Two people are arguing—a man and a woman. They don’t have to be a couple. Each is convinced he or she is right. You, as the writer, do not know—and do not want to know—who is right, but you will have exquisite sympathy for both points of view, both sides of the argument. How do men and women argue differently? Couples tend to disagree over relatively minor issues, which often stand for larger issues. Give us enough background and history, but try to stay in the moment as much as possible. Narrative PoV is going to matter here a great deal: writing from one or the other’s PoV is likely to make it very difficult to show both sides fairly. An omniscient narration may seem to be the answer, but I don’t like omniscient narration—I don’t think it’s really possible in fiction about contemporary life. Choose an accidental arbitrator—a third party narrator, either first or third person narration. This narrator knows and likes both these people well, but doesn’t and can’t favor one over the other.

© Copyright 2008-10 Hampton Roads Writers,3333-24 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452, HRWriters@cox.net. All Rights Reserved.