So, like I've admitted, I do like my Harry Potter Fan Fiction. I'm slow on the uptake as far as the fan fiction universe vernacular is concerned. I'm way too stubborn to look for definitions, and would rather try to piece together the acronyms in the author's notes (A/N's), and by reading the actual story than going to someplace like Wikipedia for quick answers. It took me a while to figure out what bunnies are, for example and I'm still wondering about lemons. But the term that makes me laugh out loud, and then feel entirely defensive is the term Mary Sue.
According to Wikipedia, "Today, the term 'Mary Sue' carries the strong connotation of wish-fulfillment, and is commonly associated with self-insertion, the literal writing of oneself into a fictional story."
...Well, duh. Why the hell else would one write fan fiction??? OK, so that's a very broad and over-the-top generalization, which doesn't even apply to my own stories. I've finally written 3 novel-length #fanfic pieces, and I did not insert myself into these stories, but I do so at least to some degree when I write my own fiction. It's the easiest form of character development, for crying out sake! Plus, for me, inserting myself into my stories is a way to live vicariously through a character. I do it for fun, but am cognizant enough to realize when the character representing me is a bit too blessed with circumstance or ability. But come on, for romance stories? It's just not a good romp if I'm not in there somewhere!
In conclusion, I will declare that the challenge to write competently enough to create something worth sharing, while still inserting oneself into the story, is to keep it real. Just keep it real, and hopefully you can avoid the Mary Sue stigma. And always, know your gleeful truth: I #AmWriting for the pure joy of self entertainment!