Written English lacks a standard way to mark irony. Among the oldest and most frequently attested are the percontation point proposed by English printer Henry Denham, and the irony mark, used by Marcellin Jobard and French poet Alcanter de Brahm. Both marks take the form of a reversed question mark, "⸮".
Could describing a character's appearance via mirror also work for, say, describing a new scar?
I think you can describe a scar that way.
There’s two main problems with the mirror description.
- It’s lazy, infodump-y, and, to some extent, unrealistic. And while that’s enough of a reason on its own, that’s not what I want to talk about.
- It’s a cliche. More importantly, it’s a cliche used by very new writers, and for those who have read a lot on the internet and seen it used there, it conveys a sense of carelessness and a lack of professionalism. They see the mirror, and they think “oh, god, it’s one of those authors.” Doesn’t matter what “those” means. Doesn’t matter if you really are one or not. Reading is an emotional experience involving emotion-stuffed humans who make emotional judgements. If something is going to set them off on the wrong foot and color how they view the rest of your scene, that’s something you actually should consider when writing. It doesn’t matter if this is “fair” or not, or whether people “should” do something else. This is what they will do. They will judge you by the cliches you use. The only control you have over the matter is picking cliches that you don’t mind owning up to when the judgement comes.
That’s really the crux of the matter. “Described in a mirror” is something I advise against, not because it’s such a huge technical sin, but because it has so much baggage attached to it for a lot of readers, and if you can avoid that baggage with just a little effort, then why wouldn’t you?
Looking for loopholes in the issue may get you past the first bullet point, but it won’t do anything for the second. If it’s a scene that you really want to use, and damn the rest because you believe that strongly that it’s best for your scenario, then you know what? Damn the rest! Write on! But do it knowing what you’re getting into, and make sure that you’re sure. That’s all I’m asking.
I bought a video card for my computer from Amazon, and now they keep sending me emails in the hopes that I’ll buy a grill or a lawn gnome from them, too.
How about no?
Hey, if you don’t mind me asking, what is your religion? (If you follow one at all). I’ve noticed you say ‘oh my gods’ and I got curious.
It’s sort of a mixture of what’s now referred to as paganism/wicca (in my specific instance: I worship the Greek deities) and the teachings of Anton LaVey.