Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I've recently watched the *first season of Downton Abbey. And, wow. What a show, right? I love it.

Also I've been working a chapter with a bully in it.

So, for those of you watching Downton Abbey (aka Best Show Ever), you know O'Brian? Oh my, is she a great and horrible conniving character or what? I love how rotten she is. She causes so much trouble. And she's such a brilliant  character to dislike. And the season finale? Ack! That was so heart wrenching. I loved her having to learn the truth and seeing how horrible and  wrong she'd been but I interestingly enough, I also pitied her. Can you imagine living with that? (yes, yes, I know this doesn't make any sense for those of you unfamiliar with the show...well, get onto Netflix and watch it already! You'll thank me. Really....it's so great.)

This got me thinking about an antagonist in my story. Is she being mean enough? If she really really doesn't like the MC and she is so very angry at what is happening around her, wouldn't she lash out more? She thinks she's completely justified in her anger (my bully AND O'Brian) and because she thinks she's in the right, this gives her the power to be real pain in the rear. Just stinking mean and obnoxious.

Everyone is trying to get something they want. And the bad and rotten characters aren't any different. And what happens if they blame your MC for keeping them from getting what they want? Why, more trouble! Yay!

I realized my bully wants my MC to make a fool of himself. She wants everyone else to see that the MC is an idiot, as she already knows he is. (of course, he isn't....my bully just has some issues of her own to deal with)

How about you? Do you have a bully in your story? Some kind of mean and rotten character trying to take the MC down? Is she (or he) being mean enough? Come on! Let your mean and rotten side out and make things hard for your main character! It will keep us turning the pages of your book!

Look at the world through your bully's eyes and you might be surprised at what they're capable of. And you'll also be pleased with all the delightful chaos it creates for your MC. And we writers love to create more chaos for our main characters, right? Of course we do!

And remember to let yourself go crazy. What could your bully or antagonist do that is really unexpected? That would make things extra super hard for your main character? Come on! Throw your head back and belt out your best evil laugh and then get typing!

*On a whim I looked into Season 2 and found out I can watch it on-line on the PBS Site...Ack! I can't wait to watch them. Must. Move. Away. From. Laptop. Now. But. It. Is. So. Hard....


  1. Sounds like a good show. I just don't have much time to watch TV so I haven't seen it. I would be interested to know more about your bully and what she does. Guess I'll have to wait to read the book until it's published to find out, huh? Dang! The stepmother in my African Snow White story is a bully and so is her nephew, but I wonder if I've made them too mean and obvious and unlikeable. Sometimes I think I need to make them more subtle and give them some redeeming qualities just to make what they do even more horrible because it's so sneaky and only the main character sees how awful they are and everyone else thinks they're amazing!

    1. Yeah...I don't really have time to watch tv either....

      That's a great point about bullies though. You don't want to make them too obvious and stereotypical. And I think giving them redeeming qualities is essential. I think it amps up the tension if you can make your reader care about the bully and the MC.

      And....lol. Yes. I hope you'll be able to read the book someday!

  2. LOVE that show. Season 2 just gets better. It's killing me to wait for each show to come out though.... Good luck with your writing. :)

    1. I know, right? It's so fun.

      And thanks! :)

  3. Her character is even better in season 2!!

  4. Oooooooh! I'm hoping to dive into episode 1 today! Maybe I could lock my kids outside? Oh, what? It's really cold and snowy out there? Dangit.