1. Bolu Kai
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    Bolu Kai Member

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    Tackling the Antihero

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Bolu Kai, Sep 8, 2016.

    My current WIP (fantasy short story) plans to have an antihero as the main character. I have done some preliminary research on what an antihero is, examples of an antihero, and so on. I am hoping to gather more data on creating and developing an antihero. Moreover, anything that you can provide me will be well received.

    The following are a guide to what I would like to hear. Feel free to post anything about antiheroes:

    1. Examples of an antihero that you like or dislike, and why you like or dislike them (These examples can be generic or specific.
    2. Typical Characteristics of an antihero
    3. do you find that antiheroes work better with a supporting character/sidekick?
    4. Is there a certain "look" that most antiheroes tend to have?
    5. What types of transformations should an antihero go through? Moreover, do antiheroes develop differently than traditional heroes?
     
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  2. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    I don't like it when the antihero is all bad and the hero is all good - thats okay if you are writing bat man vs the joker , but for real life people are complicated, the bad guy will have some redeeming features even if they are minor, while the good guy will have flaws

    e.g in my wip my male MC is your heroic type, but hes also falling appart inside from the constant stress of combat operations, one antag is a soldier who's gone rogue, but he genuinely believes that what he is doing is right for the country at large, whilst antag 2 is an odious repellent little prick , but hes technicaly on the side of the good guys (which doesnt stop the Mc from knifing him in the gutsand leaving him for the predators)
     
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  3. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    I don't like anti-heroes that are all dark and brooding for no real reason other than, they're so broken and tortured. That really annoys me. As for a look they often smoke in recent media because 'you're not supposed to do that, it'll kill you!' but then again I use that myself :bigoops:
    I see anti-heroes as characters who have their own agenda going on, they will solve problems for themselves, not for the world's sake.

    One of my MCs (I have two) could be classed as an anti-villain I suppose, she is so obsessed with being a hero, she does some very horrible things such as leaving someone who was very ill so she could rescue someone else, when the other MC could have dealt with it. She'll kill people because that's what you have to do sometimes. She will refuse help and then moan that no one is helping her. She also tells her closest friend that they are useless (she lists all the things they really are bad at) so they 'won't get hurt in battle'. She really doesn't see its hurting people and is 'only following her mother's example'. Boy, just realised how horrible she is.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
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  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I like this thought. My MC Marco is a lot like this. In my mind's eye I often picture him as a less jacked-up version of Riddick who happens to be gay. But his goal is much different to Riddick's. Riddick is a sociopath who has occasional moments of lucidity as regards connecting with his fellow human beings. Marco isn't a sociopath; he's very much affected by the fucked-up things he's done. His hard persona protects him from his feelings of complete worthlessness. I'm trying to write a story about forgiving oneself for past transgressions and the good things he does are done with that in mind, which, in a way, is a selfish goal even if the actions seem selfless.
     
  5. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    so you're saying riddick isnt gay ?
     
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  6. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    1. Examples of an antihero that you like or dislike, and why you like or dislike them (These examples can be generic or specific.
    Well they should be basically the 'Chaotic Good'.
    2. Typical Characteristics of an antihero
    Wildcard, unpredictable. Can be either openly or covertly operative in their dealings. Using my MC as the openly operative.
    He can be merciful to one enemy unit, by putting them out of their misery. And within a few minutes, go on a violent rampage
    and physically break several enemy units without an ounce of compassion. Though a good anti-hero should be the love/hate
    persona, where they make the reader see both sides of the character. Though in a covertly operative character is more like an
    assassin that typically takes a more low key approach to their method of exacting their brand of justice on those they deem fitting
    of such viscous execution. The covert version prefers discretion in opposition to their less discrete counterpart. Both tend to share
    common traits like being charming/charismatic, and typically have a dark dry sense of humor. Though you have to consider how
    their psyche works. What motivates them to do what they do? Do they enjoy what they do, or do they feel remorseful (though they can
    be both)? Each has their own method that they prefer, giving them a diverse range of reasons to be loved/hated. Do they prefer to
    be upfront and dispatch their justice in short order? Or do they prefer to take their time with their prey, before they kill them? (Again
    they can be both) There is a lot of play when it comes to this type of character. Though I would have to agree with
    @I.A. By the Barn , that making them dark and brooding can slight the character (also if they were a piece of steak, they would be
    charcoal). So take time to make them complex with and interesting. :)

