Elizabeth Lyon’s Writing Subtext

If you’ve read my previous review of Elizabeth Lyon’s Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore, you will not be surprised to know I am equally impressed with a second book of hers named Writing Subtext: How to craft subtext that develops characters, boosts suspense, and reinforces themes

It is a small book, only 49 pages on my Kindle. In terms of its importance to would-be writers, it looms large. She looks into character development, nature, human-made “stuff,” then mood and atmosphere.

If I can take liberties in an analogy between her book and painting, I would say her approach is like making a complex painting. First, an idea comes, then a sketch. The sketch is perfected, the the picture is painted in gray, white, and black. The final painting is then made in layers until it is finished. This may be an oversimplification, but I hope you get the idea. Writing is much more complex than just telling a story.

I’m planning to take a vacation soon. I usually take several books to enjoy. On this trip, I will take these two books and read them several times.

Read her books. You will like them.