Avoid the Mirror Trick
It seems like an easy answer to simply have the character look in a mirror and describe what they see, but it’s been done so many times (and done badly) that agents and readers cringe when they see it. If the novel happens to start this way, it’s likely a kiss of death unless there's a unique twist to it.
Avoid the “Let Me Introduce Myself” Cliché
Another common cliché is having the character introduce themselves and describe what they look like. For example, “I’m your average gal, five foot four, brown hair, blue eyes” or “I’m nothing special, six foot, black cropped hair and brown almond eyes.” This was quite popular a while back, but these days, it usually comes across feeling stale.
... I hate the way I look. Curly dark hair, dull-looking brown eyes and teeth sticking out in all directions…an overbite. It should come as no surprise that my dentist said I need braces. ...
I did not say in my story that he was looking in a mirror, rather I am trying to imply that he is describing himself from what he knows, and doesn't need a mirror to do it. In my previous post, I said how the character's teeth are important to the story so it was necessary to mention them. I hate to be repetitive, but rules are meant to be broken.
At the end of the post, the blogger asks:
Tell me your opinion: How much character description do you like to include in stories?
necessary without getting boring and sounding like a so-clled "info dump." Again, the teeth are important to the story, so it is necessary to include them in the description.