What is an anti-hero, you ask? Classically the anti-hero is defined as a hero that lacks the traditional qualities associated with them. So where you would expect the hero to be chivalrous, kind, and bigger than life, the anti-hero wouldn’t necessarily showcase those attributes, at least not outright.
To me, that makes for a more exciting hero. One that’s a little unpredictable and that makes him more compelling to me as a reader and a writer. What I mean is, a character that keeps me guessing and doesn’t quite fit inside a predetermined box is much more interesting to read.
So, in short, the bad boy.
But in a world where there are millions of rules we’re taught to abide, what makes the bad boy such a perennial favourite?
Look at Mr Darcy, an early antihero. He goes against the rules of the day. He’s gruff, he’s unlikeable on the surface but, once you dig a little deeper, you find that his heart is in the right place, he just doesn’t show it.
That’s what makes them so interesting. There are flaws, and demons, and pain that make them relatable and real. There are layers. Ones that we get to peel away until we get to the real man beneath.
That’s what makes them so wonderful to me.