Story-fixing Your Novel––Part IX

This lesson will be a challenge for me, because although I understand the concept, I’ve not used it as much in my writing. Subtext––is what’s really meant, not what’s said. Click to Tweet #amwriting #storyfixing

Subtext is the deeper meaning in a scene. It’s conveyed alongside surface actions that are happening at the same time. It’s “reading between the lines.”

Because, with subtext, things are not as they appear to be.

WYSIWYG is not in play here. (what you see is what you get).

With a scene based on subtext, you can’t trust what happens, you can only trust what’s been shown in a roundabout way. Subtext can be used successfully:

  • In narration to show emotion behind the action
  • In dialogue to say what’s not being said
  • In silence, through the use of pauses, to set up a plot twist
  • Through evasion to evade revealing the real intention

Quick Fix

What is the scene principally about, in spite of what the characters might be saying or doing? What is implied? That’s your reader takeaway.

Fine–Tuning Your Manuscript

  • Will the readers understand the subtext in the scene, able to figure out what the scene is really about? If not, how can you layer more meaning into the silences, dialogue, or action?
  • Is the subtext hurting or helping the story? Did you insert too much subtext in too many places?
  • Are there any missed opportunities to insert subtext? How can you take advantage of those moments or story events?
  • Are there any places where the character answers one way, but based on context, let readers understand that he/she really means the opposite of what’s said?

Most of the time, something deeper is going on in a story. Think of the emotion, the pain, the passion. It’s flowing, churning, and surging right there just beneath the surface. That’s the concept of subtext––bringing that volcano that’s simmering underneath, to the surface without being obvious. Click to Tweet #amwriting #storyfixing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Mickey Mindset

Celebrating the Art of Disney Storytelling

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.

For a purpose

The blog site of Rick Wade

devotions4misfits

Where it is a good thing to be an outcast.

Cracked-Pot

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; let your light shine through your cracked pot. Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in and comes out.

loon watchman

stark raving sane.

Diann Mills

Expect An Adventure

Kelly F Barr

"A story without love is empty." -- Kelly F. Barr

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift

Vonj Production

Bringing you love through spirit!

A christian dad blog

Just a dad following God's path

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

Funny Dog Moments

Funny Tales of Cinnamon the Cute Guard Dog

Life Through the Big Screen

A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.

%d bloggers like this: