There are three reasons why you clicked on this topic: you want to write a more diverse story, you want to help others write a more diverse story or you’re really, really, bored. Well, I hope that this topic is useful - no matter why you clicked on it.
Episode stories are, in general, shockingly lacking in diversity. I am by no means an expert in writing diverse stories - I haven’t even published a story yet! However, I have a few ideas of how to write a more diverse story, and I was hoping anyone else who has tips could comment them below.
Character Customisation doesn’t mean your story is diverse - Just because your reader can choose what they look like, it doesn’t mean your story is automatically diverse. What should you do? Simply create more poc characters - they do exist!
Characters that fit unhelpful stereotypes don’t make your story diverse - The nerdy Asian. The flamboyant gay friend. People do fit these sort of stereotypes - but not everyone does. Not all Asians are nerdy, and not all gay men are flamboyant. What should you do? Create characters that are ‘3d’ characters; characters with backstories who are believable and realistic, not walking stereotypes.
Not everyone is straight- A lot of stories automatically assume that the reader is attracted to the male love interest. For most readers that might be true, but for others it’s really not. What should you do? There are two options you could do. Firstly, you could create a choose where the reader can decide who they are attracted to / want to date. You can use the gain function for this - if anyone wants me to, I could write a sample script showing how to do this. The second option would be to have a wide range of love interests, and let the reader choose wether they remain friends with each one or develop a relationship with them. (Choices that would lead to this could be coloured gold to show the difference) This option is good because it tends to allow people on the ace spectrum to chose how they interact with the other characters.
Represtent people with disabilities
You can see what @Gwen-Bruce and @Konny.Writes wrote about this below, but essentially, using just overlays and spot directing will help you include disabled characters in your story. As with all of these, please remember to be sensitive with your inclusion of disabled characters and the way they act/others act towards them.
I have more to add, but I’ve got to go now. I’ll add more when I have time, but feel free to comment any more that you can think of.