EXERCISE A Girl's Enemy. Also Known As: The Scary Sue

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS' started by Diana, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Say you have your Heroine. In most settings she has at least one Female Enemy. It doesn't matter what your genre or setting is. In High School it's that one girl that always picks on the Heroine. In Fantasy is might be a petty Princess. This female enemy HATES your Heroine and goes well out of her way to ruin your Heroine's day. She is not the Villain of the story, but rather a side character that reappears causing grief.

    The problem in most TV series, movies, and even in roleplays, this female enemy of your heroine is portrayed as shallow and a bitch - FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN TO CAUSE CONFLICT FOR THE HEROINE. The kind of characters are often called Scary Sues, because they lack depth and purpose. They are just there to make the Heroine look better or like a victim.

    This is terrible story telling! Even your side characters and enemies should have more than one dimension. WHY does this girl hate your heroine so much? Why is it worth her time and energy to seek out and make your character miserable? What is this girl like when she's not being a pain in the Heroine's ass?

    In this challenge, you are going to design an enemy for your Heroine that is MORE than just "the shallow dumb bitch". Give her personality and purpose.


    • Hating the Heroine because she is "too nice".
    • Hating the Heroine because she is jealous of her beauty.
    • Hating that all the boys love the Heroine.
    • Hating the Heroine because she has so many friends.
    • Hating the Heroine because she is the "outcast" or "loner".
    • Hating the Heroine because she is the "new girl".


    • How does this girl interact with people who are NOT the Heroine? Is there a difference?
    • What is this girl's inner personality? The parts she doesn't show to the public?
    • What reasons would she have to hate your heroine? Are they legitimate reasons or misunderstandings?
    • Were they once friends and then had a falling out?
    • Are they complete strangers and things like fear or bad first impressions came in to play?
    • Are social opinions or standards affecting this girl's behavior?
    • What are some things your Heroine and this girl have IN COMMON?
    • What are some things that could bridge the relationship between these two girls? Can it ever be bridged?
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  2. Beatrice ‘Beaty’ Polk

    Beatrice is the heroine of Io city! Or at least, she tries her hardest to be. She was the top of her class in the police academy and with her strong desire for justice, her rise in the rankings was guaranteed. She is quick to make decisions and to pull the trigger in moments of danger, which has made her life-saving quick draw a city wide iconic trait. But not everyone thinks this brown-eyed, stern-face deputy is perfect and there is one person who would go so far as to say that they hate Beaty! And that is a common baker named Melba June. Few understand why Melba hates Beaty and people just assume that she is jealous of Beaty for graduating the police academy where Melba could not. Beaty doesn’t like to dwell in drama like most folk, so she usually avoids Melba and her many exaggerated protests against any of Beaty’s controversial actions as an officer. Like the sweetheart the city knows her to be, Beaty believes that Melba will eventually get over the grudge she has and is always cordial in their limited interactions. But that doesn't stop June from getting on her back every chance she's got.

    Melba June

    What? What more could be said about Melba than what’s been said before? She’s jealous of Beaty and her fame and apparently doesn’t have anything else to do in her free time but protest the one cop in the city who isn’t corrupted with bribes and personal vendettas. And honestly, she needs to quit it. Beaty’s got enough trouble on her hands with overly sensational media, she doesn’t need some whiny, ungrateful baker raking up mud on her name. We get it Melba. You’re “Angry”. Now can you put down the damn “Stop Polk Tyranny” sign? Some people actually like having safer streets.


    Hey...I heard you been asking 'round about Melba huh? Melba June, the baker down on Rochester? Yeah, I’m her best friend. And I’m one of the only people who actually understands the poor girl. You probably already got to thinkin’ that she is jealous of Beatrice huh? Yeah, no.

