Writing Books/subtext


I have two questions. I saw that you are familiar with subtext. Would you explain what this is and why it should be used in fiction?

Also, since you are familar with submitting manuscripts, I want to know if it is absoutely necessary to write in courier or new courier. I am writng in times new roman.



A long answer to a short question, because you not only asked what subtext is, but also, "why" is should be used.  The "why" requires a long answer.  So, here goes!  This is a piece of one of my lectures:

"...So, where I left off is that I don't care about the characters in our story concept; I'm uninvolved.  
    How do we inject reader involvement into a story concept?  We provide an element to be discovered: theme.  How is theme discovered?  We write around it, pointing toward it.  We request readers see beyond what we've written, and this seeing beyond, this road to theme is called subtext.
    But the question remains, how do we induce readers to discover this new way of seeing?  In the above concept, the story's challenges exist only on the physical level.  Multiple level challenges physical, mental, spiritual, philosophical, and moral demand characters with depth.  Characters who think, feel, and act using depth create situations in which readers find themselves calling their own values into play.  Readers pass judgments based on their discovery of an evolving character and their uncovering of the underlying story; the reader is the subtext.  Manipulate the reader's self-awareness, and you have created subtext or unleashed it.  This an important reality check, and if you don't grasp it here and now, you will not make it as a writer; no matter how much effort you expend, no story exists until the reader or viewer brings something of their own innate quality to bear upon the story.  Writing is a manipulative, cooperative act.  Human beings judge one another, and unless you understand the fine points of subtext explained above - manipulating your audience's judgment - no publishing professional or film production professional is going to give a rat's behind about the project you slaved over.
    Fine fiction, whether it is the novel, screenplay, or short story, involves readers by allowing them to achieve a sense of personal discovery. ..."


courier or courier new #12 are the industry standard for manuscript submission.  Most of your M.S. submission questions can be answered with a copy of The Chicago Manual.  This book is expensive, and once you've learned it, you won't use it much (unless you decide to become an editor), so, a trip to your local library with note taking materials and an hour or two of free time is called for.

My best!
Youngbear Roth

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M.L. 'Max' Roth, Executive Editor


My specialist area is literary and philosophical fiction. I am pleased to answer all queries regarding story, plot, character arc and development, environment, structure, theme, subtext, and conflict.


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