Text & Subtext

One of my bestest writing buddies, Ashley Capes (a beta reader for Chaos, and a fantastic writer & poet) has a post on his blog titled Suggestiveness and Clarity in Poetry

I’m a big proponent of studying poetry, even if you’re strictly a prose writer (as I am). Even if you’re not going for poetic prose, poetry can teach you some fantastic wordsmithing skills, such as how to use one perfect word instead of a half dozen pretty good ones–getting more bang for your proverbial buck. Another thing poetry excels at, especially the haiku style Ashley is particularly adept at, is the art of suggesting without outright stating. Subtext!

I love me some good subtext in a story. While I want to be understood, and not frustratingly vague, I’m very fond of the practice of leaving room for reader interpretation, because I believe that’s what makes a story feel personal. So how does one strike the right balance? Ashley takes a look at the two sides and poses the question “How much work do you want/want your reader to do? And how clear is too clear?”

Read the full post here.

~ RM

2 thoughts on “Text & Subtext

  1. Thanks, RM – really glad you like that post – I tried to ramble less than usual, dunno if I succeeded!

    I think it’s the hardest thing to do – choose a word that fits, that satisfies the writer & which allows the reader to really get involved.

    1. I think it’s difficult, but incredibly rewarding when you get it right. Thanks for the great post, Ash.

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