1. AlphaOmega
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    AlphaOmega New Member

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    To make a good anti-hero any tips?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by AlphaOmega, Mar 19, 2012.

    One of my main characters to a story is going to play the "anti-hero" role.

    Now I know what goes with the idea, it's just I haven't read any good anti-hero stories in a long time.

    Has anyone got any tips on how to make an anti-hero stand out?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I tend to form my characters not knowing if they will be good or bad. With an anti-hero form him in the same was as any other character and use the story to shape him.

    I'm not a fan of anti-heroes but Dorian Gray, Michael Henchard, Becky Sharp, Jean Baptiste Grenouille, Holden Caulfield etc are all exceptionally well drawn and believeable characters.
     
  3. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Actually... I agree with Elgaisma a bit. I don't label my characters before I wrote them. However, if you are really up to write a anti hero, remember that he or she has to be likable. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and I can think of Snape. He's not a fluffy bunny at all, but yet he's the favorite character of the fandom... Heart breaking background stories help a lot, and I guess a valid cause for fighting will excuse even the most despicable actions of said anti hero, so... Yeah.
     
  4. AlphaOmega
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    AlphaOmega New Member

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    I personally see Snape as more a tragic hero. The sort that had the chances been different he would have made the heroic sort of character, not typical anti-hero.

    Aristotle contests that the tragic hero has to be a man “who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty.”


    An anti hero in my mind is someone that will do "evil" things for the greater good. At the time whatever he/she did is condemning but in the long run one could say those antics worked out from the better. Has a bit more believablity to them [their flaws] than the polished in gold hero figure.

    Marvel's The Punisher for example. Clint Eastwood - Man with No Name, Marv from Sin City. Dirty Harry even is an idea of an anti-hero.


    And how do you not "name" / "label" your characters as you write?

    How do you create them / aim them / fashion them if you have no idea as to what their character is supposed to be?
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    An anti hero in my mind is someone that will do "evil" things for the greater good.

    That isn't automatically an anti-hero. I have a character that does something horrendous to save the universe but he is still 'heroic'

    An anti-hero lacks the qualities of a hero so will be say greedy, prideful, in the case of Grenouille a serial killer and generally unpleasant individual. They are not acting in good faith. They are basically the traditional antagnoist who is in the protagonist position.

    Some like Arthur Dent, Holden Caulfield etc are just wimpy, miserable etc but they generally lack any real heroic quality. They may do the occasional heroic deed however.

    They label themselves as I write and the story that forms them. My Matriach of Evil in my fantasy stories was five books in before I discovered her full identity. I'd been writing her a slighty aserbic but harmless type of character, she still is.`

    My Moriarty style character in my detectives started out as a sibling and somehow the story brought her out as the criminal mastermind.

    A cheeky, chappy barman, turned into an abusive boyfriend who was a spy
     
  6. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    You don't have to know what your character is going to be to create a character... It helps, and a lot at that, but leaves the character "stiff", let's say. The MC of the story I'm going to write started out as a girl who was a witch, but she was the only witch left because her father, the king, killed all wizards and witches. However, her father didn't have the courage of killing her. And I had about zero idea of how the plot was going to be. Now, she's a slave who fights against the society she lives in... Though she's not a heroine like the 1.0 version of herself.

    I usually start with a very basic idea: "Boy who lost his parents." and then I will go adding things -- perhaps said boy will end up being the anti-hero, or the sidekick. But starting with "boy who will be an anti-hero" scratches out a lot of options from his characterization. He can't be anything else, and the problem I see with this kind of way to create a character is that the character ends up being a cookie cutter character -- in other words, you get trapped on the label you already put on him/her. Bringing on Harry Potter again, see Harry. He could've been a lot more messed up than he was, living with the Dursleys. He could've been easily dragged to the Dark Side of the Force, but I think JK was comitted to the idea of making him a hero, and so he ended up with a mental health that I wouldn't expect from a boy that suffered a lot from neglect and child abuse.

    However, it might work for you, who knows?
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Totally agree with this. Develop the character as an individual, not as just an anti-hero. You should want your character to come across as a real person, not as a flat and stereotypical trope.
     
  8. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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