Friday, March 20, 2015

Studying Stephen King: Subtext and Dialogue Use by a Master

My April 2 dialogue workshop is almost sold out, so I wanted to give those of you who are coming (and anyone who can't come) a jump start on understanding subtext in dialogue.  Subtext is the undercurrent in written dialogue. 

It makes dialogue expand from information-giving to emotion- and tension-fostering.  It's what makes dialogue really work.  And what gets your manuscript past that round (rejection) file.

So . . . If you're writing fiction or memoir, or even nonfiction, you can learn a lot from this short story by Stephen King.  Even if your story is nowhere near as tense/gripping/horror-filled as his writing usually is.  

A writer in my beginning online class shared this recent publication in The New Yorker. 

Just reading the first lines, and asking yourself what's not being said, is a great lesson in what makes dialogue really work.

A Death--short story by Stephen King

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