Penning a script for a movie/TV show/game? Writing a book? The folks at Overthinking It have put together a female character flowchart, representing the common stereotyping pitfalls of writing roles for girls and women that ultimately come across flat, two dimensional and token.
You might remember Overthinking It for their deconstruction of the “strong female character” trope, and why the shift from ‘damsel in distress’ to ‘badass cardboard cutout’ is ultimately not brilliant for women’s representation in culture.
mlawski, who put together the flowchart, has this caveat:
If you’re a writer and you find that one of your characters fits one of the categories on this chart, there’s no need to panic (or start yelling at me)! Two-dimensional characters are the backbone of fiction, especially fantasy fiction and most comedies.
However, if you find that all or most of your main male protagonists are well-developed and all or most of your female characters are not, you should probably start worrying a little.