In the complex landscape of storytelling, Robert McKee’s Story has emerged as a masterclass for understanding the dynamics of narrative. One of the most nuanced concepts McKee broaches is that of subtext, a layer of meaning not immediately apparent on the surface of the dialogue or action.
Before delving into McKee’s insights, let’s establish a baseline definition. Subtext refers to the unspoken or less obvious meaning or message in literary composition, dialogue, or situation. It’s what is not directly said but is still conveyed, adding depth and complexity to characters, relationships, and the story.
A World Beyond Words
In his book Story, Robert McKee emphasizes that subtext is integral to profound storytelling. He suggests that subtext resides in the realm of conflict underneath the text and is often articulated through the characters’ behavior rather than their words.
McKee argues that characters’ true feelings and motivations are often not on the surface. They don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say. Instead, their real feelings and desires are hidden in the subtext, revealed in actions, reactions, and decisions that contradict their words or outward persona.
Characterization and Subtext
McKee further states that we find the richness of characters in their subtext. What a character does despite what they say often reveals their true nature or conflict. For instance, a character may verbally deny being scared, yet their jittery movements, nervous glances, and profuse sweating suggest otherwise. In this case, the subtext reveals a more accurate portrayal of the character’s feelings than their dialogue.
Subtext in Dialogue
According to McKee, dialogue is not merely an information exchange; it’s a battleground of subtext where characters engage in conflict, conceal their feelings, or pursue their agendas. He suggests that on-the-nose dialogue—where characters say exactly what they feel or think—should be minimized. Subtextual dialogue is far more engaging, stimulating the audience to read between the lines and perceive what’s left unsaid.
The Importance of Subtext
Why does McKee emphasize subtext so heavily? Subtext enriches a story by adding depth, tension, and realism. Life rarely presents itself on the surface; our deepest fears, desires, and truths often remain unsaid or are cloaked in symbolism or evasion. By mirroring this in storytelling, subtext brings a rich complexity that resonates with audiences, making them active participants as they decipher underlying meanings and themes.
According to Robert McKee, understanding and effectively employing subtext is crucial to masterful storytelling. It not only layers complexity onto characters and their interactions but also creates an engaging, dynamic narrative that captivates the audience. McKee writes, “Subtext is the substance of a film, play, or novel…It’s what’s going on beneath the surface.” So, as you craft your next story, remember that what’s left unsaid can often say the most.
You might want to take a screenshot of your computer screen for many reasons. Just like how people use their phone cameras to capture things they want to remember, taking a screenshot is a quick and efficient way to save important information you might want to refer to later.
One of the most common reasons people take screenshots is to save an image or a section of text from a website. For example, maybe you found a great recipe online and want to keep it for later, or perhaps you came across an article with valuable information you want to reference later. Instead of copying and pasting the text into a document or bookmarking the entire website, taking a screenshot allows you to capture the relevant information quickly and easily.
Screenshots are also helpful for troubleshooting computer issues. If you are experiencing an error message or an issue with your computer, taking a screenshot can help you communicate the problem to someone. Instead of trying to explain the issue in words, you can show them exactly what you are seeing on your screen. This can save both of you time and frustration in the long run.
Another reason to take a screenshot is to capture an image or video from a game or other application. Gamers often use screenshots to show off their achievements or document game bugs. You might also want to take a screenshot of a video call with family or friends to remember the moment or to share it on social media.
Screenshots are also useful for archiving important information, such as receipts or confirmation numbers for online purchases. Just like how people use their phone cameras to capture receipts or restaurant menus, taking a screenshot of an online purchase confirmation can help keep track of your purchases and for filing taxes.
Why Not Use Your Phone Camera?
While taking a picture of your screen with a phone is possible, there are several advantages to using a screenshot instead.
Firstly, taking a screenshot provides a clearer and more high-quality image than taking a photo with a phone. This is because a screenshot is a direct capture of what is displayed on your computer screen, whereas taking a picture of your screen with a phone may result in glare or distortion due to the camera lens or lighting.
Secondly, taking a screenshot is quicker and more efficient than taking a photo of your screen with a phone. With a screenshot, all you need to do is press a few keyboard shortcuts or use a built-in tool, and the image is instantly captured and saved to your computer. On the other hand, taking a photo of your screen with a phone requires more time and effort to position the camera correctly, adjust the lighting, and take the photo.
