What Ethnicty Are Your Characters?

  • fooleish

    fooleish (205)

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    ayanasioux:
    I have to know, because it's been lingering in my mind, what drives people to write about white people (on this site that is) when they're not even white themselves?
    Most of my original characters are white or Asian, because most of the people I know are white or Asian, but I'm neither. I don't see a problem with that, because I honestly don't think a person's race has that much of an impact on who they are. Their cultural heritage, sure, but that doesn't necessarily have to be linked to race. My white characters aren't usually fully English; in one story, two of the main characters are Welsh, one of them's half-Italian and another one's Indian. I think that has a more of a bearing on who they are than the fact that they're white or Asian, to be honest.
    dr. faustus.:
    No one is asking you to change the color of your skin. I'm black and I find writing about other races is beautiful. No matter who I hang around of feel more related to (that's just me). I love all the characters I write about, white, black, brown or yellow... it's just the simple fact that diversity is lacking in stories and it some times or can feel good know you can relate to a character that's just like you. There are a lot of caucasian actors on TV and movies and rarely any other type of race. It just gets boring from time to time.
    I agree partly with this. I like writing about other ethnicities, not necessarily races, because I find the cultural background that comes into it quite interesting and it makes for more interesting characters, but I don't really relate more to a character who's the same race or ethnicity as me. It'd be kind of hard to find a character who was and I don't think I've ever seen one but apart from that, I really don't think someone's race or ethnicity influences who they are to the point where you can't relate to them if its different to yours. I think relatability is much more affected by a character's personality than anything else at all, and that has nothing to do with race, or even ethnicity.
    June 5th, 2011 at 04:34pm
  • bellamy blake

    bellamy blake (3280)

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    Icamane-Sandwich:
    I didn't say they were different races, I said they were different ethnicities. There's a difference.
    Plus, the thread is titled "What Ethnicity Are Your Characters?" not what race. There's a difference between race and ethnicity.
    this beautiful thief:
    I don't really relate more to a character who's the same race or ethnicity as me. It'd be kind of hard to find a character who was and I don't think I've ever seen one but apart from that, I really don't think someone's race or ethnicity influences who they are to the point where you can't relate to them if its different to yours. I think relatability is much more affected by a character's personality than anything else at all, and that has nothing to do with race, or even ethnicity.
    I agree. I don't automatically relate to a character because they're the same ethnicity as me, I relate to them because they share certain personality traits with me or certain family backgrounds (which could tie into cultural things, but not necessarily) or a past that's similar to mine. Relatability isn't solely a race thing. Though most of the characters people write about are white, I rarely find characters that I can personally relate to.
    June 5th, 2011 at 05:42pm
  • dr. faustus

    dr. faustus (1070)

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    ^I understand where both of you two are coming from and that makes perfect sense. I don't automatically relate to characters in stories who are the same race or ethnicity as me. There are certain things that would have to hit home for me.

    If I were to read about a character being broke I could completely relate, color wouldn't be an issue there because I've delt with that struggle before. We've all had, but when it comes to things about characters problems that can only be understood by certain races, that's what I meant. You don't know what It's like to be a black, Indian or white person unless you are, and that's what I wish more stories on mibba would hold and see more. I'm not saying write someone only for that race, but something for that race.

    I don't like token characters, and I see a lot of that in stories, movies and tv, but when I do read about a token character, it makes me smile because I could relate. I've been a token character in real life. And I think there is nothing to be scared of, branch out and just have fun. Do research and don't be ignorant or disrespectful toward races or ethnicities.
    June 6th, 2011 at 09:46am
  • Ayana Sioux

    Ayana Sioux (1175)

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    Or you could write about a person being the race you are living around the races you mostly see everyday, other than writing about the people that live around you as much.

    I guess it's just a personal thing for me, but I like when people at least attempt to write main characters that are the race the writer is, other than writing about a totally different race.

    I can, in a lot of ways, connect to many races (mainly Hispanic and white) and black. And although I'm not the stereotypical black person and sometimes I get called white girl by people of African American black (not African black, because they're different in ways), just because I read, write, watch educational TV, know a lot of shit, and text with full words sometimes (like, what the fuck?), I still write main characters that are black.

