Creating Subtext in Your Dialogue: The Meaning Behind the Words

Creating Subtext in Your Dialogue: The Meaning Behind the Words

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This OnDemand webinar will focus on the most common dialogue flaw in scripts, even among professional writers —“on-the-nose” dialogue. This is when dialogue tells the reader directly what’s going on in a scene or what a character is thinking or feeling.

When dialogue is obvious, it’s often dull and ultimately unsatisfying. Great dialogue, on the other hand, is “off-the-nose”—it illuminates what the characters are thinking without saying it. This is subtext. And it’s a challenge to create on the page. In fact, most aspiring writers, who otherwise have solid story elements, can’t break in because of flat, expository, and on-the-nose dialogue.

If you’re looking to improve subtext in your scenes, join award-winning UCLA instructor and author, Karl Iglesias as he guides you through proven techniques with matching examples from the masters of the craft to create subtext in your own dialogue.


  • How to avoid on the nose dialogue
  • The psychological reasons why subtext is required
  • Three crucial reasons why subtext is important to the audience
  • The three  key requisites for believable subtext
  • 12 effective techniques to create subtext on the page
  • When on the nose dialogue is actually acceptable


  • Writers who want to enhance the subtext of their screenplays
  • Screenwriters looking to take their dialogue to the next level
  • Fiction writers who want to knock their dialogue out of the park!
  • People who want to be able to recognize “on-the-nose” and “off-the-nose” dialogue

Karl Iglesias is a screenwriter and sought-after script doctor and consultant, specializing in the reader's emotional response to the written page. He is the best-selling author of Writing For Emotional Impact and The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters.

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.