a.) How do you feel about stories with bullies?
I think, when written well, a bully can add motivation to the MC to accomplish a goal, stand up for themselves, or give an antagonist for the MC to overcome. But, in EpiLand, the bully is a mean girl named “Candi” who calls the MC mean names or doles out stupid insults that add nothing to the story- at all.
b.) Do you think bullies are portrayed well/correctly in Episode stories?
Not really. I think most people just throw in a mean girl so people will pity the MC for being “picked on” or show how “not popular” their “nerdy” MC is. Yes, there are people who bully just because they can. Most, usually have a reason and it’s not always directed at the person they’re bullying.
c.) Do you think this trope is clichè and overused?
I think if the bully adds to the story and isn’t there for sympathy points, then no. If the bully is there just to say some rude things then never be seen again, yes.
d.) If you said yes to c, how can writers who use this trope make it not or less clichè? Or should writers not use this trope at all?
I think if you are adding a bully, they should add something to the story. Give them a real purpose for their being there and having dialogue beyond “i want readers to pity my MC”.
e.) How can authors better write and portray bullies? Or should they not write bullies at all?
I think writers should do research into the psychology of bullies. They usually have a reason for being bullies.
f.) What are the most common type of bullies you encounter in Episode stories?
Mean Girl: ew, look at the nerd. Stay away from my man! insert her posse of other meaningless characters agreeing
There are many reasons why a bully is a bully. People aren’t just mean to be mean. And for the love, most bullies are NOT the popular girl. Yes, some popular girls bully… .but really if they were horrible all the time, no one would like them- thus, they would not be popular, everyone would hate them. Also, bullies usually have some kind of reason or internal struggle that causes them to lash out and cause another person to feel bad- they just want to spread their hurt around.