Token Characters


#1

Are there any stories that you think do not create well-rounded minority characters? And instead have them be so-called “token characters” who are plagued by stereotypes?

In addition, what advice would you give to authors trying to avoid this?


#2

There are definitely stories that use tokens, but I won’t list them here :zipper_mouth_face:

Some tips:

  • make your characters real people with histories, motivations, flaws, interests, etc. make them have a purpose for the plot
  • look up a list of stereotypes of people from different backgrounds if you’re unsure
  • try to have multiple people of the same background if you do dip into some cliche traits; there’s nothing wrong with a black girl who is sassy for example but if that’s your only black character then it becomes a problem
  • read stories, watch shows, movies etc written by people in the group you want to represent; see how they want to be represented and how they write their characters
  • also read current events and issues facing the people to get a better understanding of their background

I’m not perfect with diversity, but I find these to be helpful tips


#3

You mean every POC or LGBT person in every popular story except My First KISS


#4

shook :joy: :smile: I’m just casually reading this threat and suddenly I get namedropped (my story anyway)

I do think this is a problem, but I think people are starting to realize and make an effort to avoid it.