Can someone give me ideas to describe my POV character to my reader when I am writing in First Person. I ask this because it's unnatural for a character to describe their appearance in their mind. I mean I can use certain tricks - like she looked into the mirror and noticed that (add some facial features here), or (describe frizzy hair misbehaving). What other ideas are there to do this so that the reader gets a bit of an idea of the physical appearance of the character - without it seeming unnatural.
Give the character a reason to think about a few key attributes of her appearance.
- If she's has some general attitude toward the attribute (pride, self-consciousness, …), create a situation where she experiences that attitude in the moment.
- Create a situation where the attribute helps or hinders something she is trying to accomplish.
- Put the attribute into contrast with someone or something. Her height vs someone else's.
- Give her a choice to make where the attribute is a factor. Her skin tone vs color of apparel.
- Have another character comment on the attribute.
For any of these choices, try to create a situation in which the character not only thinks about the attribute, but feels some emotion about it, or (perhaps better) has some persistent attitude about it. The emotion and attitude help the reader not only to picture the character, but to experience her.
We don't need mirrors to see our own body right? We can look down and see how we look with our own eyes. It could be something like:
I looked down, fatigued and tired from my training. "heh" I chuckle to myself, "I guess the old man and his training is paying off after all" I observe as I notice my chest and arms are much more defined now.
It could be something along the same thoughts of:
He swings his sword at me and my body instantly knew what to do. My shield arm raises in defense easily blocking the attack. My arms are strong from years of harsh labor and training. My attacker was only able to realize this after the cloak fell off my body. He picked the wrong person to steal from. A lesson that he is about to learn the hard way. My thick powerful legs dig into the dirt, redirecting his blow with my shield. My right arm strikes the opening created on his left side knocking him to the floor in one effortless swing.
You don't need to sit there and do a look over in a mirror. A person can observe their appearance through other means whether by self observation (without mirrors or lakes) or through declaration of what the body has done. Forgive me for any issues with my samples. I made these up off the top of my head while I am on a break at work XD