    Like... I'm used to calling her Lonna, but dr. faustus said, it's good to write about different ethnicities because you broaden your writing skills (that sounds lame, but ya'll should know what I mean).

    Yeah, I might only write main characters with black people, but I write about a whole bunch of different black people. I write the dumb black people, the smart but act dumb black people, the ghetto smart black people, ghetto dumb black people, fuck anything you see black people, the genius black people, the white-black people, shit, British black people, Dominican black people, African black people, all kinds of black people. And there's always more than one characteristic black person in my stories (sometimes white). Plus I always have characters of different races in my story that aren't just background characters, always. (wow, this is so deja vu)

    I'm just saying that not only are a lot of people who aren't white write a hell of a lot about white people, but almost every character in the story seem to be white and it almost always seem to be similar characteristic white people.
    June 7th, 2011 at 12:48am
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    ayanasioux:
    I guess it's just a personal thing for me, but I like when people at least attempt to write main characters that are the race the writer is, other than writing about a totally different race..
    I'm of Chinese descent/race [I was born in Hong Kong and am Asian in appearance and that's my biological race], but I never write from that perspective because I don't identify myself as Chinese, I actually identify as white Anglo-Irish Australian. Do you think that's wrong?

    Just asking out of curiosity.

    Another thing, race and ethnicity aren't exactly the same thing. Ethnicity is tied into cultural aspects of identity, race is what one is without the cultural aspect.

    I'm of Asian race, but Australian ethnicity.

    I don't write much about Australians either, though. But that's because I write Fan Fiction. So, most of my characters are actually American [white] [Avenged Sevenfold] and French Canadian [white] [Simple Plan].
    June 7th, 2011 at 06:47am
  • ghosthorse

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    This video came into my Youtube subscription box today, and I thought it could be applied here. I thought it was interesting at the very least.

    June 9th, 2011 at 07:43am
  • dr. faustus

    dr. faustus (1070)

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    Race is as much apart of a character as any other trait and to extract that from a character does more harm than good in their characterization.

    Write them as a person first, and put yourself in their shoes.

    Nice video, and I think out of those ten minutes the two lines above stood out to me the most. I thought she had a point on a lot of issues I discussed.
    June 10th, 2011 at 10:09am
  • Icamane Hatake

    Icamane Hatake (250)

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    She had a lot of wonderful points, and I agree with almost all of them. Especially the last bits about not writing with an agenda in mind.
    June 10th, 2011 at 09:46pm
  • swell

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    Majority of my characters are white, even though I'm not white myself. I don't add culture into my stories despite my personal culture is because I'm not in tune with my Sri-Lankan culture, while I eat curry and occasionally slip into the accent around my family, I tend to avoid the Sri Lankan culture completely. I even intend to drop my middle name which is Sri Lankan because I despise it so much. My personal avoidance of my own culture tends to make me avoid writing about other cultures too.

    One of my characters in Iridescent is Sri-Lankan/Australian, like me, but I think she's the only cultural main character. In that story, I don't intend to write culture as a sub-plot but I'll probably weave it in somehow, perhaps with the food or the parents or something.

    If there's any culture that I do like to write about, it's the Australian culture. A few of my stories have Australian characters, so I tend to intentionally slip in slang and Aussie behaviours/actions.
    June 8th, 2013 at 11:16am
  • aubs

    aubs (420)

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    Most, if not all, of my characters are white because I'm white. I wouldn't even know where to start when writing a charter of a different race/ culture than I. And I'd be hesitant to write a character of a different ethnicity than I am because I don't want to write them incorrectly.
    October 16th, 2013 at 07:44pm
  • Alsoldey

    Alsoldey (230)

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    Most...wait no nevermind, all of my characters are Hispanic. Some characters were born in Mexico, a few in El Salvador, but for the most part they grew up in their country for a little bit before getting to America.
    October 17th, 2013 at 07:17am
  • A Decade in the Sun

    A Decade in the Sun (320)

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    All my characters are British or European because I'm British and it's just natural for me to create a character like me. They're all white because I'm white and their aren't many people of other enthnicities in my area. I don't think I would want to write about a person of another culture, only because I know I'll end up offending someone.
    October 17th, 2013 at 09:02am
  • liam payne.

    liam payne. (250)

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    My main character in Call Me a Thief is hispanic, but that's because it's SI.

