Conflict with Conflict

I’ve been writing this argument scene for a couple days, and the dialogue just isn’t falling together for me. Everything sounds really awkward, and I can’t come up with better words for my characters to express themselves with. I think I have a really good sense of the emotions and the non-verbal aspects of the argument, but what they’re saying isn’t coming out right. When I run through the scene in my head, there’s a lot of gesturing and facial expressions and whatnot, but no dialogue. It’s frustrating! Sharing (and avoiding sharing) feelings is so awkward sometimes. I roughed in a few sentences, but it’s definitely something I have to come back to later.

In my own life, I’m a conflict avoider, so it’s no surprise to me I’m struggling with this one. Callie, however, can be a conflict provoker. She often speaks without thinking and will use words as weapons, so this is something I’m really going to have to work on, especially since there are many, many more conflicts in her future.

At least I have the luxury of doing what I’ve always wished I could in real life: going back and changing what I said hours later when I think of a way better line.


Rise and Shine…


Reaching Out


  1. I avoid verbal conflict like the plague in real life too. If I get into an argument I tend to revert to everything I learned on my high school debate team and use giant words, making whomever I’m arguing with feel like I’m being intentionally condescending. I tend to walk away and write notes.

    My problem with writing verbal conflict, is I often am only able to write one side of the argument at a time. Perhaps if you got into the heads of one character at a time, it would help?

    • That’s a great idea Paige, thanks! I think because I’m so uncomfortable with conflict, I tend to approach it as a passive, third-party observer instead of getting right into my characters’ heads so I can distance myself from the feelings it provokes in me. But comfort be damned. I think this will be a big help. 🙂

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