    3. do you find that antiheroes work better with a supporting character/sidekick?
    They can, but they can also be the 'Lone Wolf'. It works in either fashion. The MC in my previous example has a supporting character
    that is more neutral per se, in the fact that he does not fluctuate from his method when in combat. He is pretty stable and carries
    an impersonal when engaging the enemy (though he lapses for a brief time into a more sinister soldier, but recovers fairly well back
    to his more professional self). On the other side is a mix of all three (Chaotic Evil, Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Good), and she is a lot of
    fun to play around with. She might choose to kill on the spot, but only out of necessity. She does not see mercy as an option period, and
    if given enough time will actually take great pleasure in slowly torturing her victim. Though she usually has to mix the quick and the
    tedious together at times. Between both characters they kinda even out the other MC.
    4. Is there a certain "look" that most antiheroes tend to have?
    They can look like well anyone. They don't have to be some big muscular angry ball for the wrecking. A petite and attractive female
    can be just as good an option. There really is no one defining physique to an Anti-Hero.
    5. What types of transformations should an antihero go through? Moreover, do antiheroes develop differently than traditional heroes?
    They can develop as you want to develop. They can go either way really. Getting darker and in a sense 'eviler', or they can soften overtime
    and be fairly 'good'. Though you can really blur these lines at your leisure.
     
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  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, in The Chronicles of Riddick there is one bit where makes a feral show of smelling Thandie Newton and saying, "It's been a long time since I've smelled beautiful", but earlier on he also made a show of pointing to some rough trade and saying, "... but I will take a piece of him", so... who knows. ;)
     
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  8. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @Wreybies I feel you got mixed messages from Richard B. Riddick (yeah I am a dork for knowing his full name :p).
    So when is the Riddick Slash Fiction coming out? :supergrin:(Pun definitely intended):supergrin:
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I actually think that's part of his persona. His sociopathy transcends anything so humanly petty as sexual labels. I would think (were it ever explicitly mentioned) that he would find the concept amusing. ;)

    Google AYOR. ;) There's scads of it already (and slash art too). :ohno::bigeek::-D
     
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  10. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @Wreybies I am good. Though it does not surprise me, seeing as people love to take popular characters and put them in their
    dirty little fan-person fantasies. :p
     
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  11. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    My favourite anti-hero is Harvey from Farscape. To cut a very long and very complicated story short, Harvey protects the hero from the bad guys because he wants the knowledge of a super space weapon locked inside the hero's mind for himself.

    Why do I like this particular anti-hero character? While most of my reasons would involved explaining the elaborate context I spared you earlier, I like that the hero is constantly forced to rely on and find a way around Harvey's council. Harvey is a true anti-hero. Not a reluctant hero. He isn't just helping the hero because he has no choice or it's the only option left to him, or he may as well because he has nothing better to do that day. He helps the hero because by doing so, even he gets closer and closer to his ultimate goal, and more importantly, John knows that. It always keeps the hero between a rock and a hard place and it is unrelenting.

    It gives the hero and anti-hero a hero and sidekick dynamic, which I enjoy. And this can be reversed. The hero could be the sidekick of the anti-hero. Almost a reluctant villain.
     
  12. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I liked Harvey, he was fun. :p Scorpiuos not so much...
     
