Carrie said:

I have heard that English is the hardest language to learn, and maybe as i speak it, i take that for granted.

But, maybe everyone's English teacher was not as good as my own. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I think it's an easy language to learn, but hard to master. Certainly a damn mite easier than, say, Japanese. *shudders*

Elliot_Kane said:

Every writer needs a strong vision for who their character is to be. Even a character who has many 'Mary Sue' traits can be written well and interestingly by the right writer.

Depends mostly on the reader than writer; there's an audience for everything. However, I acknowledge that a few Sueish traits do not make the character a Sue. But that's another whole can of worms. One very important thing I keep in mind is that someone's wish-fulfilling fantasy -- the Mary Sue -- is beloved by no one else but the author. The more you are infatuated with your own character, chances are, the less everyone else will like the character.

But the trick with that one is to be honest with yourself. It's hard to look at your own work with a critical eye, but it's something we all, as writers, must learn to do.

Definitely. Analytical detachment is a mode any remotely serious author should be able to enter (I might even go as far as any author who posts his/her work for public consumption). Or get a beta-reader who can do it for you.