I need help with describing a character in a novel who looks Asian?
I don't want to sound racist or offensive when I describe the character. I just want my characters to have different cultures and personalites. I just have a hard time doing it, because he's never going to say out loud, "I'm Asian. My parents are from Korea." What are some creative and non basic ways to describe him and give a hint to readers that he's from Asia?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
The reason why I'm hesitant to acknowledge the race of my characters is because they live in a world that is not ours. In the book, it doesn't have countries or continents. I'm very sorry for not being clear before.
- Elaine MLv 77 months agoFavorite Answer
Why does it need to be spelled out after you already said he was from Korea?
- deniseLv 77 months ago
Olive skinned, Almond eyed, ??
- MarliLv 77 months ago
If your characters live in a world that is not Earth, then your character is not "Asian" or "Korean" because there is no "Asia" and no "Korea" in that world. What features make you think "This man is an Asian" when you see him? What makes you think "This girl is European" - German perhaps." ? My ancestors were North Germans, and when I was with a tour of English and Scots to Germany, the German guide in one museum thought I was not part of the group because I "looked like a German". Yet I'm as born Canadian as my fellow tourists. My boss is a born Canadian too, but his racial makeup is Korean,
- 7 months ago
I like adding a lot of diversity to my stuff too. Don't think you're being offensive by simply stating what someone is. In describing a character's ethnicity, I kinda like being playful and colorful with the language. In one of my short stories, titled "Tough", I wrote that my heroine's mother is "a lovely Hawaiian nurse who frequently made her award-winning strawberry mochi for the neighborhood kids" and her Caucasian father as being "a handsome, fiery-haired police detective." Then, I gave her the name "Malaya", which is thought to be of Hawaiian/Philippine origin. Describing her unique and exotic looks was kinda fun to me, especially as my lead male role looked upon her "quiet Eurasian beauty." Just be creative, have fun with this, and stop worrying too much what people think.Source(s): Contributor to Hubpages.com
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- bluebellbkkLv 77 months ago
Don't hesitate to say someone is Korean, or French, or black, or whatever. If we start tip-toeing around words like these, we run the risk or making it seem as if being Korean or French or black is somehow bad and embarrassing.
- Anonymous7 months ago
Numbnuts, Nobody is going to be reading your novel. You can just state that the person is of “blank” origin. This isn’t racist. We are all human beings. We are all one race. We can all make babies together. Stop thinking like a progressive leftist.
- VoelvenLv 77 months ago
I would turn it around and say that if there's nothing about him that indicates that he's Asian, then why make him Asian?
Being mixed myself and having friends from all over the world, my personal experience is that people's culture often tend to reflect somewhat in their lifestyle and their activities, maybe have him Skype with his grandmother in Korea or have him mention something that happened to his family during the Korean war, have him grown up with Korean food and maybe make Korean food for his friends, celebrate Korean holidays etc.
- SpeedLv 77 months ago
Since readers default to Caucasian, you have to say--but you don't have to be the narrator making an announcement. You can have other characters interact with your Korean guy and make remarks, ask questions, whatever.
I'd been in Heidi's class since sixth grade and she'd never spoken directly to me, but she walked up to us and interrupted. "Daniel, can you help me?" She tossed her long hair over her shoulder.
"Uh, sure, I guess."
"It's calculus. I know you're good at math."
My friend shared a look with me. "I am?"
"Sure, all of you guys are good at math."
"Us guys, people who went to East Middle School?"
"No, Asian guys."
"You're thinking of Japanese guys. I'm from Kansas City."
She laughed uncertainly. "No, your people."
"Oh. My parents are from Philadelphia. My grandparents, they're from Korea. No special talent for math."
"Not really. I got a B in algebra--just barely."
This makes Heidi and Daniel be the ones who tell the reader.
- j153eLv 77 months ago
If one checks the photos of a selection of e.g. Korean men, there are varieties: http://beauty-around.com/en/tops/item/100-samye-kr...
A video of Psy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vy-zilON8k
Maybe begin with his hairstyle?
- samiamrdLv 77 months ago
He is super skinny, and his coat always reminds me of that bar b que place just down the street. You know that restaurant, Kim Lee's bar b que. they have such good food, I love going there.
Its not racist to describe someone as Asian. People are who they are. There is a lot of PC crap going around. Don't listen to it because, maybe just maybe, it has no impact on your life. People are people and if you treat them like average people, then they are just that. An average person. And who knows, your boy in this story could be the son of landed immigrants who own that restaurant. Many first time immigrants open businesses as a way to earn a living while they learn the language.