Friday, September 13, 2013

The show-not-tell of subtext

Annerocious over at her cheeky screenwriting blog recently posted a darn good explanation of subtext. It illustrates nicely, for any writer, how to “show not tell.”

She begins:

“Writers of spec screenplays often make the mistake of explaining things to readers, as if there is no other way of being understood.
Subtext is the opposite of that.
Since the easiest way to demonstrate this is to write two scenes, one with subtext and one without, that is what I did.
See if you can guess which one has subtext.” [Click here.]

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Coming up: Glossary of frontier fiction, B (blackman - boodle)


  1. This is great. In fiction, it's often seen as improbable expository conversation to get something across to readers. I.e., "As you know, Mary Lou, your Aunt Ethel has ten million dollars."