The Antihero

Ah, yes. The Antihero! Let’s get to it!

Alright, we all know Vegeta and his story, right? Good, I don’t have to waste time writing about it.

Let’s get to the good stuff. . .

There are two things that make an Antihero: Sympathy and relatability.

The more sympathetic and relatable they are, the better the Antihero.

Now, the Antihero is more than just sympathetic and relatable, they’re also a rebel. The one that says fuck society and does their own thing. They say the things people are afraid to say but are secretly thinking, they act the way people wish they could act but due to fear of what other people think don’t. Their actions are morally questionable, they can be ruthless and cunning, they can be kind and loving, they can be hot and they can be cold. The antihero is one of the most complex characters in any story as they start out one way but end up another as they story goes on.

Most people think a character has to be some sort of antihero to be good, that internal conflict is the be-all-end-all of characters in any story, that this is the only character that can be a hit in the market but this simply isn’t true.

Though it is true the Antihero is one of the more interesting characters, they are not the only ones capable of going through a wide range of emotions in any given story. The formula for an antihero is this:

is evil at first + juxtaposition to greater evil + horrible backstory to where greater evil does antihero wrong + internal conflict after greater evil is defeated = Antihero

So, creating an Antihero isn’t difficult; in fact, it’s very easy. The hard part is getting inside of the character’s head and creating that internal conflict which comes to drive the story as a whole.

The problem with this is that a writer can get so lost in this character that they forget the story itself, and the story is the most important thing. If the Antihero is the main character and is driving the story, fine. But, if the story is supposed to be story-driven, not character-driven, this is a huge problem. Now the writer has to create boundaries for this character which a) stifles the character’s ability to be their authentic self, and b) stifles the writer in writing the story how it was intended to be written.

Now, I have nothing against the Antihero; in fact, I think they are quite interesting. I’m just saying not to look at this type of complex character as the be-all-end-all of writing a compelling character.

Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week. . .

2 thoughts on “The Antihero

  1. Interesting! I never really gave antiheros much notice before, and now I think I’m starting to see this archetype in the stories I’ve read. Thanks for sharing this informative piece!


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