Monday, 20 April 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions - Q is for Quarrelsomeness (writing discussion & fiction)

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions









This year for the A to Z Challenge, I'm investigating emotions and reactions and their use to in writing. So, I'll be talking about my first thoughts as a writer when I think about the words we use to describe emotions and my experience of their use in literature.

quarrelsomeness
quarrelsomeness: the quality of being given to quarreling, fighting / belligerence.

Anyone who has siblings, or cousins, or even close friends knows all about quarrels (unless you're a saint that is). Who hasn't had a hissy fit and yelled and been yelled at amongst people you trust? I know my twin, Tasha, and I have had some spectacular quarrels, a lot about writing, but other things too, like whether the room light should be on or off!

A single person can be given to quarrelsomeness. They are touchy, they take offence easily, or they just like being rude in order to pick a fight. Hot-headed heroes can be quarrelsome, especially when their honour is challenged, sometimes with fatal consequences. An excellent use of this is in The 13th Warrior, a movie with Antonio Banderas. 13 warriors, 12 of them Norse, one an Arab, are called to help a community under attack from what is thought to be an otherworldly source. However, before they can protect the community they must deal with dissension from the King's son, who thinks them a threat to his own power. Herger, one of the warriors, deliberately annoys one of the prince's men and it is a master class in how to pick a fight. Cause a problem, deliberately misunderstand the response, take offence, generate a challenge. Needless to say he and the other man end up fighting, but it is the lead into the fight that is priceless.

Quarrelsomeness can also come down to the mixing of different characters. A person may be perfectly stable on their own, but put them in the same room with someone who rubs them up the wrong way and you have a powder keg waiting to go off. This can be used effectively in stories where a pair or group dynamic is being built up. How many times have you watched a buddy movie where the two leads can't stand each other to begin with, keep winding each other up until there is a barney and then everything is okay after that - they've come to terms, they're best buds? Can I just say - this is a very masculine way of handling things - speaking as a woman, we don't always come out of quarrels and forget. :)

Quarrels can be used for drama, for fun, for despair. They can be verbal, physical or even mental. Take your pick!

QUESTION: Have characters ever surprised you by ending up in a fight?
~

For more information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

Wittegen PressWe'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required

25 comments:

  1. Siblings can be quarrelsome! My kids are proof of that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My siblings aren't usually quarrelsome, but my siblings and I were. My characters do fight as part of moving the story forward.

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conflict can be important in fiction, I would agree.

      Delete
  3. Hi Sophie - some people are just dogmatic in their discussions and broach no ideas, or change .. so difficult to deal with .. I don't really do quarrelsome, unless it's a simple aspect of fact ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is true, some disagreements can be more constructive than others.

      Delete
  4. Characters, or mine anyway, are good at surprising me. I've had a few to quarrel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it when characters, or a scene surprises me :)

      Delete
  5. As someone with an older brother and younger sister, I have definitely had some outstanding quarrels!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Even as an adult, I still quarrel with my siblings. Especially my sisters. I have two. Both older than I am. Maybe that's why I like my characters to get into small fights here and there. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think siblings ever stop quarrelling, must be something to do with having the same genes :)

      Delete
  7. My current WIP, I had a character who quarreled with my MC.
    I never really fought with my siblings, but my sister and brother did quite a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it's fun to write a quarrel :)

      Delete
  8. I don't think my characters have ever surprised me with a quarrel--I could always see it coming. ;) And as child number 6 out of 8, I've definitely had practice quarreling. Interestingly, they all seemed to involve my older siblings. I don't recall quarreling with my younger brothers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you were a responsible older sister, but if your siblings were older they were fair game :)

      Delete
  9. I'm not argumentative, but I find myself reacting to certain things, especially when people try to talk down to me. I end up trying to make them look stupid! I usually fail at that because people who do that generally can't see outside of their tiny little corner of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People being condescending can be very annoying :)

      Delete
  10. I think the internet is quarrelsome!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can't think of characters that ended up fighting, but I can say sometimes I feel quarrelsome after a stressful day at work :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a release valve, isn't it - you're tired, which means your irritable and then next comes a quarrel - I have started to try to know why I'm in a bad mood and not take it out on others - it works sometimes! :)

      Delete
  12. Quarrels can be very entertaining in a story. It's also a good way of showing what is important to that person, if they are moved to a dispute over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good point - what is someone passionate enough about to argue for it.

      Delete
  13. Quarrels rarely surprise me when I'm reading. There's usually build up. Betrayals though. Those can be surprising for sure.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)