What Ethnicty Are Your Characters?

  • K H A L E E S I;;

    K H A L E E S I;; (200)

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    I think when I write about a character, I automatically picture them "Caucasian" because I am and that's the first thing I see but then I like to make them different Ethnicity and give them a richer background. Italian, German, African, Haitian...I think the best part about creating a character is making up their whole appearance and outline.
    June 21st, 2009 at 06:15pm
  • Miss Authoress

    Miss Authoress (200)

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    Well, in my one-shots I don't give much detail on the race or ethnicity but in my new chaptered fic, I do.

    In The Breakdown of Natalie Whitman:

    Dr. Jennifer Phillips: She is part German and part Russian. She had relatives that served in WWII under Germany. The Russian part is from her mother whose grandparents came to the US. She is mainly a European mix.

    Mrs. Daphne Torres: She is also half German but it also part Chilean. Her father was exploring Germany. One day he stayed at an inn and the innkeeper was Daphne's mother, a beautiful German woman that caught the eye of Daphne's father. Daphne was born in Germany but her family moved to the US when she was seven. Originally, Daphne's father wanted to move the family back to his homeland of Chile, but Augusto Pinochet was in power so her moved the family to a small town in NJ where they have been there ever since.

    Natalie Whitman and her family: I didn't really think much where they came from, but Natalie's father's ancestors were from England and Natalie's mother is a mixture of Irish, German, French and Russian, a European Mixture.

    Ella Weiss: Her father's descendants are from Germany. Her great-grandfather worked with the Nazi party during WWII. Her mother is Italian and that's where Ella gets most of her looks from. Weiss is a German last name.

    Yeah most of my people are white...hmm...
    June 21st, 2009 at 07:46pm
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    Most of my characters are white, because I'm white. It makes sense for people to write characters that are like them, because they already know the society and such.

    Jeremy is half Hispanic, but that doesn't really have an impact on him, or anything he does. His dad's the one he lives with, and his dad's white.
    June 22nd, 2009 at 02:40am
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    loverfayce:
    Jeremy is half Hispanic, but that doesn't really have an impact on him, or anything he does. His dad's the one he lives with, and his dad's white.
    ^ That's a pretty interesting statement. To say that being half hispanic doesn't effect him because he lives with his dad who's white. No offense to you, but that's not how it works. Just because a kid who is biracial only lives with one of his parents, that doesn't mean that the other part of him, his other culture, suddenly disappears. Even if you don't show it in your story (which I think you should, by the way), that doesn't mean it wouldn't impact a person.

    I mean, even if he doesn't learn much about that side of his family from his father, it stands to reason that he would be curious about it. Or if he wasn't, that the people around him (friends/classmates) would. School assignments come up, tv shows, movies...at some point, I do think the issue should be talked about, even if in passing. Where a person comes from, in my opinion, does give something to their personality, it does influence something in them.

    Sorry if this sounded rantish, but I just hate when people simply make their characters a certain way just so that it "sounds" interesting. It seems very false, to me, when people make their characters of a significant background and then never explore it or mention other than to say "and he was half Hispanic and half Italian." Reading stuff like that, I feel like the author's just putting it in there for the sake of diversity. I think it's kind of cheap.

    He's your character though, but I think it's a bit silly and misguided to pretend that being different, in that sense, has no impact on the character. It does. It should.
    June 22nd, 2009 at 03:13am
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    ^
    His mom left. So… Never really knew her. And his dad's not exactly the type to have him embrace his nationality.
    And Jeremy… Nothing really has an impact on Jeremy. He's interesting.

    EDIT:
    I didn't fully read what you said, or maybe I just forgot. I didn't make it like that just because of diversity. If it came up in school, or anything else, Jeremy would ignore it or fail a project. He;d rather do that than so much mention his mother to his dad. It's an example of how Jeremy's dad oppresses him. I haven't gotten to that part of the story yet, but it does play in.

