Sunday, March 29, 2020

Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath

So I started reading Eldest, but then decided to put it aside yesterday in favour of Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath by Dr. Linda Seger. It's a writing book I've been meaning to get to for quite some time now, and I thought it would be particularly helpful for the RPG I'm currently working on too.

In scriptwriting, when characters say what they mean, that's considered "on the nose" - or the text.  Dr. Seger urges writers to go deeper, using the subtext (or the deeper meanings to what characters are saying - their words are not taken at face value). 

The main part of the book is split into 6 chapters (there's also another writer's perspective on subtext, and an afterword).  After exploring in detail what exactly she means by subtext, Dr. Seger then gives writers a number of ways to bring subtext into their own writing (through characters, words, gestures, similes/metaphors, and through genre).  It's a very thorough examination of the topic in such a small book (I read it in a day, although I did not do the exercises that were included at the end of every chapter).  Writing Subtext was a very good book that I'm glad I read - it's really given me a lot to think about in my own writing!

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