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Crafting Dynamic Dialogue by Cheryl St. John, Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter 26

Fight for Those Arguments

Nancy Kress

When was the last time you had an argument with someone? I know you did; we all do, and that includes fictional characters. In fact, arguing is one of the best ways to make your characters seem real to your reader. This is true not only because disagreement is universal, but also because in argument a person reveals so much about the hidden layers of himself.

Furthermore, arguments cannot only characterize, but also aid your plot. Here’s how.

Fights as Plot Devices

While any argument will characterize (more on this in a minute), a carefully chosen argument will also advance your plot. Arguments, by definition, are divisive. Two (or more) people take separate positions on something. Pick characters ...

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