Creating a World of Anti-Heroes

Written by Ryan McCoy

May 5th, 2019

The Rapture. It has become the subject of several new stories, both on television and on the big screen. Stories about the end of times, whether they be biblical or made up, have always been a fabric of humans’ lives. Just like the subject of death and dying, humans are just as curious about what there is after life and what will cause it to come to an end, as they do about life and its meaning.

Apocalypse was meant to be an onslaught of action. The easiest way to have a high body count and especially high number of head-shots, is to make your enemy a art of the undead. But, so many zombies movies and stories had been done before, that I had the idea of having the story take place after the Rapture. The setting would become the driver in creating my characters.

Since, in theory, the only people left behind after the Rapture are “bad” people, or were bad people in life, it allowed me to explore different fabrics of humanity, specifically western ideaology. Each one of the characters is a representation of currents subjects I wanted to explore. I find it fascinating the choices some people make in life to lead them to where they end up.

I wanted to challenge myself by introducing our main characters, or “heroes” of this story in the worst possible way, and see if by the end of it, I can have the audience feeling genuine sympathy and empathy for these characters. It’s similar to the concept of “The Dirty Dozen” or “Predators.”

It’s interesting because on paper, each of these characters are horrible humans. Yet, even within the fabric of this world, their are still anti-ANTI-heroes. Meaning, even though allof these people have been left behind deservedely, there are still clearly defined protagonists and antagonists. (For anyone who may not be aware with these terms, protagonist means “good guys” and antagonist means “bad guys.”)

The choice to not give the characters first names, only labels, was another block stacked against me in terms of difficulty when it comes to the audience sympathizing with the characters. Just because you tell the audience who the good guys and the bad guys are, doesn’t mean they’ll root for them the right way. You have to give them a reason for caring about the protagonists, and that’s done just like any other exposition in story, through conflict and action and how the character deals with given conflict defines them as a character.

If you notice from the opening pages, you’ll see it starts with a group of kids. These kids all have first names and appear as innocent as a group of young adults travelling in the night, hiding from something, can be. However, what the reader might miss, is that regardless of how these kids are presented in the opening, they are still left behind after the Rapture, meaning, they must have done some seriously fucked up shit in their lives to be here!!! That’s what I love exploring about this world I am creating and I hope to continue to be able to tell stories and creating characters and weaving their stories all together, set against the bacdrop of the end of times.