A Characterization in which I am (Hopefully) Not a Mary-Sue

Based on a prompt from the amazing book that all aspiring writers should have, 642 Things to Write About:

Describe yourself in the third person–your physical appearance and personality–as though you were a character in a book.


She had the kind of smile that needed more crinkles around the edges, a bit waxy and chapped, but sincere if she liked you. Her hair was cut just above the shoulders, unpredictably wavy, her eyes a bright, Romantic blue. She talked too loudly when she was passionate about something; and you could tell she was passionate because she talked with her hands. Like most products of the 21st century, she liked to berate herself with sharp words while simultaneously snapping a self-portrait at a flattering angle. Secretly, she thought she wasn’t half bad-looking. She would never tell you that.

Her answer to any given question might have been different depending on who was asking, because she’d lived a long twenty-two years of people tending to forget about her–not out of malice, simply out of convenience–so she’d be as amiable and amenable as she needed to, in order to feel like she existed outside her own head.

When she loved, she could sometimes love too much, spending nights alone with fistfuls of her bed-sheets to keep from sobbing a scream. She often thought about how she was loved in return, but never by the right people. The right ones were old scars on her arms. Often she felt bad enough to let them know just how many cuts they’d made, and this made her think sometimes that she was an awful person. But perhaps she wasn’t awful, just reaching too far and expecting too much of those who, like her, are human only.

She was short for her age, and wide at the hips. She wore glasses and loved her dog more than she liked most people. She walked up and down Smith Street in a fog some days, wondering if she was real in relation to the pavement under her feet. But if you said hello to her–just hello, that’s all–it would remind her that she wasn’t alone, and she could smile again, and keep moving.


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