Creating a convincing argument between two characters can be a challenging task for any writer.

However, it is an essential aspect of any story, as it adds tension and drama that will keep readers engaged.

When writing an argument in a story, you may face a number of challenges.

Firstly, conveying the high levels of emotion and tension between characters can be difficult to do in a believable and realistic way.

It can be a delicate balance between making the argument feel intense and avoiding it feeling forced or melodramatic.

Secondly, writing back-and-forth dialogue that feels natural and engaging to the reader can be tricky.

Your characters need to have distinct voices and motivations, and their dialogue should advance the plot while revealing important information about their relationships.

Thirdly, arguments often have a complex emotional backstory and can be the result of long-standing conflicts or issues between the characters.

As the writer, it can be challenging to convey this backstory without resorting to long exposition or slowing down the pace of the story.

Finally, arguments can be polarizing for readers, who may take sides or find the conflict uncomfortable or difficult to read.

As the writer, you need to be sensitive to your audience and ensure that the argument feels authentic and justified within the context of the story.

Some tips to help you write arguments that will captivate your readers:

  1. Start with dialogue. Begin by writing the dialogue between your characters. Try to imagine the scene in your head and write down the words that come to mind. Don’t worry too much about the details, just get the words down. Leave spaces for natural pauses and add em-dashes or ellipses to capture the tone of the conversation.
  2. Include action. Actions can make your argument more realistic and help your characters express themselves. Use facial expressions, body language, and movements to bring your characters to life. You can also have them interact with objects in their surroundings, such as slamming doors or gripping a steering wheel tightly.
  3. Add emotion. Adding emotion is critical to create a connection between your readers and the characters. However, emotions should be shown, not told. Instead of just stating that the character is angry, describe how that anger is affecting them physically and emotionally.
  4. Build tension slowly. Don’t have your characters go from calm to furious in a single paragraph. Build the tension slowly and let the argument escalate over time. Let the reader feel the anger and frustration in the characters as their self-control dwindles.
  5. Vary sentence length. Use a mix of sentence lengths to create a natural flow to your argument. Short, sharp sentences can work well for intense moments, but too many can feel unnatural. Use longer sentences to add more emotional impact to the scene.
  6. Consider the argument’s origins. Most arguments don’t happen out of nowhere. Consider what led up to the argument, whether it’s something that happened hours, days, or even years before. Knowing the roots of the argument will help you create a convincing and realistic scene.
  7. Understand your characters’ goals/motivations. Make sure you understand what your characters want, both overtly and covertly. Characters often hide their desires, even from themselves. Knowing their goals will help you write a focused and consistent argument.

You don’t have to get everything right in the first draft.

Writing an argument scene can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that it’s okay if you don’t get everything right in the first draft.

Many writers revisit their argument scenes multiple times to ensure they get the pacing, emotion, and dialogue just right.

If you’re struggling to get everything down in one go, don’t worry.

A good place to start is to focus on getting one aspect of the scene right the first time, whether it be the dialogue, pacing, or emotion.

You can always go back and add the missing pieces later.

Remember, writing is a process and it’s okay to take your time to get it just right. Keep practising and you’ll find what works best for you.

If you’re looking for even more support in crafting a good scene, I have several writing guides available for free.