Sometimes an anti-hero also has remarkable ability to compartmentalize.
Perhaps he kills an enemy or a bad guy, then in the next scene shows up at a kid’s birthday party, apparently unruffled by his recent grisly task.
Like all main characters, understanding an anti-hero’s character arc is crucial in designating his role in your story.
After all, you’ll need to know if his good behavior is accidental, or if he is redeemed by the story’s events.
Mac Donald’s Travis Mc Gee comes to mind, as does Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Robin Hood was an anti-hero, as was Wolf Larsen in Jack London’s .
One trick to creating an anti-hero is to fashion his primary traits so that his essential nature and personality are clear to you as you craft each scene he appears in.
Then you need to know the why of these traits and beliefs—in essence, how he came to be.
Fiction can, and should, mimic life, with all its messes and discomfort and disquiet.
Fiction should also prove just how complicated and troubled many people are.