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“What lurks in the shadows, just below waking consciousness?”
Subtext can be the most important element in text and in a performance. It’s an unseen force that speaks directly to the reader’s unconscious, deepening meaning and understanding. In Writing Subtext What Lies Beneath, Linda shows how great subtext can reveal more than simple dialogue and action and is at the heart of the best books and films. It is what glues us to the screen.
This book goes far beyond dialogue, action, gestures, genre, and images. Written by one of the foremost script consultants in the world and the most prolific writer on screenwriting, this new edition adds new examples with chapters on analogy and love and provides deeper explanations of how subtext works beneath the text. This edition has been expanded to be relevant to all fiction writers.
Review by Diane Donovan of Midwest Library Group ( March 2018)
Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath will appeal to performing arts collections strong in video and film production as well as creative writing teachers interested in screenwriting guides, and considers the challenges of creating effective subtext that underlies the most powerful dialogue, action scenes, and images. This edition revises and expands the script consultant’s earlier best-selling account, adding new examples, a new chapter on analogy and love, and more depth to definitions of and explanations about subtext, its use, and its importance.
The result is a collection that pairs real-world case studies with insights that lend better definition and applied approaches to screenwriters’ efforts, making Writing Subtext a top recommendation for creative writing and performing arts collections alike.
Review by Midwest Book Review (May 2017 on The Writing/Publishing Shelf)
“Now in a revised and expanded edition for both screenwriters and novel writers, Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath is a guide to the intricate yet ultimately rewarding art of crafting works with rich subtext. Case studies from popular media including “The Big Short” and the “Abnormal Psychology” episode of “Cheers” help illustrate concepts such as playing with analogies, showing evidence of human love beneath the literal text, how to smoothly incorporate gestures and action, and much more. Writing Subtext is a superb resource for authors, especially professionals in the field seeking to refine their narrative polish! Highly recommended.”