Arguments are the sort of thing that happens when you’re upset or confused, right? They don’t rely on logic because of that. So how do you write arguments when you’re not upset? (Believable ones)
Writing Relationship Conflict: A Necessary Evil
The hero and heroine have to argue at some point in a romance novel. Period. It’s one of the must-haves of the genre. Not to mention one of the most realistic aspects since there’s no such thing as a conflict-free relationship.
Personally, however, I hate writing them. As a matter of fact, writing arguments has been the hardest aspect of writing this romance novel so far. I’m not saying the rest isn’t hard. This part is simply particularly trying for me.
Reasons I Hate Writing Arguments
I Hate Conflict
Interpersonal conflict gives me ridiculous amounts of stress. Real-life conflict is awful, but imaginary conflict is pretty bad, too.
Seriously, I’m the sort of person who can’t even stand when people are arguing on television. Especially when it’s over something completely unreasonable or illogical. In fact, it can give me so much stress, I have to leave the room or fast forward.
That makes writing arguments a bit traumatic because arguments are all about conflict. I’m basically giving myself anxiety on purpose, which isn’t comfortable at all.
Mixing Reason & Emotion
I like intelligent characters, and nothing will blast me out of the story faster than a smart character being stupid in what I consider an unbelievable way.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that smart people do dumb things. But there are limits.
Trying to find the right balance between…
- being upset and unreasonable and
- not being so stupid that they’re out of character,
…well, that’s incredibly challenging.
Writing Better Arguments
I know I’m not good at writing relationship conflicts, so here are the strategies I’m using to improve.
No, I don’t bring paper and a pen when I fight with my family, friends, etc. That would get me injured or murdered rather quickly.
But I can take notes when watching a show or reading a book where someone wrote an article well. I can pay attention to what made it better than those arguments where I had to leave the room or got irritated with the author.
Then, I can use that information to improve my own arguments.
Building Up to Arguments
Part of what makes behaviors so unbelievable is when there was nothing to indicate they were coming. By that logic, if I show signs of a build-up of stress or irritation before the argument, irrational behavior during the argument should be more believable.
I’m Open to Suggestion
If anyone has any other ideas for how to write a believable argument, don’t be shy. I need all the help I can get!