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How to Show Hidden Emotion and Subtext

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Everybody lies.
You do.
I do.
And our characters certainly do, too.

It doesn’t make us evil, callous, or bad…it’s a defense mechanism. When a person is uncomfortable, under pressure, or doesn’t feel safe, they hold back. It might be information, what they really want or need, their true opinions, or something else. But under it all, what’s really being hidden is EMOTION.

In fiction, we see this happen in almost every dialogue exchange. Our characters say one thing but feel another, yet carefully hide those emotions to avoid feeling exposed and vulnerable. They worry others will judge them, view them as weak, or use their emotions against them.

No matter what the reason is for holding back, writers face a big challenge because they must show what’s on the surface AND what’s hidden (subtext) so readers are always in the loop.

So how can writers show what a character is attempting to hide from everyone else?

Come find out!

Upcoming Webinar Hidden Emotion and Subtext: Making Dialogue Crackle What Isn’t Said

Looking to up your show-don’t-tell game when it comes to character emotion? Then this is the webinar for you. Join Angela as she digs into hidden emotion, subtext, and the truckload of ways to show what’s happening beneath the surface and use it to pull readers in.

When: Saturday, March 20th, 11 am MST

Where: Zoom (Limit of 100 people)

Who: Angela Ackerman

Cost: $20 (2-hour session)

Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, a limited time recording will be made available.

(If interested, don’t wait too long to register. The last time Angela gave this webinar it filled up, which is why she wanted to offer it again for any who missed it.)

See you there!

The post How to Show Hidden Emotion and Subtext appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

The Bookshelf Muse is a hub for writers, educators and anyone with a love for the written word. Featuring Thesaurus Collections that encourage stronger descriptive skills, this award-winning blog will help writers hone their craft and take their writing to the next level.


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