Subtext

I got sucked into watching Invasion. The hurricane drew me. The first two episodes didn’t connect, but now I’m hooked.

Is it the question about the aliens?

No.

Is it because I can’t understand how Larkin has so much in the eyebrow department and the sheriff has so little?

No.

Is it the hunky actor in the role of Russ?

Uhhhh….welllll….not entirely.

It’s the subtext, specifically between Russ, his ex wife and the sheriff. The two families share custody of the kids so they interact a lot. I missed the first show, so I don’t know if it explained what happened to Russ and Mariel’s marriage. But now they’re both married to other people, but are forced to deal with each other every day. There’s a hint of tenderness there, I think, a hint of pain, when Russ and Mariel are together. And when Russ and Tom are together, they speak civilly to each other, work together, but there is an underlying animosity there.

I want that in Hot Shot, where I have a similar dynamic (minus the kids).

In TV shows and movies, subtext is so much easier to get across, I think. You can convey the subtext in the tones of voice, in the body language, while the characters are talking about something else. How do you get it across in the written word?

I think to a certain extent you can do it in body language, the characters who long for each other leaning toward each other, characters who mistrust each other squaring their shoulders, tensing up when the other person approaches. I suppose to a certain extent, you could use it in tone of voice.

If it was in internal dialogue, in character POV, that would be cheating, right? It wouldn’t be subtext anymore? Am I understanding this right?

Do you use subtext in your work? How? And is it on purpose?

This article talks about it much better than I can.

Subtext

I was going to put up a picture of the Invasion hunk, but I just couldn't do it ;)

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10 comments:

Peggy said...

I'm not a big fan of "alien" type shows, but I'm with you on Russell and his ex. His last comment "she shouldn't be here" made me think he still holds feelings for her. Or am I just a hopeless romantic looking for more than an alien story here? I'm hoping they give Larkin the axe.

Toni Anderson said...

I like Invasion, the family dynamics are great. And don't forget Larkin is preggers, for all she's a PITA.

Subtext is hard. If it is too subtle people don't see it, too obvious and there is nothing 'sub' about it!! One of the problems with contests is trying to get all the factors into that first 30 pages without giving away the entire story!!!

jude d said...

Hey Mary - nice choice of Gerry pic. Just a glimpse of chesthair and sparkly eyes. What more could a woman want? Sorry don't have anything more sensible to say than drool over GB. But the pic made me post.

Bonnie Ferguson said...

They didn't really explain what happened between them in the first episode, Mary. I love that show and agree about all the underlying subtext.

Tori said...

I love Invasion, too! And Larkin annoys me to no end. But I love her brother. *g*

MaryF said...

Poor Larkin, and her being pregnant, too! But yeah, the possibility of Russ and Mariel is so much more intriguing.

Jude, I loved the chest peek myself. Mmm.

Trish Milburn said...

Tori, I think Larkin's brother, Dave, is a hoot too! He is having a constant bad hair day. :)

Tori said...

LOL re Dave's hair! Too true!

Amie Stuart said...

I love Invasion!!!!!!! Subtext definitely plays a big part all the way around.

MaryF said...

I just wish I could do that, Cece!

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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