Bullies are equal opportunity tormentors. Some pick on the weak, the disabled or the different. No one is out of bounds and, sadly, no one is too young or too old.
The bullying doesn’t have to be physical; it could be the 10-year-old on the bus name-calling the 8-year-old or the kid who spits in your food at lunchtime or a group of "nice kids" who post unflattering or embarrassing pictures of you on social media.
It could be a parent, teacher or boss who is physically, verbally or emotionally abusive. If you work in the service industry, it could be the angry customer who screams at you for everything that is wrong in their life.
What they all have in common is bullying does emotional damage to your self-esteem and in the worst cases, endangers your physical health. They make your life miserable.
You may be asking when would a bully help? How about in your story? Does your story need more tension, more obstacles or more subplots? The bully may be your answer. They could be your antagonist’s sidekick or a secondary character that delight in tormenting your main character, also known as “a toy breaker.”
In Jay Asher's powerful and thought provoking, Thirteen Reasons Why, without bullies, there'd be no story. Spoiler alert, the girl commits suicide because of the bullying.
Think about the bullies in your life, past or present. Here’s your chance to punish or confront them on paper. Go for it. No holds barred. The possibilities are endless and the catharsis —therapeutic!