animedemon001 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks.
Reply
:icondragonwolf505:
Dragonwolf505 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
i know someone named ruby... 0_0
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:iconanimedemon001:
Animedemon001 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Rudy is a common name, I'm talking about really unusual for the situation names. Ruby for a Japanese princess, however, wouldn't really be okay.
Reply
:icondragonwolf505:
Dragonwolf505 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
ooooooooooh... thnx!
Reply
:iconcomandersprings:
ComanderSprings Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's okey if I name my Pokémon OC Emily?
Reply
:iconanimedemon001:
Animedemon001 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Of course, thats a normal name.
Reply
:iconcomandersprings:
ComanderSprings Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great! :D
Reply
:iconzetaresp:
ZetaRESP Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Damn, I need to do a checking. I'll work on my chara's profile to see how it works...
Reply
:iconthebestars:
ThebestARS Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Student Artist
Thank you for sharing this 
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
After some experience and watching certain characters, I would say a character becomes a Mary Sue when it's traits are so designed that they become absurd (for example that a 'Super Commando' can dogde 'Missiles designed to hit a specific target' - Which is pretty stupid - You might never know You are a target until it's too late. 
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