Posts tagged mary sues
Posts tagged mary sues
What are your favorite alternative methods of narrator descriptions? It bugs the hell out of me, too, but I keep drawing a blank when I try to remember stories where it was handled gracefully.
Hmm…this is a good question. I mean it’s not much less cliche, but I do prefer reflection-in-water descriptions, maybe, especially because I think water is just more evocative than, you know, mirrors? Or maybe have it be a mirror that the narrator looks into just as she steps out of the shower, so she looks at her reflection through steam? Or…studying old family portraits, perhaps, and then the narrator can draw comparisons/contrasts between narrator-as-a-child and narrator-now and narrator-vs-family members (describe the narrator’s mother and father, and then write “I have my mother’s eyes” and VOILA! insta-description.) Or, you know, through-the-eyes-of-others descriptions, maybe, that can be done in dialogue, but I can see where that might get tricky, too.
I think maybe Katniss described herself well in The Hunger Games, because she described herself by describing Gale, right? And then said “we look like we could be siblings.” And in Divergent, we learned what Tris looked like through her insecurities about what others would think of her (because she was short and scrawny and weak-looking). Both of those descriptions, if I remember correctly, were succinct and then we moved on to the rest of the story.
Basically, writing in the first person is HARD. I think it’s so difficult to write a good narrator-description in the first person, because really, who looks into the mirror and goes “ah, there I am, with my honey colored eyes and hair the color of raven wings and skin all burnished and brown”(that’s how I’d describe Mary Sue CT) because generally…well, you know the color of your hair and eyes and skin so you hardly ever spend the time describing it to yourself, right? I mean, I look in the mirror and…well I don’t really think anything, really, except “RIGHTO! Concealer, here I come. FUCK I’m late, let’s get this over with.”
If I have to read about the protagonist’s description of her own narrow waist and big grey eyes and long dark hair one more time, we are going to have a problem.
At least find a reflective surface a little bit more interesting than a mirror, girlfriend.