How to Write Asexual Characters

Hello there, I’m back and today, as you could have guessed from the title, we’ll be talking about asexual relationships. Of course, first you have to understand what asexuality, or being “ace,” is. Like many sexualities and identities, it manifests as a spectrum. This does not mean that some people are “more” ace or “less” ace than others. Simply that, to them, asexuality is different.

Additionally, sexual orientation is different from romantic orientation. This means that some people may identify through something called “split attraction” in that their sexual orientation is distinct from their romantic one.  For example, I personally identify as a sex-repulsed asexual (and all of that will be explained later) but in casual conversation I call myself bi or bisexual because, romantically, I experience romantic feelings for all people.

For ease, this post will refer to demisexuals and graysexuals (gray-aces) as ace/asexual. Their identities are largely considered a type of asexuality and are included under the ace umbrella. Furthermore, while people in poly relationships exist, this post will use the singular “partner” throughout.

Yes, this can all be a bit confusing if you aren’t familiar with all the terms (or if you don’t know the slang), but it’s very easy to pick up and we’ll break things down a little more before getting to the writing tips.

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How to Write Autistic Characters Pt. 2

Welcome to the second post in my How to Write [Blank] series! Here we’ll be finishing up looking at writing autistic characters. This is by no means a complete list of every little thing to look at — I really strongly encourage doing your own research, especially looking at the links I’ll stick at the end of this.

In the last post, I started going over more specific aspects of autism you’ll want to look at when writing an autistic character and you definitely should look at it here if you haven’t already read it.

In this post, I’ll go over special interests, the necessity of a routine, learning differences, and audio processing. I’m also going to have a section at the end about stereotypes and resources for you to read for more information on being autistic. Again, I’m quoting and referencing the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and their basic list of autistic traits here.

But let’s get right to it!

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How to Write Autistic Characters Pt. 1

Welcome to the first installment of my new mini-series, How to Write [Blank]. In this series, I’m covering a number of topics that I, in my person research, haven’t found a ton of in-depth resources for and/or feel like I could add my own two cents. As you can guess from the title of this post, today we’re going to start looking at autistic characters.

Now, the first part of writing any character whether they be neurodivergent (that is to say, not neurotypical or not being considered “normal” societally) or LGBTQ+ is to know what makes them that. For autism, I’ll be using the definition from the Autism Self Advocacy Network (or ASAN):

“Autism is a neurological variation that occurs in about one percent of the population and is classified as a developmental disability… The terms “Autistic” and “autism spectrum” often are used to refer inclusively to people who have an official diagnosis on the autism spectrum or who self-identify with the Autistic community. While all Autistics are as unique as any other human beings, they share some characteristics typical of autism in common.”

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Let’s Talk Fanfiction

Now, on the off-chance you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me provide a brief explanation. Fanfiction is the general term for any written work by someone who is a fan of another work. What makes fanfiction interesting is that, while it generally uses characters and settings from an existing work (let’s say, a television show like Doctor Who or a book like Harry Potter), there’s the implicit understanding that the fanfiction isn’t canon. That is, it isn’t official. People who read fanfiction know that this isn’t written by the official authors — in fact, that’s the whole point. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

Fanfiction is part of fan culture and it has a long and rather interesting history, not just with how fan culture has developed over the years (Star Trek being one of the first big fandoms) but also with how authors have treated fanfiction. That being said, I could go on for much longer about the history but I would do a poor job of it. The resources are out there; use Google or your favorite search engine if you really want to learn more.

But as the title of this post suggests, let’s talk about fanfiction and why exactly it’s so important to me and to millions of other people out there. Not just because it provides a good escape from reality, like any half decent work of fiction, but because it allows us to change what really happens. Not literally, of course. But it lets a group of dedicated fans come up with more.

And often times, it’s the more that gets people to read.

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