Every Story Needs a Villain (Thoughts on Bullying by K.C. Finn)

Every Story Needs A Villain

Thoughts on Bullying by K.C. Finn

The Anti-Bullying movement is a campaign which rises up in different shapes and forms all over the world, with one common intention: to raise awareness of bullying in all walks of life, and to encourage its prevention wherever possible. Those last two words – wherever possible –mean a lot to me in particular, and they form the basis of the issue I’d like to talk about today.
Physical violence in schools, colleges, the workplace and any other area of life is just plain wrong. If you see someone being physically bullied, you should always do whatever’s within your power to make it stop, whether that’s calling for the nearest authority, or stepping in yourself if you happen to be an educator or another enforcer of safety codes. Nobody should have to live with constant physical violence in their lives.
Emotional bullying, in the form of the spoken or written word, however, is quite another matter. This style of bullying is far more common than physical attacks, and it affects everyone at some time in their lives. Short of taping everybody’s mouths up in the classroom, there isn’t much you can do about someone who insists on saying hurtful things. You can punish them, certainly, but I’m sure those of you with first-hand experience of bullying know that a punishment rarely stops the bully from resuming their taunts the very next day. There is a simple, biological explanation for this inevitability:
People evolve at different rates.
Everyone on this planet is an individual. At different speeds and via different means, most of us eventually learn that our words and actions, however small, have consequences for the people around us. Bullies who use harsh words to get a rise out of you have not yet evolved to understand how much those words will hurt you. No amount of intervention or punishment can speed up the biological empathy that just doesn’t exist in their brains yet. They are not as mature as you are. They can’t see the world the way that their victims do.
You may think that this presents a fairly hopeless perspective, since there’s nothing that can really be done about the jerk who calls you names from the back of the class. This is exactly how I felt when I was a bullied child, and later, a bullied adult in my college years. During that time, however, I discovered a perspective that changed everything. In my love of literature, I began to think about villains.
A villain’s purpose in a story is not just to cause trouble. Villains are essential in literature, because they present challenges to the hero. Their unstoppably wicked ways make the hero of the tale stand up for themselves. They force that hero to become stronger, braver and less afraid in the face of terrible adversity. Heroes become who they are because of the things they have overcome in their lives. Stories need villains, for without them, there would be no heroes at all.
Preventing bullying is not always possible. The less evolved amongst us will always seek to throw hate and humiliation our way. But that doesn’t mean we have to let that hate into our lives. We can use it to better ourselves if we approach it in the right way. Villains are sent to test you, so be ready for their challenges. Smile at their stupidity. Shine above their darkness. Show them that their small role in your life is to make you stronger, and greater than them. Pity them, because one day they’ll regret who they are right now.
Every day that you can overcome what your villains throw at you, you become an ever greater hero in your life’s story. When I look back on the villains who have passed through my life, I can take pride in the fact that I got past them, and they never stopped me from believing in myself, or from achieving my dreams. Celebrate your villains today, because they are the ones who will give you a stronger tomorrow.


Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it’d be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first three novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga, the time travel adventure The Secret Star and her new urban fantasy epic The Book Of Shade.

As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.

K.C. Finn signed with Clean Teen Publishing in late 2013. Her books The Mind’s Eye and Leighton’s Summer were released in early 2014.



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