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.