I have realized a weakness in my writing: a weakness that I’ve sort of occasionally stumbled across now and again but that hit me again yesterday while I was also coincidentally engaged in falling down an internet rabbit hole of the highest order.

I can’t write arguments.

Real arguments, the kind where tempers flare, heated words are exchanged, people storm off in a huff, maybe some dishes get thrown. I’ve done a few fight scenes now and those have gotten easier for me, but I’m not talking about hero(ine) vs villain scenes here. I’m talking real people getting angry at each other. I don’t know how to write it. Probably because I don’t know how to do it very well, either.

If you can guess from this that yesterday’s writing didn’t go so well, kudos to you. 500 words and I mostly stopped trying when 11:30 rolled around and I knew that any more words were going to end up being tomorrow (today)’s words.

The internet rabbit hole was hours and hours of distraction, reading about a SF author who presented as young, sweet, and new to the scene and who was recently revealed to be a long-time (well over a decade), destroyer-of-communities, virulent troll. Fascinating reading although so saddening. Words can do so much damage. (If you want to fall into this rabbit hole, my starting place was Jim Hines blog. But it’s not a feel-good story in any way, so you might want to skip it.)

Anyway, the combination of struggling to write a fight scene while reading about someone who aggressively destroyed people’s happiness through her words has left me really thoughtful. Part of me thinks, hmm, I really need to get better at this. A larger part of me thinks, yeah, not interested. I do believe that anger can be constructive. I also think that I’m going to keep my characters–at least the ones that I want the readers to empathize with–smart, mature people who don’t resort to screaming and name-calling. So today’s plan becomes some reworking of the scene I was struggling with. Maybe the reason I couldn’t write it is because that’s not where the story wanted to go.

Today’s bigger plan: one last trip to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festive. I’m still going to try to squeeze some writing in, before and after, but it’s a gorgeous day to wander around the world, eating foods that are very much out of my diet, and appreciating life.