Depicting East Asian Characters and Media

In my story, my main character has a huge obsession with comics. Originally, when I wrote this story years ago she was primarily focused on western comics. However, since I consume more manga and manhwa rather than Marvel or DC, I thought it best to change her preference.

One of these comics has a big role to play in the narrative, and I frequently use scenes in the comic to highlight underlining themes in the main story. It’s a story set in Japan about a vampire girl who turned a slayer into a vampire for revenge. The characters are complex and have good reasons for acting the way they do, and I feel like I’ve dodged the harmful stereotypes that I’m aware of. That being said, I understand that I still have implicit biases from growing up in a western society and I’m worried about misrepresenting my characters and their country.

(Not only the comic characters, but my LI and his Grandma, the author of the manga, are East Asian and will have large roles in the story too.)

Does anyone have any tips for avoiding modern orientalism or any common misconceptions writers usually fall into with their writing? And if anyone is interested in being a sensitivity reader that would be a life-saver, and I would happily return the favour if you need help depicting a South Asian Muslim woman.

Thank you.

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I have added you to a group chat to people from all around the world, for you to make some new friends+learn about different cultures(like you said you needed help with).

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Thanks, Raitlyn! I’ll definitely check it out when I have some free time.

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Plus we’re almost all writers

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