chapter  8
10 Pages

ChapterS The Psychology of Characters

All good writing contains subtext. Subtext is the unspoken feelings that hide beneath the words. Because dialogue has to be emotional rather than conversational, one of the best ways of writing dialogue is by using subtext. Subtext is provided with the tools to allow the audience to identify the characters. Subtext often is shown through a character's behavior. Many writers experience a lot of difficulty when trying to write subtext. Instead of writing subtext they often use double entendres or they write dialogue with one character being sarcastic to another. That is not subtext. A wonderful example of revealing subtext is through a character's actions, when he or she is behaving one way but feeling another as in Ordinary People. This film by Alvin Sargeant, which is based on the novel by Judith Guest, is one of the best films to demonstrate the power of subtext.