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  13. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Antiheroes are heroes that are darker. This could mean they're more violent, tortured, brooding, rude, or have less compassionate motives. Or some bits and pieces thereof. Essentially, they're a protagonist that is ultimately likable enough and admirable enough but is more obviously flawed than other protagonists. The key to an anti-hero is the balance between their good and bad sides. They're still a protagonist, but they're far from perfect.
    I would advise as always that they don't follow one strict line of behaviour and motive. They're a human being, they have moods and many different opinions. In a real life, there is always variety.Although, they're anti-hero side could come from them being a detached fanatical hero, who is very committed and well-meaning but also don't give no shits. :p
    A good anti-hero would be Constantine from DC, one of their few truly great characters outside the Batman section (though modernly they've been trying to make the other characters more complicated to keep up). He's a pointy rude cynical guy, and he won't always help. But when he's convinced that something heroic does need to be done, he will do it with exceptionally cool style. :supercool:
    Here's Keanu Reeves doing Constantine in this cool scene with Tilda Swinton. Decent movie if you want to check it out:
    .
    Generally, anti-heroes take this sort of dark clothing look. Jackets, suits, sunglasses, coats, that sort of thing. But they can look like whatever, they're look only makes them look like an antihero, it's their personality that actually defines that.
    Anti-heroes often have a "breaking down the grumpy barrier" storyline where they are pushed by circumstances to exercise their good side. But you can do any development you want. Seeing as it's a short story, I don't think your anti-hero will develop that much though will they?
     
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  14. Bolu Kai
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    Bolu Kai Member

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    Great example, I love Farscape, or any Henson production for that matter. :)

    OH, Constantine. I forgot about him. Thank you!

    In regards to the development of my antihero, understanding how they typical develop will provide me with a better understanding. My antihero may not have to change that much over the course of the short story based on what kind of antihero he is. I'm still in the planning process but I know that my antihero will be dropped into a position where he wont really have much a choice but to change. I see the degree my character develops highlight dependent on the choices he makes and the events he experiences. I'm really glad you mentioned that though, it brought up something I didn't really think about yet. :) THANKS!
     
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  15. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.

    He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.

    The story is this man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.

    Raymond Chandler
     
  16. cydney
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    cydney Banned

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    Wow. I've read parts of this but never the full quote like this. Thanks! Makes my day.
     
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  17. Bolu Kai
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    Bolu Kai Member

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    LOVE IT, THANKS!
     
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  18. Safety Turtle
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    Safety Turtle Senior Member

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    For me, a great example of an anti-hero is The Punisher from Marvel, I especially like the way he's portrayed in the Daredevil TV show.
    But I do like the "tortured character" trope.
    I think the important thing that makes an anti-hero and anti-hero is that he isn't doing what he's doing for moral reasons, but revenge, money, etc...whether that be good or bad.
     
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  19. Nicola
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    Nicola Member

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    1. Examples of an antihero that you like or dislike, and why you like or dislike them (These examples can be generic or specific.

    Can only think of Deadpool and Robin Hood.

    I like Deadpool because of his acerbic wit, breaking the fourth wall, tongue in cheek, making revenge seem like a game
    R.Hood because he is the stuff of legend, a romantic anti-hero, doing the moral thing in all the wrong ways.

    2. Typical Characteristics of an antihero

    Vigilante, hates being called a 'hero', turns the law upside down, uncontrollable, good-natured/cheeky, undefeated

    3. do you find that antiheroes work better with a supporting character/sidekick?

    They're usually fiercely independent.

    4. Is there a certain "look" that most antiheroes tend to have?

    Self-made image that they can patch up easily if torn, use of masks/disguises, functional (after all, they're on a mission)

    5. What types of transformations should an antihero go through? Moreover, do antiheroes develop differently than traditional heroes?

    A bitter past (maybe some deep loss) which galvanises them into seeking justice in their own way, but often with humour.

    They seem to develop the same as heroes but they express their dark and twisted side, whereas heroes don't.
     
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