Antihero: a main character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, and morality. Although antiheroes may sometimes do the "right thing", it is often for the "wrong reasons" and because it serves their self-interest rather than being driven by moral convictions.
The charming antihero is possibly one of my all time favourite story characters. Done well, they will disgust and delight you, before stealing your heart and selling it back to you in pieces.
They will often work alongside the hero or heroine in fiction. Their reason for doing so will be very different. In fact, it can be all too easy to mistake the antihero for the villain, especially when their worst moments paint them in a dark light. What separates them from the antagonist, though, is their ability to 'walk the line' between good and evil.
Yes, the antihero is fickle character. Whichever side best serves their current interest usually wins their loyalty. Despite this, though, the antihero tends to make the right decision when it counts most. Because of this, the reader can feel compelled to cheer them on throughout the story, despite the occasional villainous deed. They are redeemable.
Antiheroes get away with murder. Sometimes literally. Befriend one at your own risk.
Some examples of fictional antiheroes are:
The antihero of my current book is Drayvex from Crimson Touch. If he managed to get his hands on your heart, he'd probably eat it whole.
Can you think of any awesome antiheroes that deserve a special mention? Sound off in the comments below.
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