Writing Subtext in Dialogue

Diane Callahan
The Startup
Published in
12 min readJun 16, 2020

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Here’s a fact of life: people don’t always say exactly what they mean.

We might say, “I’m fine,” when we really mean, “I’m having a crappy day, but I don’t want to burden you with that.” We use euphemisms to soften the blow when we fire someone (“We’re going to have to let you go”) or break up with someone (“I think we’re better off as friends”).

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