    You see, the real story is that Melba and Beatrice were both in the police academy at the same time. Some say Beatrice was the top of her class, others believe it was Melba. But they were always dead even on tests and usually trained and studied together. Behind Melba’s back, I’d even go to say that they were friends. They had the same views on justice and were driven by the same goal; keep their hometown safe from it’s own crime. But there were some differences. One being that Beatrice’s view of right and wrong was more black and white than Melba’s. The other being that Beatrice was an only child.

    Melba had a younger brother, Isaac. God that boy was some type of mess. Growing up he was always an outcast and causing trouble that Melba had to go and get him out of. When they got older, Melba went to college and Isaac turned to drugs. Soon he was part of the disease of Io. He was robbin’ houses, old ladies and one time a bank. All for that needle. But Melba was never ashamed of her brother, she just didn’t think that way. She saw him as a cry for help and did her best to keep him off the streets. And before her final exam at the academy, she had to go and take Isaac to the hospital when he showed up at her dorm door in a bloody mess.

    So no, Melba didn’t really fail at PA, she dropped out. And she was going to apply again the next coupla years but that’s just not how fate saw it.

    Isaac got back on the streets when Melba fixed him up, and he was working those rounds harder than ever. And ‘round the time Beatrice got on the streets for the first time, she was put in a drug bust. I guess you can kinda see where this is goin’ huh?

    According to the interview on the news, Isaac had a fellow officer pinned to the floor with a gun at the back of his head. And Beatrice had a choice between her partner’s life or Isaac’s. Now do I believe that Isaac would do somethin' crazy like that?

    After he shot a mom of three square ‘tween the eyes to get her purse and got off because of ‘technicalities’, you bet your ass I believe Beatrice. And I’m kinda glad Beatrice was quick enough to make the decision before Isaac pulled the trigger. I wasn’t there, but I know Isaac wouldn’t hesitate to kill someone. I’ve seen his eyes. He’s got the crazy and don’t nobody love crazy ‘cept for kin.

    And his kin surely loved him. Even when a completely plausible story of life and death hit her smack in the face, Melba could only think of what Beatrice should have done otherwise to save Isaac’s life. And it only riled her up even more when Beatrice got that city medal for taking down one of 'The biggest vermin in the city Io has seen yet’. Jesus if you saw Melba. If you saw her that day when she heard the mayor on the news. You’d know something was stirring in her.

    Now Melba doesn’t even believe in the justice system. She renounced many of her previous beliefs and can’t stand anything positive relating to ‘Newbie of the Year’ Beatrice Polk. I don’t think Beaty, Christ! I mean Beatrice! I don't think Beatrice even remembers that Melba had a younger brother. And she surely didn’t know Isaac Mitz was her brother, or else she would have sent flowers or done something. That’s just how Beatrice is, regardless if she felt that she was in the wrong or not.

    But if you ask me, I don’t think a sympathy card would have changed anything. Melba never loved anything or anyone more than Isaac. And she was never the same after his death.
    #2 Jho, Mar 22, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
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  3. In Edward Jones High School, there was nobody smarter or more athletic than Candyce Cain. Candyce always had the best marks in all her classes, as well as being the point guard for her school basketball team and the top sprinter on the track team. She always had a smile on her face, and was always modest about her success. Not only that, but she was pretty too. Sparkling blue eyes and long auburn hair, at a tall height of 5'9" when she entered 10th grade. Everything was perfect, until SHE came.

    When Candyce entered 12th grade, she knew this would be the best year of her life. She was a shoe-in for valedictorian, and was already being considered by many colleges for athletic scholarships, as well as for academics. Everything was normal, until she went to homeroom that morning. There, second row from the back, was Darcy McClade, a transfer student from a high school out of state. She was sitting quietly, her headphones in and her eyes on a book. Candyce thought nothing else of her, and was not phased by the sudden appearance of this shy new girl. She continued on through the day, occasionally exchanging a nod or a "hello" with her classmates as she passed them in the halls.

