Quick and Dirty Tips for Subtext

I have picked up today’s contri­bu­tion from a blog called Writing Radically, it is about the use of subtext, which is something we should strive to under­stand and use more of, it is a very power­ful fiction writing tool. According to Writing Radically “Subtext happens when there is more to the story than the words on the page, but this extra layer of nuance is never expli­citly unpacked by the writer. It is liter­ally what is going on beneath the text of the story”. Do you have faith in your readers? If you use subtext well the reader should be able to figure much out for themselves.

How this device is used through the words and thoughts of your charac­ters, who often (like real people) refuse to confront their feelings, the subtext is the authors way to show what is bubbling under the surface. Real people bottle up their feelings so charac­ters must do so as well, fiction­al charac­ters cannot be an open book, the writer must keep something hidden or hinted. read this piece and you will better under­stand how to make use of subtext.

The view from Writing Radically is…

Everyone has seen subtext. It’s what creates tension in other­wise innocent exchanges, lends nuance to dialogue, and adds complic­a­tion to fiction. Subtext is the reason why we all know that our favor­ite pairing is meant to be togeth­er, even if they will never be cannon.

Subtext is one of the things that makes fiction excel­lent. And if you want to create the sort of stories that people write smutty fan fiction about, (or, you know, a liter­ary master­piece, although the two are not exclus­ive), subtext is your best friend.

What exactly is subtext?

Source: Quick and Dirty Tips for Subtext

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