Creating Subtext

Subtext can add an interesting dimension to any work of fiction.

Brandi Reissenweber (of the Gotham Writers) offers this explanation:


“In dialogue, what is subtext?

Subtext is the meaning beneath the dialogue; what the speaker really means, even though he’s not saying it directly. As humans, we often don’t articulate our thoughts exactly. We’re thinking on our feet as we talk, processing other stimuli, like body language, and struggling with our own concerns and emotions as well as those of the listener. In fiction, this kind of miscommunication can add authenticity, create dramatic tension, and even reveal deeper truths.”


Even a simple children’s book offers meaningful subtext.

Look at this delightful example:

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The subtext is a message which many readers can appreciate and understand:


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This is the link to several fun Stellaluna printables:


Watch as Pamela Reed reads this delightful story:

Today’s Assignment:

Establish subtext in your writing project today.