When writing an asexual character, what can I do to avoid poor representation and harmful tropes?
For good representation I would actually have the character come out or greatly imply they are asexual, subtext works but usually thats all we, and other queer orientations, ever get.
I would avoid having too many tropes like the cold, distant, heartless asexual, while an asexual person can be like that I think thats usually a negative stereotype.
I wouldn’t write a character as asexual just because you want them to seem innocent, we usually know whats going on we’re just not feeling it.
Asexual people can pick up on flirting or sexual advances, some may not and that can work well as a way to make your character come off as ace. (I know this can also be a trait of autism, but it can work in both cases).
Remember that many aces use the split attraction model but many don’t. Asexual does not mean can’t be in a relationship or even have sex themselves for various reasons though I’d be careful with writing a asexual character like that because it might be confused unless it’s explained well.