    There was no more contact between the two, until later in the year. It was winter, and basketball season had started up again. The team, impressed with Candyces performance in years past, nominated her team captain with a unanimous vote. Candyce was overjoyed, and scheduled practices for every other day after school. Soon, however, the amount of work for school and keeping track of basketball and track became too much for Candyce, and her grades began to slip. Assignments were forgotten, homework was neglected to turn in, essays had simple errors. She was falling apart, and she knew this was the case. However, what she didn't know until mid-year awards ceremony was that the girl she mistakenly thought of as shy and mute actually had the highest marks in the whole school. Candyce was baffled. How could this new girl, so shy and quiet, really be the smartest kid in school? And how did she have the audacity to take that title from Candyce, miss grade queen herself?

    Up until the ceremony, Candyces parents knew her grades were slipping, but they were focused on their own problems. Mr. Cain owned a large scale shoe manufacturing company. It was very successful, and it brought in most of the income for the family. However, his company was about to be purchased by a millionare by the name of Terrence McClade, who had recently moved to their town to find a business to purchase and improve on. Mr. Cain's company fit all the criteria. So when Candyce came home fuming about how "...that little new girl McClade stole her title..." her parents were angry. First they buy the company now they take away their only daughters best feature? That was not going to happen. And, in that day, Candyce unknowingly gave up all of her freedom.

    After hearing that Darcy McClade was scoring higher than Candyce, her parents set strict rules on her fun to make sure she could bring her grades up. No cell phone, no television, even no junk food until all of her grades were a 98 or above. This was hard for Candyce. She had always juggled school and sports in the past just fine, but after the slip, she forgot how, and her grades did not improve. After being restricted, Candyce made Darcy her personal motivator. "Whatever she can do, I have to do better," became her motto. When her grades did not get better, she became bitter and resentful of the girl, feeling she was the cause for her bad grades and her grounding. Not only that, but Darcy attended every school function, even sports such as basketball, on her fathers request to be more social. Even when she would just sit on the bleachers and read, Candyce would become angered every time she saw her at a game or meet, and would become so frustrated that she would blow a race or miss an easy shot, much to the chagrin of her teammates. Her grades were failing, her team was let down, and Candyce Cain made an enemy that year, without even realizing it.
    #3 Lilpuff, May 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2014
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  4. Giving this a shot...


    Southville University is an all-girl college known for its flagship course with two majors: "Mass Communication: Film, Broadcasting and Theater" and "Mass Communication: Digital Arts, Creative Writing and Advertising." In here, we will spot our female character - a freshman who just graduated from a science high school. 5'3, tan, short, black hair and sporting a boyish attire, her name is Sarianna Vale Sanders: a workaholic perfectionist with a talent for graphic arts. She came to college with a dream to become a concept artist and though she should have went for Fine Arts, she figured that she should study Graphic Arts, Creative Writing and Advertising for the sake of financial practicality. Being a scholar and coming from a high school oozing with competitive students, she had been disciplined to take her studies very seriously, and she barely had the time to socialize. Her serious attitude often caught her professors' attention and impressing them, giving her the reputation of being a teacher's pet by the students even though that wasn't the case. She is actually a hero to some who are educationally challenged, and she is the best person to run to if ever one should have a problem with their subjects and needed tutoring. Sarianna was just so goal-oriented and focused and nothing more.

    On the other side of the picture was another girl: petite, light-skinned and well-known for her natural, long and beautiful chestnut-brown hair: Maxine Nevada, also a freshman, was aiming to become an actress. She had a very pleasing personality, witty and creative mind, has a beautiful, operatic yet angelic singing voice, and has the charm that draws the freshman crowd around her. No doubt that when she stepped into college she steadily rose to popularity without even trying, and she would always humbly shake off praises and compliments. She is that student who had the beauty, brains, and personality in one package.

