| Hey, why not.
||[Sep. 5th, 2003|08:23 pm]
And I'm by no means hitting everything.
1) Disease. A few stories handle this, but the characters recover with
regrettable striking swiftness, and the diseases barely seem to slow them down.
2) Language. At the very least, the Sue is not going to speak the same variety of English as the people in a world that resembles our own medieval one. And many fantasy worlds have different languages. Few authors approach Tolkien's extremes, but most do take time to note that their characters are not speaking English. This is also very badly handled.
3) Food. Most fantasy worlds are portrayed as far more heavy on red meat and ale than a Sue will be used to. (The plight of a vegetarian Sue would be particularly
fun to watch horrid). She should get sick from the food, and drunk on the ale, until she learns to tolerate it, but this is never a problem, either.
4) Lack of fighting skills. Some Sue authors try to get around their Sue's weakness by making her a black belt martial artist. To which I say: Bow and arrows. They don't have to come close to kill you, and if they're typical fantasy elves, you're never going to see them in time anyway.
Other Sues are trained in fencing. To which I say: Fighting for your life is not like fencing. Very few opponents are going to follow such a precise pattern of strokes, or pause at certain times.
Sues without any fighting skills at all are ridiculously weak, and the fighters would spend a ridiculous amount of time defending her- assuming they took her along with them at all.
5) Delicacy. Face it, we moderns are nice and spoiled. We're used to having electric lights at night, being cool in summer and warm in winter, eating food that doesn't have mold on it and isn't spoiled, and having entertainment at our fingertips, to speak of just four. Any Sue who doesn't suffer from the elements- and I haven't found one that does- and can supposedly step from our heavily controlled world into a mostly wild one without ill effects gets me laughing.
6) Cleanliness. Sues never have to bathe, or, if they do, they always conveniently arrive at a place that has a bath just as they feel dirty. This sometimes leads to highly amusing scenarios (I never knew there was running water in Fangorn, for example). Their hair never gets tangled or matted or has split ends. They never smell the way that you would smell after a month on the road. I find it hard to believe that most modern people could tolerate that level of dirt, but the Sues skip merrily past it.
7) Lack of formality. Most modern Sues don't address canon characters who require titles by those titles. In this case, they're being true to the world they come from, since most of them are from America, and even the ones from countries that have aristocracy would rarely be expected to come in contact with them. But the canon characters never punish them for their impertinence, or their ignorance of other basic social customs- and the Sues never seem boorish and rude, either. One of the two should happen, but it never does.
8) Clothes. Most Sues seemingly wear the same clothes every day, despite what that would eventually feel like. Others manage to sneak along another set of clothes, but even they are never shown washing them. Perhaps they all carry portable laundries along. This would very quickly become important to a modern person, I would think, but it's not something that Sue/self-insert authors want to deal with, even the ones who proclaim their stories to be "realistic."
9) Noise and smell pollution. Most medieval cities are going to be full of sounds and smells the Sue isn't used to, and I've not even talking about the different languages. The noises of animals, the sounds of carts, shouting, the smell of dung and slops and garbage tossed out windows, the smell of unwashed bodies- they should affect the Sue, but, guess what? She never notices them, either!
10) Endurance. Most Sues are not going to have the strength to walk twenty miles a day, or even ride for that long, or chop wood, or lift a broadsword, or haul buckets of water. Yet they don't get tired, either. The most they get is saddle sores.
11) Minor annoyances. No modern Sue is ever adversely affected by the insects of the new world, despite how much irritation even misquitos can cause us. No Sue has to deal with mud or pebbles in her shoes, or scabs that pull off. No Sue even has to deal with the irritation of people who don't know who she is or what she's doing there. They might fear her or toss her in the dungeon for a little while, but they always pull her out in a little while and treat her like the Special Person the author believes she is.
Now, a lot of this is detail that might kill a story, as I've heard some people complain, but if you're going to write about a character falling into another world, really falling into one, how can you skip it? It's a lot of work to deal with realistically, of course, but that's just another reason to not write these stupid kinds of stories.
Going to a medieval fantasy world would suck.