How to Write an Argument

If you've ever read a story in which characters get mad at each other for no reason at all, and you have to read every long paragraph of gruelingly unrealistic dialogue you will probably be happy that one of these things came out.

If you've ever tried to write an argument and found that each character either sounds exactly the same or you can't seem to come up with something horribly witty and pun filled then I hope that you don't expect this to save you. This is for the realistic argument. This is the kind you hone in on in a subway when someone screams into their Bluetooth. This can make a great story.


I think I've been in about five arguments in my whole life, all of which I have failed miserably with thinking of great comebacks to whatever stupid thing I was trying to disprove. This happens to most humans and should be taken into account. Here are some rules –

1. Not everyone knows exactly what they want to say. Take into account stuttering and silences.

2. People like to walk away and move objects to distract themselves in arguments.

3. Not all people want to be in an argument. Take into account the avoidance.

4. Not all people know when to close their mouth.

5. Not all people will listen to those in number 4, and like to interrupt.

6. Some people love to argue and won't drop the subject.

Types of People:

Everybody argues. Even the most gentle of people engage in some kind of heated argument with their significant other and like to lean over the counter and yell. But there are very specific types of arguers that should make their appearances when sliding in between your plot line.

The Worrier: Yes the suspicious over the top ring master of all things wrong with whatever the other is doing. The Worrier enters the scene usually with the argument in mind. They lean into the subject while dancing around it, toeing the edge, until they finally strike with a fearful argument. If the person they are arguing with is doing something dangerous, they'll list all the things wrong with this in gruesome detail. If they suspect cheating, they'll list horror stories of other couples cheating on one another. Most likely someone gets their arm cut off. Don't underestimate the power of annoyance to provoke the opponent to go over the edge.

The Provoker: Imagine a person with a fire prodder sticking out their back pocket. They're standing on top of the island in a kitchen and they take it out. They stick stupid reasons for the opponent to be angry onto the point and then poke at the back of their opponent. Enough said.

Energetic Employee: These are the people who love a good fight. They enter the relationship knowing they want to start as many arguments as possible for entertainment's sake and leave their opponent exhausted and irritated. Normally this argument is only to show off their unique way of looking at things and can usually be remedied by a good getting-to-know-you session.

The Actor: Wanting an end to a relationship, either because they believe it would provide a safer environment to both parties or because they don't have the heart to get it over with themselves. The Actor leaves traces of holes in their argument because they don't really think the whole thing through before hand. They sometimes falter in their mask of anger and depending on the deepness of the relationship, sometimes it can be seen through.

The Silent Type: This person is normally male, though can be a strict or helpless female role. The Silent Type usually bites their tongue in situations that call for yelling. Sometimes they sit and take it, sometimes they walk away. Many take out their anger on objects around them, or the people in front of them because they can't express themselves.

The Yeller: This person likes the sound of their own voice. They are usually not shy, because they don't mind the thin walls around their argument and anyone who can hear.

The Process:

Writing an argument can feel like a chore. Hopefully you don't go overboard on the amount of arguments, but they are very important and skipping over them can seem avoidant. So here's exactly how to start one.

1. Check how you want it to end. The ending is the most important part in that each character needs to either achieve their motive or fail to achieve it.

2. Determine a motive for each character (this can be interchangeable with Step 1)

3. WRITE IT FAST. What I find is that forgetting all of the qualifiers and the actions, just simply typing out each line of dialogue in quick succession helps for making true dialogue and also helps in keeping a flow. Don't make a character long winded unless the other character is extremely patient.

4. Movements are only important if their angry movements. Stepping forward or backward or scratching of a limb is tedious.

5. Don't be too serious. Let your characters talk the way they want to talk, let them say what they need to and leave the melodrama to soap operas.

6. Write each line of dialogue differently. Some people are eloquent, some people curse, and some people use short quips and shaky 'I don't know's.

Overall have fun with it, as with all writing.