    Though both girls shared the common trait of being an excellent student, they never competed against each other and they showed respect for each others' talents. Individually, they did well, but since the head mistress appointed the two to represent their university and expected them to work together as Mass Communication students as a whole for a national theater festival that advertised an advocacy, that is where the conflict began.

    Sarianna wanted their university to win while following the guidelines of the judges while Maxine often played with fire outside the box. This led to them disagreeing with a lot of things, and ended up changing the routine and practices one after the other, depending on who is currently present to lead the batch.

    Both of them had a noble cause for having such a drive to lead both majors joined together in their own style. Sarianna did not want the batch to get into trouble and get disqualified unlike how the other daring universities did in the past, while Maxine thought more about the comfort of the students. Of course, with Sarianna siding more towards the school government and played within the head's mistress' favor, Maxine came only second in command and was thus labeled as the impractical, non-conforming artist by the teachers. She would often be backed up by a lot of students however, as she was well known for showing compassion for them and their needs. Sarianna on the other hand, would often be accused for tyranny by the students, even though she cared deeply about them and their standing and only wanted what's best for the them in the long run.

    What started out as plain acquaintanceship turned into a complicated mess of misunderstandings and conflict in terms of expressing their core values, and the two girls never got along ever since.
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  5. What they think about her:

    Albert Walkman, a classmate of hers.

    Samuel Jones, ace of the basketball team.

    Charles Goldstein

    Intervention of new girl:

    Albert W.

    Samuel J.

    Charles G.

    An interview with Rebecca:

    Hello, Rebecca!

    - Oh, um, hello there.

    We'd like to interview you a little. Is that okay?

    - Aren't we already doing it? Please just get this over with.

    Uh, okay. Sorry. What do you think of your classmates? Say, Albert?

    - .. Who?

    Okay, nevermind. What do you think of Samuel the athlete wonder boy?

    - He's good in sports.

    Are you two romantically interested?

    - NO. Why are you even asking this? That's none of your business! Wait, it's an interview. .. Ugh.

    How do you feel about the nerd, Charles?

    - .. This is seriously getting on my nerves.

    Last question! Why do you go against Kelly so much?

    - She's a dumb bitch who knows nothing. End of story. I'm leaving. Bye.

    Her feelings during the interview:

    "Hello, Rebecca!"

    Oh my god. No. I need to get back home before 4.30 for my piano lesson.

    "Oh, um, hello there." Ugh, what is it? Maybe if I just humour this person it'll be over sooner. I don't want a stalker to track me home ..

    "We'd like to interview you a little. Is that okay?"

    YESYESYES whatever just be quick!

    "Aren't we already doing it? Please just get this over with."

    ".. What do you think of your classmates, say, Albert?" Um, who? I never actually look behind me since Mrs. Reese will just tattle-tale on me, being friends with mom and dad and all ..

    "What do you think of Samuel the athlete wonder boy?"

    He's a narcissistic idiot, although a very lucky one. I mean, at least his parents let him do sports and his siblings play with him at home. My sister complains about how I have to look my best because I'd bring her shame otherwise. Ugh.

    "-the nerd, Charles?"

    Don't call him that. He's a genius. I've always wanted to talk to him but every time I smile he just scoffs and looks away. He hates my guts. UGH.

    "Last question!" Oh finally. Ye- "Why do you go against Kelly so much?"

    She made jokes about me even though we never talked! What the heck? She judges me based on what people think of me. Shallow much? I can't believe I caught her red-handedly calling me "Rabbie", thinking she's being funny with- oh, that boy, that's Albert? Whatever. Great. I'm late for piano lesson now as well. Just great.

    The truth:

    Kelly's thinking, "Ah, crap. Rebby made a bad pitch again. I seriously should just teach him baseball. Oh crap, I hope she didn't see me taking out my iPod. Electronics are prohibited right? Maybe if I just smile at her .. Is she even lesbian? Why the hell did she just give me the dead eye? Oh, damn, she's straight. Oh well."
    #5 Time-Out, Aug 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2014
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