Blog Post

Writing a Dramatic Argument

Jan 7th, 2022

When developing a story around a Dramatic Argument, many writers think in terms of opposites...when they should be thinking in terms of dramatic pairs.

Thinking in terms of opposites is always the death of conflict.

Let me explain: ๐Ÿงต๐Ÿ‘‡

Let's say you have one character who believes strongly in something and another character who lacks the same belief. One character believes they deserve an ice cream, the other doesn't think the same.

Instant conflict, right?

Wrong. ๐Ÿ›‘

When they meet, the first will say "It's mine." And the other will say, "I don't believe it is." They'll both nod at each other and say, "To each his own, then." And move on with life.

Boh-ring.

Sure, they could get into a tussle at first, but how long will it last? Maybe a scene or two, but then that's it. The core conflict between them is so weak that it really has nowhere to go.

Why?

Because the belief in something and a lack of belief in something are the same exact thing. They're both looking at Faith as the motivating force behind them.

Faith vs. Faith is not conflict.

If instead you have one coming from a place of Faith and the other coming from a place of Disbelief...well, now you have the start of something very meaningful...

The first will say, "I believe this ice cream is mine" and the second might respond, "Well, commonly held notions of ownership aren't even a real thing..."

NOW you have conflict.

There's no way these two can ever come to an agreement without one giving over to the other.

Which means now you have the basis for an entire story...

This idea of clarifying your story's Dramatic Argument is at the heart of my cohort-based course The 2nd Act Solution.

In six weeks, I take you by the hand through exercises like the one above to help define what it is you want to say with your story, which is the VERY BEST way to not get lost halfway through writing your story.

Enrollment is limited, so reserve your seat now.

Apply to The 2nd Act Solution Cohort

All are welcome! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

And I look forward to meeting some of you in the very near future.