    In my upcoming story, Just Another Doll, I have a set of twins that are Indian as roommates to my main character (who will be white). Alongside them, I plan to have a lot of different ethnicity and races among my minor characters, because it takes place at a diverse liberal arts college.
    October 17th, 2013 at 01:38pm
  • Katie Mosing

    Katie Mosing (33815)

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    I mainly use caucasian face claims for characters, but I don't ever make a conscious decision when planning that the character is going to be white. I think it just happens.
    February 15th, 2014 at 10:07pm
  • This.Useless.Heart.

    This.Useless.Heart. (115)

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    For the most part, my characters are white. Some are black. I really want to write more characters of other races or ethnicities though. I do have one Mexican character in one of my stories, but she's the only character I can think of that isn't black or white.
    February 26th, 2014 at 05:46am
  • fen'harel

    fen'harel (560)

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    @ This.Useless.Heart.
    Mexican does not fall under a racial nor ethnic category, though. There are white Mexicans, afro-Mexicans, Asian-Mexicans, mixed race Mexicans, etc.

    For example, my nationality is Mexican-American, my ethnicity is Latina, and my race is mixed. México is composed of such a variety of races and ethnicities, so saying a character is Mexican is only stating the character's nationality and nothing else.
    The two main characters of my only active story are Mexican women, both of mixed race (mestizas) and 1.5 generation (meaning that they arrived to the U.S. prior to adolescence). They're brown-skinned mestizas; I feel like representation of Latina women in general tends to be so white-washed and that really upsets me.
    February 26th, 2014 at 08:27am
  • This.Useless.Heart.

    This.Useless.Heart. (115)

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    @ sobre mi cadaver
    You're absolutely right, and I totally knew that! I don't know what I was thinking when I posted that. Facepalm I totally meant to say Latina and mestiza.
    February 26th, 2014 at 11:25pm
  • bellamy blake

    bellamy blake (3280)

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    Most of my characters are caucasian, mainly because I write fanfiction and most of the fandom characters I write about happen to be caucasian. I have a handful of Latino characters, a couple of Greek characters, a substantial amount of biracial characters, and maybe two Asian characters. I don't think I've written anything with an African-American character....nope, I'm lying, I'm working on a Rue oneshot right now XD

    While I agree that there's a lack of cultural and ethnic diversity, at the same time, it kind of rubs me the wrong way because sometimes a character's race isn't so obvious or specific. For instance, I could say a character has an olive complexion, and that could be a variety of ethnicities, and the same holds true for a lot of adjectives that can be used to describe skin tone.

    It also bothers me that people have a tendency to assume that just because a character is Caucasian, they lack culture or that all people who are Caucasian are the same. A lot of different ethnicities fall into the category of Caucasian. I mean, I'm white, but I'm also Jewish and I'm Southern. The southern region of the US has its own very distinct culture, and I'd probably say a bigger part of my identity is being Southern than it is being white, and a lot of my friends have fairly different cultures than I do even though they're white as well. I guess what I'm trying to get across is that there's more to culture than just race, it's a lot of different components.
    April 26th, 2014 at 03:32pm
  • Ansings

    Ansings (100)

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    The ethnicity of my characters completely coincides with my own. I think this is due to the fact that my family recently did ancestry research, and now more than ever I feel that I belong. This idea came to us after reading it https://didyouknowhomes.com/introduction-to-ancestry-research/, and it is not so difficult to conduct such a mini research. You can do this yourself, as there are many free sites and services with archives. But, in fact, I do not consider race and ethnicity to be anything defining, because before my characters were very diverse.
    October 31st, 2020 at 03:02am