    Maybe I didn't explain myself fully before. I guess it did sound a little… uhh…
    I cannot think of the word right now. :twitch:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 03:16am
  • Spanish Lullaby

    Spanish Lullaby (100)

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    loverfayce:
    Most of my characters are white, because I'm white. It makes sense for people to write characters that are like them, because they already know the society and such.
    That's an interesting statement. I mean, I'm black, and yet most of the characters I write for are white. It could be because most of my friends are white, but I don't find any problem writing a white character.
    June 29th, 2009 at 10:03am
  • mackenzie.

    mackenzie. (100)

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    loverfayce:
    ^
    His mom left. So… Never really knew her. And his dad's not exactly the type to have him embrace his nationality.
    And Jeremy… Nothing really has an impact on Jeremy. He's interesting.

    EDIT:
    I didn't fully read what you said, or maybe I just forgot. I didn't make it like that just because of diversity. If it came up in school, or anything else, Jeremy would ignore it or fail a project. He;d rather do that than so much mention his mother to his dad. It's an example of how Jeremy's dad oppresses him. I haven't gotten to that part of the story yet, but it does play in.

    Maybe I didn't explain myself fully before. I guess it did sound a little… uhh…
    I cannot think of the word right now. :twitch:
    Coming from someone who is biracial, but only lives with one of my parents, the idea of race definitely comes up. Its not something you just 'ignore' because I mean, you look at your face and see it everyday.

    Just saying, if you ever wanted to add some more depth to this character, that would be the place to start.

    And Im sure if his mom was never around, he wouldnt just be like 'ohwell, guess ill just go whitewash myself now' haha
    June 29th, 2009 at 10:17am
  • daisuke andou.

    daisuke andou. (205)

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    Mine are mostly Japanese. :shifty Because I usually only write Dir en grey fanfiction.
    But it's quite interesting, because when I write them, I usually see them as being white. I don't know why that is. :XD They are Japanese.
    June 29th, 2009 at 11:40am
  • i defy you stars.

    i defy you stars. (250)

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    I tend to write what I know. Which is sort of sad, since I wasn't the most diverse person until I went into year 10. Which sounds bad, but I grew up in a school that was mostly white.
    I find it easier to write about British or Irish people because I know so many. But I love writing about France and all the people there.
    I just write about people and characteristics I'm familiar with.
    June 29th, 2009 at 06:18pm
  • faramir

    faramir (105)

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    My characters are usually from the States or Canada, only because I have no clue what people from other countries act like, since I've only been to to the USA and Canada. Sad, eh?
    June 29th, 2009 at 07:22pm
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    ill.jump.for.you:
    My characters are usually from the States or Canada, only because I have no clue what people from other countries act like, since I've only been to to the USA and Canada. Sad, eh?
    No, not sad. It makes sense. If you want to write a story accurately, writing about what you know is what makes the most sense. Writing stories in a different setting from the one you're used to is difficult.
    June 29th, 2009 at 11:32pm
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    loverfayce:
    Most of my characters are white, because I'm white. It makes sense for people to write characters that are like them, because they already know the society and such.
    That's an interesting statement. I mean, I'm black, and yet most of the characters I write for are white. It could be because most of my friends are white, but I don't find any problem writing a white character.
    Maybe it depends on what kind of society you live in more than that. I think it also depends on how much of the character you're showing, like their parents and home life.
    June 29th, 2009 at 11:37pm
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    loverfayce:
    ^
    His mom left. So… Never really knew her. And his dad's not exactly the type to have him embrace his nationality.
    And Jeremy… Nothing really has an impact on Jeremy. He's interesting.

    EDIT:
    I didn't fully read what you said, or maybe I just forgot. I didn't make it like that just because of diversity. If it came up in school, or anything else, Jeremy would ignore it or fail a project. He;d rather do that than so much mention his mother to his dad. It's an example of how Jeremy's dad oppresses him. I haven't gotten to that part of the story yet, but it does play in.

    Maybe I didn't explain myself fully before. I guess it did sound a little… uhh…
    I cannot think of the word right now. :twitch:
    Coming from someone who is biracial, but only lives with one of my parents, the idea of race definitely comes up. Its not something you just 'ignore' because I mean, you look at your face and see it everyday.

    Just saying, if you ever wanted to add some more depth to this character, that would be the place to start.

