As my family travelled to Toronto for a pre-SuperBowl party yesterday we put the movie Seabiscuit on to view in our van. We've watched this DVD many, many times, but even though we knew exactly what was coming next, all five of us were still entertained by it. Why, I kept asking myself?
Because we cared about what transpires in the story.
But, we already knew what was going to happen even before the next scene came into view, so why the desire to run through it all over again-- without fast forwarding?
For the emotional impact, perhaps?
Yes, I believe that's the answer. If I think of all the movies that I love to re-watch even after I know them scene by scene in my head, they all spark some deep emotional response in me. Now, in the movies, you get the added benefit of music and visuals helping to pull those emotional strings from the viewers. But in writing, authors only have words to work with.
So how do we writers make our words draw an emotional response worth revisiting?
One way is subtexting. One of my blog friends, Jessica, has posted on this very subject over the past few days. Check out the link she directed her visitors to: Subtexting.
Not only can subtexting, if used properly, evoke emotional responses from our readers, but it definitely aids in characterization, and makes dialogue enjoyable and entertaining to read. If we go by the advice of "multitask your words", then subtexting certainly makes sense. It's well worth the effort of mastering not only to create an emotional read, but a concise one, too.
Hope we all have a productive, great Monday!