Jonathan is my Tyler Durden. All the ways that I wish I could be, that’s him. He looks like I want to look, he fucks like I want to fuck, he is smart, capable, and most importantly is unimaginably more powerful than I am.
So, what does it say about me that mentally he’s screwed up beyond recognition.
I want to say that it’s the writer in me, that even my Mary Sue characters have deep-seated emotional problems. After all, I have enough psychological problems as it is on my own. Why was Jonathan’s childhood so horrible? Why was a good chunk of his adolescence a living hell?
True, true, he finds some semblance happiness later, but it doesn’t last long. There’s no happy ending for him, no perfect love waiting in the last chapter.
There’s this odd mirror happening between the end of my series of books and my own life. Jonathan and Real Life Guy are so hurt and in such a bad place, alone, and all I want to do is hug them and tell them that it will be okay.
I can’t hug either one of them though. And I created Jonathan myself years ago. Do I get some perverse pleasure from creating a guy that needs a hug that ends up all alone?
Am I creating Real Life Guy in the same way? Huh.
I met Jonathan first. The name came first, on a list that I still have a version of. I never really liked John, but Jon and Jonathan are okay. Like most of the cast, he was originally based on an actor that gave him a bit of looks and personality. Most of the cast based on actors still have a few of those traits left.
Jonathan doesn’t. Jon is now of medium height, built like a professional water polo player. I think he has black hair, which he usually keeps short in a military cut but would look better long. The actor he’s based on is sandy blonde and is lucky if he’s taller than 5’5”.
A long time ago, I started writing character sketches. I have a stereotype problem with bad fathers, but since Jon started it, he’s merely symptomatic and not problematic. His dead mother is a saint, and she died when he was young enough that he’ll always think of her that way.
His sister though, has become much more interesting in the last few months. She went from being another angel to an escapist drug addict that became part of the longest term and most important characters in the series. It’s odd, how you think you know a character and all of the sudden something changes, and another piece has snapped into place.
Of course she’s part of that vital character. That’s why Jon is important, not because of something intrinsic to himself but because of her. That explains everything.
Jon still thinks about her. She did define the first half of his life, and she’ll always be the person closest to him. It’s what he thinks about in the gym and when he’s alone sometimes, and I have to wonder how many times he’s replayed every moment that he spent with her.
Her name is unsure at the moment. Right now it’s something that sounds a little off, so if I run into something better, I’ll grab it.
Still, her characterization has helped with building up Jon. I know his pain when she dies, and I know why he reacts with anger later. I know why he tortures himself even though he’s everything that I want to be.
Now, is he still a Mary Sue if he’s so sad and alone?
Update: I ran Jon through a Mary Sue Litmus test for fun. This one, actually. He got a 110, and the Mary Sue limit is 50. Ouch.
Update 2: I also ran Rand Al’Thor from the Wheel of Time through the Mary Sue test and got about 131, so maybe that’s not so bad after all.