Finally, using a screenshot also provides more flexibility in editing and sharing the image. Since a screenshot is a file on your computer, you can easily open it in image editing software to crop, resize, or annotate the image as needed. You can also easily share the image via email, messaging, or cloud storage services without having to transfer the image from your phone.
How To Take a Screenshot on a Windows Computer
Taking a screenshot on a Windows computer is a straightforward process. However, there are multiple ways to take one, depending on what you want to capture.
Simply press the “Print Screen” button on your keyboard to screenshot your entire screen. You can usually find this button next to the F12 key at the top of your keyboard. On laptops, the Print Screen key may be combined with another key, and you may have to press your laptop’s “Function” or “Fn” key to use it. This will capture an image of your entire screen and save it to your clipboard.
If you want to capture a specific window, click on it to make it active and press “Alt + Print Screen” on your keyboard. This will capture an image of only the active window and save it to your clipboard.
Press the “Windows + Shift + S” keys on your keyboard to capture a specific portion of your screen. This will activate the Windows Snipping Tool, which allows you to select the part of the screen you want to capture.
If you have Windows 10 or 11, you can also use the built-in “Snip & Sketch” app. To access it, press the “Windows + Shift + S” keys on your keyboard and then click the “New” button in the Snip & Sketch window. This will allow you to capture a specific portion of your screen and save it as an image file.
Once you have taken a screenshot, you can paste it into a document, an image editing software, or an email. To paste the screenshot from your clipboard, press “Ctrl + V” or right-click and select “Paste” in the application you want to use.
How To Take a Screenshot on a Mac
If you’re a MacOS user, taking a screenshot is also a simple and straightforward process. MacOS offers several screenshot methods, depending on what you want to capture.
To screenshot your entire screen, press “Shift + Command + 3” on your keyboard. This will capture an image of your entire screen and save it as a file on your desktop.
To capture a specific portion of your screen, press “Shift + Command + 4” on your keyboard and then click and drag around the part of the screen you want to capture. Once you release the mouse button, the screenshot is saved on your desktop.
To see all the screenshot options, press “Shift + Command + 5” and a toolbar will appear at the bottom of your screen. This toolbar includes several options for capturing screenshots and recordings, including capturing your entire screen, a selected window, or a selected portion of your screen. You can also choose to record your screen, grab the audio from your microphone, and set a timer for delayed screenshots or recordings.
The Screenshot app also provides options for customizing where your screenshots and recordings are saved and for setting a range of preferences, such as keyboard shortcuts and file format.
Once you have taken a screenshot, it will be saved on your desktop. Then, you can open it using Preview, an app built into MacOS. From there, you can edit, annotate, or share the screenshot as needed.
Give It A Try
Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just an avid computer user, there are many situations where taking a screenshot can be helpful. So next time you come across something on your computer that you want to remember, don’t hesitate to use a screenshot – it might just save you time and hassle in the long run.
Just like humans can catch colds or the flu, computers can also “catch” viruses. These are not actual living viruses but tiny pieces of code or software that can harm your computer. For example, they can make it slow, delete your files, or even steal your information.
Malware is a term that includes computer viruses, but it also covers other harmful things, like worms, trojans, and ransomware. They all act differently but share the same goal – to mess with your computer or take something valuable from you.
Why Do You Need Anti-virus and Anti-malware?
You might wonder, “Why do we even need to worry about these things?” Well, imagine you’re playing a game of soccer. Without a goalie, the other team could easily score goals. Anti-virus and anti-malware are like the goalies for your computer. They help to stop viruses and malware from scoring a “goal” by getting into your computer and causing problems.
Built-In vs. Third-Party Software
You are thinking, “What software should I use to protect my computer?” There are mainly two types: built-in software and third-party software.
Built-in software comes with your computer’s operating system. For example, if you’re using a Windows computer, it comes with a built-in tool called “Windows Defender.” If you’re using a Mac, it has something called “XProtect.” These tools are like a home’s basic lock system, helping keep most threats out.
Third-party software is like adding an extra lock or a security camera to your home. These are programs you can download from other companies, not the one that made your computer’s operating system. Some of the best ones are Webroot , ESET NOD32, and Bitdefender. They often have more features, like scanning emails for threats or blocking harmful websites.
Comparing the Two
But which one is better? It’s like asking if it’s better to have a basic lock or a full security system at home. The answer depends on your needs.
