Bullies

What can I say about a bully? They're a fantastic antagonist? Well, they are but you must craft them carefully. No more of the usual kick in the seat of the pants, steals the lunch money, and generally makes your protagonist's life miserable kind of bully is acceptable. No, today's bully must by sly. They must lurk in corners, finding chinks in your armor and then, but only then, work though it to destory you in so many ways you often wonder if they're not right.
Have I found myself the target of bullies? Sure. Hasn't everyone? How do I handle them. Well, most might say it's not right but I've found they implode if no one listens to their diatribes.
In my latest WIP, the main character finds herself reviled by her community. They've decided, without any doubt, she ruined not one but two lives. And how did they come to this conclusion? Why she did it. No previous problems in her life. An honors student, part of an elite but not elitist group, yet she did it with no other questions asked. And how did the community come to this conclusion? Because someone else stood up and shouted she did it first. That's all. Very simple. Ah, but impossible you say. No one would ever do this?
But doesn't it happen in real life? I whisper. Don't people, when they don't receive satisfaction from their do it my way or else attitude, immediately slam the person until they curl up into a ball? Doesn't reality have a huge impact on our writing?
Someone commented I should use character questionnaires to delve into the personalities of my characters. Sorry, I disagree. Questionnaires are hidebound. They allow no room for character growth since you answer questions about your character long before you actually write their story. A story evolves as you write it. It becomes connected in ways you never saw possible. Good stories, that is. Some characters grow and others remain rooted in what they see as their most important moment in their life.
So for those who believe a character is nothing more than electronic bytes or pen on paper, please look at those around you. They are as human as the people we interact with daily.

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