Avoiding the Mirror Scene

Last night, I closed my door, disabled my internet, and wrote. It was bliss. No distractions, no interruptions. Forced myself not to answer the two texts I received during that beautiful hour. I only wrote 766 words, but they were hard fought for, and I feel victorious. It's a rare thing when I get to write this long straight. If you're having trouble getting past writer's block, shut yourself in a room sometime and see what happens. Or you could check out the scientific study performed by Cruella Collett or Erin MacPherson's very helpful tips.

So this past weekend I emailed two of my friends (shout out to SH and ER!) with the first chapter of the dystopian story (you know, the one I ditched my dear Ivolet for? and the one she called me back from?). I was very curious to hear their thoughts, because I honestly felt like I'd done a good job with it. This story has been in the works since 2006, and this was the first time I'd been able to write the first chapter in its entirety, and I was pretty near thrilled with how it turned out.

They both loved its voice. (Which is a compliment I shouldn't gloss over, because I feel like a good voice is what I struggle with the most.) However, both of them mentioned that they couldn't tell if the character was a guy or a girl (it's a girl), and SH wanted to know what she/he looked like. (Thank God for friends who will actually tell you this stuff - where they're confused! I know they're not professional critique partners, but they exceeded the call of duty for this story!)

I do know what she looks like, of course. Know it all too well. However, the book is written in first-person. And I'm not sure how to go about detailing that without the dreaded mirror-scene or ill-fitting description.

I may or may not have gained some ideas while writing this blog post, but I want to know your thoughts, because first-person stories haven't promised to disappear, and I'll continue to be at a loss if you don't help me! :) How does one deal with first-person character descriptions? Any clever tips you might be willing to hand out? How have you done it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Not sure I can answer your question, though. =/