1. nikkimikkilee
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    nikkimikkilee New Member

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    Tips on writing an argument scene?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by nikkimikkilee, Dec 3, 2015.

    Hello. In the story I am writing, my main character suspects that her husband is having an affair. Whether he actually is or not is up for debate. I want to write an argument scene between them, but I've never done anything like that before. Have you? What are some things you have done? Tips?


    Thank you for helping.
     
  2. R.P. Kraul
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    R.P. Kraul Member

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    Give each character a "script" that contradicts the other character. For instance ...

    Husband: what is she talking about? I'm not having an affair. Who told her this? Or did she formulate this idea all on her own? She's gone insane. Either that or someone's misleading her. Her friends never liked me, especially Janet. Damn it, I'll get to the bottom of this.

    Wife: The way he's been acting, the evidence I have against him--he can't deny it, and if he does, I'm leaving him. And what does he seek outside of this house that I don't offer? This man cannot be trusted. And he will lie. I know he will.

    In his book "Stein On Writing," Sol Stein talks about a method he uses to generate tension and conflict. Each character needs to have a firm opinion that he or she will fight for unconditionally.
     
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  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Arguments usually start from something other than what's really going on. For instance the wife suspects her husband of having an affair, unless she's a shoot-from-the-hip type she's going to circle around that idea before going in for the kill. The argument will usually stem from something else - you could've phoned me if you were going to be late - again, or you forgot the milk. Before the real issue pops up.
    I usually like to come up with tones and moods - is the wife angry, concerned, worried, unhappy, or does she delight in making her husband uncomfortable. Does she really want the truth? What's his take - is he a smooth liar, uncomfortable, transparent, ridiculous, jovial? Does he really want to suppress the truth?

    I also love Kraul's advice on making up a script for each character that contradicts the other. Good way of incorporating both views.
     
  4. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Tarantino sits at a table with a pad and pencil and just gets the two characters started talking to each other. Let it flow from there.
     

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