TPD Project Journal: Argument Dialog

The other day, I edited a section of the screenplay where two of my Main Characters, Robert and Shanna, forced each other to confess and own up to a couple secretes they’d been keeping from each other. Normally, it would’ve been a full on argument, but at this point in the script, both characters are in a space where the cold hard truth “is what it is”.

Take it or leave it. Like it or not.

There’s just something about people saying what they really feel in that somewhat cold and uncaring kind of way. I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m not being malicious, but this is what I did, this is why I did it, sorry. Also there’s that stain of spite, created by what they’ve done to hurt you, that takes some of the sincerity out of your confession and apology. It can make for some very tense situations, I think, more so than an all out screaming match.

It’s funny because, Robert and Shanna don’t like each other very much right now to say the least, but they must work together if they’re going to make it through their little “cover up”. It’s like when you have two enemies who won’t allow anyone else other than themselves to hurt each other.

I really like writing “argument dialog”. Not because I get to write nasty hurtful things, but because it forces me to go to a particular place mentally/emotionally. In this particular situation, I can see both sides of the argument, how each character hurt the other, and I can understand why they’d each be upset. They both have completely understandable reasons to be angry. And exhibiting that anger verbally is what I like.

We’ve all been there. Adrenalin rushing, heart pounding, all kinds of sharp sarcastic words ready to shoot off the lip and cut deep. You can feel the heat in your cheeks your so angry. Granted I don’t like visiting that place in reality, but it can be a interesting place to linger about for story purposes.

Eh, maybe it’s just me.

Quick Question:
How emotionally connected to your characters do you like to be?

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