About the Subtext

(Image by street artist, Labrona. See more at Vandalog)

Whenever I’m editing a scene and it doesn’t feel right, I take a look at the story between the words, the subtext. You see, in life, our conversations are full of things we don’t say, things we imply. Through silence, gesture and innuendo, I can bring out another side of the story that is separate but related to the one told in words.

When a scene sings, the subtext writes itself. It’s the flagship of suspense. There’s no other way to describe it, for me, than something I wrote many years ago when I was first deciding to be a writer:

When I tell a story, I want it to leap from the page into the reader’s imagination. Every word will bring out context, memory and life experience. The real story isn’t the one I tell on the page, it’s the one WE create together, the reader and me, It’s three-dimensional and alive.

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