The Anti-Hero We are living in a time where escaping the confines of our home is what we want to do more than anything. Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, etc. can only provide so much entertainment. The plots become predictable, the characters lose their shine…yada, yada. You know the drill. My favorite stories, both on the screen and between the pages, are the ones following the “most loved” character wrestle their moral high ground, and ultimately fail. These characters feel real. I feel like I know them, have met them in my day-to-day life. Truth is: I probably have and so have you. Instead of listing off characters you can base your own character off of, how about we talk about making your character unique to you?
BACKSTORY IS VITAL Backstory to characters who strive for the ultimate good makes sense. But what about the characters who are angry? Or who are evil? Do not forget one of the more important things in writing: evil can be created. Explore that. Whatever was done to this character can introduce so many more things about them, such as personality traits, nervous ticks, complex behaviors, and beliefs. Your reader doesn’t need to know this information right away, too. Write it out on a new document on your computer and in your notebook before you begin your tale. Uncovering the backstory as the story progresses is the best part about the antihero.
ANGRY OR NOT; THE OUTCOME OF THEIR ACTIONS ARE… Good! For them, at least. It’s a satisfaction for them to do the things they do, because they feel it’s right. They may hurt some people along the way, mentally or physically, but they have a goal in mind. This character could be ruthless. This is what sets them apart from your regular hero. It’s also what sets them apart from being a total villain. They don’t want good for everyone, they want good for them. Which, once their background seeps into the story, sympathy will be created for them by the reader (if they have heart, that is.)
REDEEMING QUALITIES BUILD SYMPATHY Okay, so what if the character in question likes to kill people. Simply because they like to do that doesn’t mean they don’t have a soft spot for Grandma or Grandpa who raised them through their chaotic upbringing. They’ll always make it home for dinner every night, so they don’t upset them. See that? That’s a redeeming quality. Piling up the negative can be emotionally exhausting. Not everyone is as terrible as that. I can think of a few, but we won’t go there. Overall, if the character has a laundry list of negative qualities and zero good ones and they still win in the end, that’s going to be one upsetting story and you’re going to have a laundry list of unhappy readers. Give them traits to make them likable. You’ll have your readers’ hearts in your hands.
YOUR ANTIHERO IS HUMAN (OR CLOSE TO IT) Point is, we are flawed. You and me. Your antihero should be too. Lean towards realism. They have their own moral code, their own inner conflict, and they will always face difficult decisions to meet their end goal. Don’t we all? That’s what makes us each unique in our own personal journey so why not give that to your antihero as well. We aren’t all terrible…right?
So, get to it! We’re done here. Nothing more, nothing less. Antiheroes are far more fun than regular heroes. It’s nice to see a good two-shoes every once in awhile, but I like characters who commit heinous acts (to a certain degree!) and have purpose to their wrongdoings. Who are some of your favorite antiheroes in the literary world? My all-time favorite will always be Dexter Morgan. Not because of Michael C. Hall’s adaptation (although, major plus, albeit), but because of Jeff Lindsay’s creation of him. A serial killer with conscience? Absolutely brilliant.
Our biggest advice to writers is simply to write. As elementary as that sounds it is the best way to warm up your brain. Just as athletes need to get warmed up before a game or even practise we encourage writers to write freely before thinking about their next chapter or book they want to start.
You need to fill the page with as many ideas and thoughts as possible in order to find the best ones!
Transcribe your thoughts to words faster by prepping your brain to prepare for writing. The purpose is not to create publishable material, but to get yourself ready for it!
The best way to start is to have no judgement or expectation of the outcome. You are writing to write more, which in turn will lead to writing better!
Write more —-> write better —-> write more
It is a beautiful circle of writing!
Now, in terms of the warm ups there are millions of prepared prompts and questions that you can search with a click of a button. Some other things you can do are write letters, write comments back to your viewers, or write about your life!
What do you do to warm up your writer’s brain? Share your favorites in the comments!
Who wouldn’t love a fun arts and crafts project that will also help you achieve your goals? Increase your motivation, confidence, and performance with the help of an awesome vision board! Celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Oprah will surely back this up.
First and foremost, do some self reflection and see what matters to you most and then go from there. Then, think about if you want it to be digital or print. Print is pretty straight forward, grab some scrap cardboard or construction paper and browse the internet or magazines for pictures or any sort of clippings you like! For digital, my favorite tool is canva. A website that can do everything and more when it comes to digital art. To start, choose the dimensions you want and they have a ton of free photos for you to add along with text of your choice, or you can search for photos and paste them right on!
The best part…it’s completely customizable! If you want inspiration for your new novel pop on some pictures or quotes about what you’re envisioning for your story. Your story will come to life before your eyes and should make the writing process a bit easier- at least to start!
Here is a board I created on canva using pinterest photos! I set it as my screensaver just to make me smile. This is more of a life mood board which you can create as well!
Here are some more vision boards for inspiration…
Put it somewhere you will see it everyday as a helpful reminder!
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of weird is as follows: of strange or extraordinary character.
I could just stop the post there because who doesn’t want to be extraordinary. The words have been filling our ears and minds for as long as we can remember, but when does it truly start to resonate with yourself? Embrace your weird, strange, odd, and extraordinary attributes that make you who you are!
If someone says they will never read a book about a werewolf detective because it is weird…write it anyway! It could be the best story you have ever written. Continue to be yourself and lift other writers up as well!
Everyone loves a hero! You can find yours right in the comfort of your mind!
If a hero is what you are looking for, take them on a hero’s journey. Where they embark on a transformational adventure that they may not have seen coming. If you create a hero worth following, people will want to hear about it! Study your favorite heroes and follow them along on their journey. Build inspiration from them. Are they heroes that you would follow? Soon enough you will create your own!
Do it for you and the rest will follow! Don’t be so hung up on being heard. You write for yourself after all, because you enjoy it. When you put all your work into a piece and you share it with the world, believe in yourself. Believe that you wrote something worth the time to read and people will read it!
Do the best that you can, and it will show. Your voice will be heard when the time is right. But in the meantime keep writing and keep trying to be the best that you can be!
Read some more of our post for writing inspiration, and writing advice!
The Anti-HeroWe are living in a time where escaping the confines of our home is what we want to do more than anything. Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, etc. can only provide so much entertainment. The plots become predictable, the characters lose…
Your words are magic, you just have to believe in them! We want to reflect positivity on writers because we love them! We need you more than you think, so keep being you! Write what you love and check out…
We can’t skip over Spooktober without thinking of writing a thriller! We must give the people what they want! Now, there’s a million and one sub-genres and other avenues for writing a thriller, but we are just going to stick…
You probably already read the title..so who comes to your mind first? It doesn’t have to be a famous writer. It could be your fifth grade teacher, a parent or a blogger. But we all have role models, or someone who pushed us in the direction toward our dreams. We feed off of other people and in this case a positive way. If someone did not come to your mind right away that’s okay. Inspiration is all around you. Take what you can and build off of it!
Some people will devote themselves to writing once they put down the one book that changed their lives. Think back to that time that made you want to become a writer. Was it the world building that J. K Rowling produced in Harry Potter? The character development by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice? The disturbing nature of Steven King in Pet Sematary? The list can go on and on! Remember what/who made you want to become a writer in the first place.
Every Monday we take a quote from a famous writer and break it down. Do any of them ring a bell? Consider yourself a role model to other writers everyday. Who knows maybe your quote will give inspiration for years to come.
We know our words are powerful, and that they can affect people both positively and negatively. I urge you to use your words and help power the lives of others right now. Let us grow and be powerful together!