Definition: A person inclined to dominate, dictate, be pushy and overbearing
Characters in Literature: Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Mr. Dussel (The Diary of Anne Frank)
Common Portrayals: An overseer who is always hovering and micro-managing, the student waving his hand in the air, speaking out of turn, interrupting, correcting misinformation, offering information that may or may not be relevant simply to show how much they know, sneering, sniffing in disdain, looking down their noses at people, offering advice when it isn’t wanted
Possible Cliches to Avoid: The overbearing schoolgirl or bossy little sister, the clearly incompetent but dictatorial manager, know-it-alls
Twists on the Traditional Bossy:
- Instead of having a Bossy character who’s bossy just for the sake of meanness, give him a reason to be that way. Show why he is the way he is.
- Create a Bossy who knows he’s incompetent and doesn’t hide it, but for whatever reason, still is compelled to push people around
- Bossies don’t have to be know-it-alls! A person might be bossy by constantly finding fault and criticizing others in an effort to change them. Another kind of Bossy could be the expert at “delegating” (ie, sitting back and giving orders while others do the work). Redefine Bossy to make it work in a new way.
- Traditionally, villains and mentors are bossy. Try a bossy hero or trickster instead.
Additional characteristics to make your Bossy unique or unusual: polite, nervous, shy, thoughtful, affectionate, charming, charismatic, non-confrontational
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