The Wonderful War of Established Facts
Before you decide this is a political rant, take a breath. While what I have to say has been inspired by politics, both National and International, this is actually about the development of characters for your story.
Put two people into a room. Give them polar opposite opinions about something they feel strongly about, and let them talk.
When the two of them come to what one knows is true (and the others knows the truth lies in the opposite), work with the distinction.
Daily—these days—we see strongly held positions thrown bodily against other strongly held positions every day. Who wins? Typically nobody.
Who is right? Is it the Anti-Abortionists or the Pro-Lifers?
Is it the Jews or the Arabs?
Is it the Fundamentalist Christian or the Atheist?
Is it the Republican or the Democrat?
I admit it, it is the Republican and Democratic Conventions that have really got my head stewing. Why? When both sides stretch the truth (whatever TRUTH is), where both sides are calm and assured in their positions, and where any arguments made at either group are, in essence, preaching to the choir, what are we to think?
Those of us who watch the presentations from both sides might claim to be open-minded, but are we really? Don’t we have our own axes to grind?
Now, think about your characters. What can you say about each of the people in this conversation?
Is there a way for their minds to meet? And, if there is, how would you go about writing it?
Frankly, I’m not so sure that people who have already decided that what they know is true and that what the other person “knows” is false, can really get together honestly.
And that, dear friends, is the challenge.
Make it up. Make it happen. Have your characters argue, and have one of them say something, or some things, that will move the other person. Convince the other person that their stand is right.
For extra credit, make each person adopt the other’s stand.