Writing the “Anti-Hero” by Rahima Warren
Today on Writer’s Fun Zone we have Rahima Warren, Author of Dark Innocence, Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy stopping by on her book blog tour. Rahima will gives us some insight on writing the “anti-hero”. Enjoy!
Oh! And comment below about your favorite anti-hero or suffering hero to enter to a win a free copy of Dark Innocence. A winner will be picked next week.
Lastly, be sure to enter the Special Grand Prize Giveaway below for lots of fun prizes!
“In literature, an antihero is a protagonist who has no heroic virtues or qualities (such as being morally good, idealistic, courageous, noble, and possessing fortitude), blurring the line between hero and villain.” Wikipedia
One of my motivations for writing about an anti-hero was to try to get beyond dualistic (black/white; good/evil) thinking. Thus, I placed this quote at the beginning of Book One:
“When will you learn, O mind,
to sleep in perfect comfort
between the captivating lovers,
holiness and defilement?
Only when you can keep
these two consorts peaceful
beneath a single roof
will you truly encounter
the brilliance of the Goddess.”
Ramakrishna, translated by Lex Hixon
My protagonist, Kyr, is a sort of “anti-hero.” At first, he knows nothing but obedience to an evil sorcerer-king known as the Soul-Drinker. He coldly carries out the Soul-Drinker’s vicious commands, until he is rescued by people whom he has unwittingly helped. The main thread of the story is Kyr’s healing journey, as he learns that there is kindness, friendship and love in the world, and struggles to become a kind, caring person. His battle is with his inner demons, not with orcs or dragons.
Kyr’s courage is the courage to look within, face his own pain, rage and remorse, and find his way to forgiveness and love. This is a courage much needed in the world today, to help end the cycles of blame and punishment, hatred and revenge, which lead to feuds, war and terrorism, as well as to depression, self-loathing, and many emotional ills.
Rather than an anti-hero, I call Kyr a “suffering hero.” This is an archetype that lives in us all. Without conscious attention, it can drive us to act as victims, rescuers and/or persecutors. These three archetypes or roles can be seen in numerous stories, myths and legends, and are acted out in our daily lives, if we haven’t gone on our own healing journeys. They are the source of much drama — and suffering.
From one angle, it seems like my whole life was preparation to write Kyr’s story. I had to go on my own healing journey, which started during my first marriage in my 20’s. I found myself spending hours contemplating homicide, but decided getting into therapy was a better idea. (LOL!) Having derived much healing and peace from my inner work, I wanted to help others in this way. So I went back to school in my late 30’s, earned M.A.s in counseling psychology & transpersonal counseling, and my MFT license, and become a guide for others on their healing journeys. I was stunned by how much suffering and abuse people endure, and totally amazed by our ability to recover and heal ourselves with the right help.
Another part of my unwitting preparation to write Kyr’s story was learning to trust the messages of the unconscious mind. First, I learned to work with dreams through creative imagination. (You can see some of my dreamwork and expressive art on www.soulplay.com) Then I delved deeper into working with the dreaming mind through sandplay therapy. Next, I become an expressive arts therapist, in which the creative process is focused on freely expressing whatever you are feeling or envisioning without any regard for art techniques or for producing ’fine art’ and/or pieces to sell. No critiques or even positive comments allowed! In all of these ways, I learned to ignore the inner critic/judge, go with the creative flow, and follow it to its natural conclusion.
When I was finally ready, Kyr’s story burst forth in a passionate, creative outpouring. (see “How My Hero Turned Me into a Writer.”) It was so much fun to write whatever came no matter how dark, that I snuck off to write whenever I could, staying up late, neglecting the housework, etc. I wrote from my heart with no plan or outline. Being a psychotherapist, I did my best to imagine what Kyr would be feeling as he evolved from a cold, obedient slave of evil to a human, vulnerable man. In some sense, he was my alter-ego. I had to see with his eyes, and write down whatever he showed me.
After three years, I got to the end of Kyr’s story, and realized that it is a powerful story with an important gift to offer of healing and “guidance through suffering,” as one reader said. Kyr’s journey shows a way toward healing, love and peace for the ‘suffering hero’ in humanity’s soul. And Kyr does “encounter the brilliance of the Goddess” on his journey, as I hope we all will.
Enter Rahima Warren’s Grand Prize Giveaway here:
For over 40 years, author Rahima Warren has been delving into the deep mysteries within, retrieving many gems of wisdom and healing. Through an unexpected alchemy, those inner gems have been distilled into an enthralling and sensuous adventure of the soul, Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy, a story of the journey from evil and suffering to redemption and love, set in an ancient world of blood sorcery and ritual magic. Now available through Amazon.com and other online bookstores, in print and in all e-book formats.
Expressive Art, Dreamwork and Gems from My Journals: www.soulplay.com
Expressive Arts: www.creativejuicesarts.com
Dreamworking: A Comprehensive Guide to Working With Dreams by Strephon Kaplan-Williams (available on Amazon) – teaches how to interact with your dreams thru creative imagination, writing & art.
Sandtray WorldPlay Therapy http://vision-quest.us/vqisr/about_us.htm