Garked from Vylar Kaftan, a rundown of characters in my stories by gender, race, sexual orientation, age, class and ability. I wanted to add religion as well, but faith is quite a different kettle of fish when the gods are allowed to be main characters.
I tracked 172 main characters: the arbitrary part of the selection was choosing whether a character should be included or not. I went with “has significant part in plot”, but even that is debatable… If a character appeared several times (in different stories), I only counted them once.
In brackets behind, are the same numbers by protagonist (70 all in all)
Male: 44.2% (35.7%)
Female: 45.3% (58.6%)
Other: 10.5% (5.7%)
“Other” includes mostly asexual gods and aliens.
Asian: 48.8% (48.5%)
Caucasian: 22.1% (24.3%)
Hispanic: 2.3% (2.9%)
Native American: 15.1% (14.3%)
Unknown: 0.6% (2.9%)
Other: 11.05% (7.1%)
“Other” includes gods I couldn’t classify with a particular origin, machines, and the odd alien or two.
I suspect the main reason there aren’t more Native American characters, ie Aztecs, is that I have a bunch of series in there and counted those characters only once. Also, I haven’t thrown in either of my two novels, both of which are packed to the gills with Aztecs, Mayas and Incas.
Also, it’s very rare that a human protagonist has no race whatsoever; I was never very good at defaulting to no culture. (“Caucasian” includes Greeks, Frenchmen, Scots, Spaniards…)
Straight: 49.4% (58.6%)
Unknown: 41.2% (35.7%)
GLBT: 7 4.1% (2.9%)
Other: 8 4.7% (2.9%)
“Other” includes those for whom sex is either totally irrelevant (machines), or proceeding from a different logic (aliens, some gods).
The astonishing of people without any sexual orientation whatsoever is mainly due to the fact that sex and/or relationships tend to be a faraway preoccupation for most of my characters. Even when I put “straight”, I often did so because the person was married to someone of the opposite gender.
0-17: 15.7% (18.6%)
18-35: 24.4% (37.1%)
36-65: 30.2% (24.3%)
66+: 2.3% (2.9%)
Varies: 3.5% (4.3%)
Other: 23.8% (11.4%)
“Other” includes various catergoris of ageless beings (machines, gods and other immortals or long-lived people). I converted everything to a “modern” scale: ie, a fifty-year-old Aztec was already a very old man (I used typical lifespans to normalise everything).
Ruling Class: 12.2% (8.6%)
Upper Class: 18.6% (20.0%)
Middle Class: 29.1% (37.1%)
Working Class: 16.3% (24.3%)
Varies: 2.9% (2.9%)
Other: 20.9% (7.1%)
I limited this to human characters, given how few aliens and machines I had. I suspect I could have assigned a social class to every robot and every alien around, depending on their place within the pecking order of the universe, but I was tired of crunching numbers…
Like Vy, I was surprised at how easy this was, based on occupation and resources. Also surprised at how many rulers I have going around; I thought there would be much fewer of them, since I dislike writing about the higher spheres of power.
Able: 84.9% (92.9%)
Disabled: 15.1% (7.1%)
Those are mostly mental problems.
Interesting stats: clearly, there are some lacks in the sexual orientation department (actually, in the sex/romance department full stop). And I must put older characters in my fiction.
(I would say putting in more different races would be nice, but given that I have to research a culture to death before I feel confident enough to include a character from it, I think I’ll stick to improving my Chinese, Vietnamese and Indians before I move on to other things).
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