As writers, we are always working to make our stories the best they can be. One of the more advanced techniques that can help you do this is by giving an underlying meaning in a scene—otherwise known as subtext.
In a story, subtext can be implied by the surface action and dialogue.
When you think about the books and stories that you most enjoyed reading, chances are that story’s scenes were woven with something deeper than what appeared on the surface.
Today I’d like to teach you seven simple techniques for using subtext in your story, which I’ll also teach with some subtext examples.
Plot has a specific structure. It follows a format that sucks readers in; introduces characters and character development at a pace guaranteed to create fans; and compels readers to keep reading in order to satisfy conflict and answer questions.
Do you want readers to love your story? (Who doesn’t, am I right?) Then you need to understand plot.
Have you ever wondered which draft you are working on? Do you wonder what the difference is between your first draft, your second draft, and editing your book? You can learn the first draft definition and the differences between drafts in this article.
When writing multiple drafts of a book, you may be halfway through your rough draft and decide to start over. Or you may have written the entire manuscript, but then wish to scrap it and start fresh.
And when considering this, you question: “Am I writing a first draft? Am I editing my novel?”
What does “first draft” mean—or “second draft,” for that matter?
Knowing the differences between first drafts, second drafts, and editing your book will elevate your ability to tackle the writing and editing process. It will help you understand what to focus on when you’re writing—and have fun while you do it!
Atmosphere matters. You might be someone who will pay a premium to eat at a restaurant with a certain ambience or buy a house in a setting that supports a particular feeling. But how do you use atmosphere in your book?
In like manner, your reader won’t remember every word you wrote, but if you infuse the story with atmosphere, they will remember the way it made them feel.
But how can you weave atmosphere into your story without making it feel forced? How can your story’s atmosphere evoke an emotional response and leave a lasting impression on your readers? How can you leverage this literary technique to enhance that feeling?
A strong sense of atmosphere figures into the works of William Shakespeare. Edgar Allan Poe mastered atmosphere in poems like The Raven and his haunting tales of suspense. J.K. Rowling managed it well in the Harry Potter series.
And you can learn it too.
There are many literary devices and elements of fiction a writer uses to impact the atmosphere of a literary work, including figurative language, word choice, similes, and personification. In this post, we’ll examine how point of view and genre considerations help to set the mood and establish atmosphere.
Italics, quotation marks, underlines, plain old capital letters—when it comes to writing titles, the rules can feel like a confusing mess. Do you italicize book titles? What about movie titles? And for goodness’ sake, what should you do with pesky things like TV shows, short stories, or Youtube videos?
With so many different kinds of media, it’s easy to get lost in all the rules. Let’s demystify them, shall we?
Happy back-from-Labor-Day Day! I had the good fortune to spend the long weekend in Houston with my best friend from college. We ate, we drank, we had a slight Netflix binge, and we were very merry. She’s finishing up her PhD in neuroscience at UT-Houston, and she accepted a postdoc at Vanderbilt, so she’ll be moving to Nashville in a couple of months. She may be one of the smartest people I know.
I know this because she knows the difference between may be and maybe.