I am attracted to people with a positive perspective on life. I am one of those people. And, I totally and completely enjoy reading the classic anti-hero, with his silent, brooding type of strength. I even enjoy the female anti-hero, thought I don’t come across many of them. Robert Parker’s Sunny is one of them – and Grafton’s Kinsey has some of those qualities, too. I guess I can relate to them a bit – I could be a perfectly content loner myself, just don’t tell my husband.
Is the anti-hero a typical glass-is-half-full guy or gal? Not exactly, but what he or she isn’t, is a glass-is-half-empty type of person. They’ve accepted that rocks are hard, water’s wet and life can really stink, but, it is what it is, and they do what needs to be done right now. They don’t whine. Brooding is acceptable, whining is not. There is NOTHING heroic or admirable about whining.
Do they have dreams of the future? Probably not so many. They might still harbor a concept of a better world, or of avenging the death of a loved one, or even paying the rent on time, but for the most part they’re grounded in the present and make the most of it by staying aware of their surroundings and how those surroundings impact them. And of course, they will always stumble across something noble to do while brooding their way through life.
Is your character dealing with a terminal health condition? How does that impact his/her perspective on life? Is your character dealing with a horrible tragedy in their past? Do they choose to value life or mourn it? Is their behavior realistic with their perspective?
How do your characters see life? If you’ll remember to build around that perspective, they’ll all be much more three-dimensional. And that will equate to characters that your readers will form emotional attachments to.
Keep reading and writing! Nancy Q.