Just What Do You Mean By “Etchings?”

Over on FaceBook, a writer friend shared the link to “Get Rid of On-the-Nose Dialogue Once and For All,” an excellent piece by K.M. Weiland about improving dialogue through subtlety and subtext. The article reminded me of this RSA Animate video, an animation of a short talk by psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker on indirect communication. For writers, “Language as a Window into Human Nature” is one of the best ten-minute lessons on dialogue and character interaction and development you’ll find anywhere, and it’s fun too.

What your characters don’t say is often as—and sometimes more—important as what they do say.