One of my protagonists is Korean-American. Both her parents are Korean but she was born and raised in America before moving to England. Do you have any tips for writing a Korean-American character?
Korean American Characters
Hey, Anon! So, this is a very general question. It’s general to the point where I’m finding it difficult to give a good answer.
Being Korean-American means different things to different people. My experiences growing up as a Korean-American in coastal Southern California are very different from a Korean-American who grew up in Northern California or Illinois or New York. The time period matters, too.
So I think a better use of your time is to flesh out your character some more. There are many resources that you can use to learn about the experiences of Korean-Americans, including magazines like KoreAm Journal.
Another thing I highly recommend is reading books that feature Korean-American characters by Korean-Americans! Not every Korean-American author writes Korean-American characters into their works, but the ones on this list have: YA reads Featuring Korean and Korean-American Protagonists Written by Korean-American Authors
If you’re not into YA, then here are some other options:
- Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee
- Leonard Chung’s Choice series
- Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
- Person of Interest by Susan Choi
- I’m the One I Want and I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight by Margaret Cho (nonfiction/autobio)
If you like comics, Derek Kirk Kim’s Same Difference and Other Stories may be a good fit for you~
There are many many more Korean-American authors and comic book creators, but their works don’t involve Korean-American protagonists. And there are many works that feature Korean-American characters that aren’t written by Korean-Americans!
Not all of our experiences are the same, but these might give you a better insight into how to create a well-written Korean-American character. Do your research, be respectful, and find a good beta reader. Good luck, Anon!