Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this table, we list the differences between heroes and anti-heroes for writers.
We are often asked about the differences between heroes and anti-heroes on our Writers Write course. There are many, including the storytelling truth that heroes need confidants and mentors, while anti-heroes need sidekicks.
TOP TIP: Either a hero or an anti-hero can be the protagonist in a story.
Heroes And Anti-Heroes – What’s The Difference?
According to the dictionary a hero is ‘a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities’. A fiction hero is a ‘character in a book, play, or film, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathise’.
The anti-hero is ‘a central character in a story, film, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes’. These missing attributes include idealism, courage, and morality. Anti-heroes can sometimes do the right thing, but it is usually because it serves their interests to do so.
Anthony Ehlers compiled this list as a guide for aspiring writers.
- Five Shortcuts for Creating an Inciting Moment
- Amused – Nine New Muses to Make You Write
- Are you a jester, a priest or a magician? – The Three Things Readers Want
- Is Genre a Straitjacket?
- Give me a break – the Internal Critic strikes back
- Talk Show — How to let your characters tell their story
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