Updated: Jun 20
As we all know, arguing is a part of life. Engaging in an argument can be frustrating, stressful and even belittling. Sometimes, our characters might experience verbal fights throughout their journey. These arguments could encourage your characters to grow or change their behaviors. But how can we create a realistic argument between two characters? Keep reading to find out!
WHO IS ARGUING?
Often, two people who care deeply for one another argue because they have opposing beliefs or reasoning. There are times heated conversations could be between two people who despise each other. As the author of your story, it is up to you to decide which characters argue and what exactly their relationship is with one another.
The relationship these characters share will affect the way the characters might speak to one another, or enhance/decrease the effect their words will have on the other person. Take, for example, an argument between two lovers could be devastating for both people because the thoughts, feelings, and words of one partner deeply affect the other.
Keep in mind how these characters view one another. Do they love and/or respect the other person? If so, they might confront the other person more gently. Do your characters resent each other because of hurtful situations that have happened in the past? Are they finally confronting one another? If your characters have been hurt, depending on how hostile they are as a person, how do you think they will confront the other person?
All arguing results from opposing viewpoints and passion between two people, whether positive or negative. Otherwise, if the participants feel nothing toward one another, their feuding would be called a debate.
What are the opposing viewpoints both your characters have? To make a killer argument, it is important that an author not to take sides between their two characters. Let your readers choose who is right or wrong. Make sure to justify both your character's reasoning with several valid points based on your character's experiences, personality, and general way of thinking. This is a plus when you want your readers to understand the argument from another perspective.
Resentment could happen prior to or after the argument. Resentment could very well have caused the argument, and if the argument was not resolved, then that same resentment could have festered.
As we all know, in the heat of the moment, we could say some very nasty things, even to somebody we care about. Sometimes, people say things they don't mean to get a negative reaction from the other person. On the other hand, your character can be very blunt and say something hurtful, but true, to help the other character.
Your character might initially feel attacked when confronted, yelled at, or judged harshly. If they are weak and not matured, they could turn to negative influences to get their mind off the negative words the other person had said. It might take your character some time to get over the resentment and see that the other person had their best interests at heart.
However, if the other person was truly attacking your character, for no good reason, from emotions such as spite, hate, anger, or jealousy, then how would your character react to this? Are they the type of person who could easily break? Will they lash out at the other person in return? Or will they pity that hateful person and ask for their forgiveness and move on with their lives?
It is hard to push one's own feelings and beliefs aside to hear, consider, and respect another person's beliefs. Not all people want to consider the other person's hurt, as they see that they were the only one hurt. Know your character enough to make this distinction on whether they are capable of understanding. Upon understanding the other person, will your character change the way they are thinking, become more open-minded, or will they push their beliefs onto the other person as they still believe they are the only one who is right? These are some things to consider but should come easily once you have a sense of what type of person your character is.
Not all people apologize after an argument, even when they were in the wrong. This is a result of ego, stubbornness, and sometimes narcissism. Based on who your characters are, they might not apologize for their misunderstanding and harsh words. Or, they would apologize, just for the sake of apologizing, as many people do in real life; to mull over the argument and get on with their lives. This is lying, of course, just to shut up the other person. If this is the path your character will take, then make it a point in your writing that they do not care about the feelings of the other person, and repeat the same actions the other person was offended by (the repetition of negative actions will more likely be done in secret as they are a manipulative liar).
It takes a big person to apologize sincerely with the hope to make amends and remedy whatever offended the other. In this case, make sure to include the physical changes they have made as a result of the argument.
Not all apologies are verbal! Words are often said but might not be sincere. The best apologies could just be the physical act of remedying the situation that concerned the other person.
Apologies do not mean your characters would like to continue the relationship they had with one another. Maybe this argument has opened their eyes and showed them both that the other person is not what they are looking for in a lover, partner, or friend.
Hope this helped! Tell me what you think! Leave me a comment below!
JK Noble | Author | Artist | Philanthropist
Published author of the new YA Fantasy Series, HALE.
Creator of the LMB franchise and the Encourage Literacy Foundation.