Asexuality in YA Series: Day 3 – Previous Posts: Introduction to Asexuality in YA Series – Aces Out: Laying the Cards On the Table – Acing Romance: On Writing YA Love Stories as an Asexual
by Aisha Monet
It is only a few weeks before NaNoWriMo, when writers all over the world will be cracking down to write a 50,000+ novel in the month of November, and I want to challenge everyone to include an asexual character in their novel this year. It’s so excruciatingly easy that I’m not even sure how to describe it.
All you have to do is have a character who is asexual, have them state or have it explicitly implied that they’re asexual, and voila! Your book is that much more diverse.
But if you need more then that, here are five easy tips and tricks to writing asexual characters! Enjoy!
- Sex does not make or break a character
I promise. I seriously promise that writing a character that doesn’t want to have sex or be in a relationship does not define them as an awesome character.
It doesn’t mean that they are necessarily missing something, or that there is something wrong with them, or even that they haven’t met the right person (although we have lovely people within the Ace/Aro community who fit this category).
If having your character fall for someone else defines them that much then sorry to say, but you might be writing your characters wrong.
- Not Criminal Masterminds
Asexuals are not criminal masterminds, (well at least most of the time), we still have feelings and portraying asexual people as insensitive, cold hearted people only adds to the stigma that we don’t have feelings and that somehow not feeling the need for sexual/romantic relationships makes us evil.
Of course, if your character is a criminal mastermind who also happens to be asexual, then great! But if evil criminal mastermind is the only thing that comes to mind when you think of writing asexual characters, then please reevaluate your life choices and get back to us.
- Human Interaction Is Still A Thing
Characters connect to other characters. They make connections, they’re taught connections.
Either way whenever a new character enters a story they form a connection or several connections immediately.
Even if it’s as simple as a connection with a cashier and a customer, we make little and big connections throughout our lives.
The point of me saying this is to remind you that just because a person might not be romantically or sexually involved with anyone doesn’t mean that’s the end of human contact that your character should have.
Just because your character might not have a significant other doesn’t mean they don’t have significant people in their lives; like friends, family, and of course, little kittens.
You don’t have to write your character as an aloof person who cannot form human relationships just because they’re asexual. Seriously. That makes no sense.
- Happy and well adjusted
Your character can be happy and well adjusted. Your character can be asexual and without a partner and be completely content in life, and not longing for a partner. Your character can live a full life without romantic interests.
Bilbo Baggins, Sherlock Holmes, and Charlie Weasley are all fictional characters who have never had canon logical relationships and they’re still completely awesome characters, and yours can be too.
- Asexuals & Relationships
Despite what I’ve said about asexual characters being perfectly content without a partner, this is not true for all asexual people and therefore characters.
The Ace/Aro spectrum is just as diverse as any other spectrum and although a lot of asexual persons do not wish to engage in sexual relationships, there are definitely asexual people who are the opposite! There are also plenty of asexual people who want to be in romantic relationships, just like there are definitely ones who do not.
Your character, you decide. Just remember that not wanting to be in a relationship does not mean that there is something missing for your character, or something you need to overcompensate for by making them aloof criminals.
I hope to see you all talking about writing asexual characters this November and beyond.
Happy Asexual Awareness week!