    And Im sure if his mom was never around, he wouldnt just be like 'ohwell, guess ill just go whitewash myself now' haha
    Like I said, his race is going to come up. He isn't whitewashing himself :XD
    June 29th, 2009 at 11:39pm
  • The Door Knobs Bite

    The Door Knobs Bite (100)

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    I never really think about. Ethnicty isn't really a big part of my stories. In one of my stories that isn't on here most of my characters aren't even from Earth. They aren't aliens or mythical creatures or anything like that. The just kind of are.
    June 30th, 2009 at 01:43am
  • Spanish Lullaby

    Spanish Lullaby (100)

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    loverfayce:
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    loverfayce:
    Most of my characters are white, because I'm white. It makes sense for people to write characters that are like them, because they already know the society and such.
    That's an interesting statement. I mean, I'm black, and yet most of the characters I write for are white. It could be because most of my friends are white, but I don't find any problem writing a white character.
    Maybe it depends on what kind of society you live in more than that. I think it also depends on how much of the character you're showing, like their parents and home life.
    Like I said, most of my life, I've been around white people. In elementary school, my school was 98% white, 2% Asian, with 2 black kids and 1 mexican girl. I guess I naturally gravitate towards writing white characters, because, although I'm black, I've been around more white people. I have written black characters, but they were more "Oreos", like me. I couldn't get away with writing a "ghetto" character without it sounding silly, because that's not the type of people I'm used to.
    June 30th, 2009 at 03:18am
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    ^ Same here. Except, my school is a bit more diverse. The majority is white, though.

    I'd feel like an idiot trying to write about slums or anything like that. I know nothing about how life is like apart from my own, and no amount of research can really give you the real idea. I think it takes a lot of talent to write someone who is in a completely different society from you.
    June 30th, 2009 at 05:01am
  • ghosthorse

    ghosthorse (100)

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    Elephant Shell:
    Like I said, most of my life, I've been around white people. In elementary school, my school was 98% white, 2% Asian, with 2 black kids and 1 mexican girl. I guess I naturally gravitate towards writing white characters, because, although I'm black, I've been around more white people. I have written black characters, but they were more "Oreos", like me. I couldn't get away with writing a "ghetto" character without it sounding silly, because that's not the type of people I'm used to.
    I feel like that. My school is a really good mix of Hispanic (non white), white, black, and Asian, but the only black people that really socialize with are "oreos". This one boy I know is from Detroit, so that might have a bit of influence on the way he talks, but his speech is really clear and he sounds white. I don't know a lot of black kids that talk like me, so making a black character sound white seems weird, but making them all ghetto would probably make me seem like a racist. I think there's a thin line between being realistic and being flat out stereotypical, no matter what the ethnicity is.

    But it really does make sense to write about the cultures you know most about. Like I said before, my characters are mostly white, but some have Hispanic backgrounds. Half of my friends are white, the other half Hispanic or Latino. I feel very comfortable writing about either culture. Of course, most of the time I write myself into stories with vague physical description, which is also another reason for me thinking my characters are white.
    June 30th, 2009 at 05:14am
  • AllyCatXandi

    AllyCatXandi (200)

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    *shrugs* I don't really think about a character's ethnicity when I write. Guess it's 'cause when I meet someone I just...don't notice thier nationality. Mostly with appearances I just give them a specific hair/eye colours and leave the rest up to the reader's imagination.
    July 2nd, 2009 at 02:35am
  • Spanish Lullaby

    Spanish Lullaby (100)

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    AllyCatXandi:
    *shrugs* I don't really think about a character's ethnicity when I write. Guess it's 'cause when I meet someone I just...don't notice thier nationality. Mostly with appearances I just give them a specific hair/eye colours and leave the rest up to the reader's imagination.
    How do you not notice ethnicity? In most cases, your ethnicity plays a predominant part in how you look. I mean, when you see me, it's very very obvious I'm black.
    July 2nd, 2009 at 05:36am
  • Syd Barrett.

    Syd Barrett. (100)

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    loverfayce:
    Most of my characters are white, because I'm white. It makes sense for people to write characters that are like them, because they already know the society and such.
    Me too. Granted, I haven't written many complete stories, but the majority of my characters are the same race as me: that is; white. I think I had an Asian character once, but I never wrote her into a complete story.

    I'm not personally acquainted with very many people of other races (the majority of the population is white where I live), so that probably has something to do with it..
    July 4th, 2009 at 11:55pm