When I write a tense scene but am not feeling the frustration or anger, I reflect on one of many real life arguments. Last night my husband, our two sons, and some of the neighborhood kids were tossing a Frisbee across the street. Seems like a fun, innocent activity, right? Not according to a woman who drove by. She stopped her car and demanded that my husband pull all the kids off the street and keep them locked up in either the house or our backyards, since cars have the right of way.
My husband argued with her and I could feel the tension in the air. So did all the children watching. The scene reminded me of something you watch in movies.
Often my novels reflect the countless problems I have experienced or witnessed throughout my life. I tap into the feeling of a memory and let my characters react according to their personalities.
Does real life conflict help with your writing?