Today I was writing a scene for a longer story in which my fish-out-of-water character comes up against people she has befriended but disagrees with. It’s very difficult for her to do this, and it was so much fun to write, that I’m recommending you try something similar.
Write A Story Centered Around An Argument
- Make sure you make it clear what each character wants and what the stakes are for each character in this argument (in my case, my main character desperately wants to fix a mistake she has made that had consequences for her new friends, without getting them in more trouble. They want to help her and she’s determined to go it alone. The new friends variously want to help her because: they like her; they have a lot to lose too; it’s the right thing to do; they’re bored and want adventure; and simply to take advantage of an opportunity to tease a big brother mercilessly. Each character in the argument has a reason to be in it.)
- Think about how you FEEL when you’re in an argument. Try to use some of that physicality — but without resorting to cliché. Be outrageous. Make up new metaphors that suit your setting. Have fun with this. You can always edit them out later.
- If you want this to be more than a ‘talking heads’ situation, have your characters DO something as they argue: maybe they’re hiking along a dangerous ridge so they must remain in control or they risk plunging over the edge; maybe they’re doing the dishes; maybe they are hiding from the bad guys and the whole argument must be whispered…
- Have some fun with this. Let your characters say things you would NEVER say, because you’re such a nice person (you are, aren’t you?)