The built-in software does a surprisingly good job for most people. It’s simple, easy to use, and comes free with your computer. In addition, it constantly checks for common viruses and malware and keeps your computer safe.
On the other hand, third-party software can offer more protection. It’s like having a security guard who does extra checks. These programs can protect you from more types of threats and provide better support if something goes wrong. But they often cost money and can sometimes slow your computer down because they use more resources.
How Much Safety is Necessary?
Just as you buckle your seatbelt in the car for safety, it’s crucial to safeguard your computer with anti-virus and anti-malware software. The built-in software in your computer is like your seatbelt, providing a basic level of protection. If you choose a third-party program, it’s like adding an airbag to your car – an extra layer of safety for those just-in-case moments. No matter your choice, the important thing is that you’re taking steps to keep your computer safe. After all, just like in driving, prevention is better than cure when it comes to computer safety!
In the thriving landscape of the knowledge economy, it’s critical to share your ideas and expertise in a manner that’s both comprehensive and widely accessible. One amazing and practical method to achieve this is by transforming your PowerPoint presentation into a book. This might sound ambitious, but thanks to modern technologies, such as eBooks and print-on-demand services, it’s become a truly attainable goal.
PowerPoint presentations have always been a cornerstone in professional and academic settings, yet their potential often remains underutilized, limited within the confines of boardrooms and lecture halls. Transitioning your PowerPoint presentation into a digital or printed book allows your ideas to gain momentum and reach a global audience.
In the digital age, eBooks have revolutionized the publishing industry, making books readily available to anyone with an internet connection. An eBook derived from your PowerPoint presentation not only makes your content accessible with the click of a button but also allows the inclusion of interactive elements, enhancing the reader’s engagement.
On the other hand, print-on-demand services have made the production of physical books easier than ever. You no longer need to invest in a large print run; instead, you can have books printed as and when they’re needed. This means you can produce a physical book from your PowerPoint presentation without a significant upfront investment.
Whether digital or physical, books are not bound by software requirements or screen compatibility. They can be accessed anytime, anywhere, ensuring the information you wish to share reaches a more diverse audience. Moreover, a book derived from your PowerPoint presentation serves as a tangible or downloadable resource for your audience, providing a more comprehensive exploration of your ideas than a brief slide deck can.
The Advantages of a PowerPoint-Based Book
There are numerous advantages to transforming your PowerPoint presentation into a book. Here are just a few:
1. Enhanced Knowledge Transfer: PowerPoint presentations are typically designed to be concise, hitting only the key points. Turning them into a book allows you to delve deeper into the subject, providing additional context and explanations you may not have time for during a presentation.
2. Increased Visibility and Credibility: Publishing a book, even one based on a PowerPoint presentation, boosts your visibility and credibility. It shows you have invested time and effort into thoroughly understanding and explaining your topic, which can enhance your professional image.
3. Longevity of Content: Unlike a presentation, which might be forgotten soon after it’s delivered, a book can be referred to repeatedly over time. This longevity allows your ideas to continue influencing and inspiring long after the PowerPoint has been closed.
4. Monetization Opportunities: Turning your PowerPoint into a book can open potential revenue streams. Whether you sell the book or offer it as a value-add with your services, it can contribute to your financial success.
5. Broader Reach: A book can reach audiences that your presentation may never have touched. It can be distributed globally, purchased online, or even borrowed from libraries, increasing the exposure of your ideas.
So, why not take your PowerPoint to the next level?
In an age where information is king, it is important to find creative and efficient ways to share our knowledge. Transforming your PowerPoint presentation into a book allows for enhanced knowledge transfer, increased visibility, longevity of content, potential monetization, and a broader reach. So if you are ready to take that PowerPoint presentation from live event to published book, contact us to get started.
Johnny has been a stage magician for years, but his career is on the brink of collapse. That is until he gets the opportunity of a lifetime – a gig on a luxurious cruise ship. Johnny jumps at the chance to perform for a new audience and hopefully save his career.
But things take an unexpected turn when Johnny witnesses an incredible atmospheric event and discovers that he has real magical powers. This could be the opportunity he has been waiting for to take his act to the next level. But soon, Johnny realizes that his new powers come at a dangerous price.
As he delves deeper into the world of magic, Johnny discovers a hidden world of secret societies and ancient terrors. He quickly realizes that his new powers have made him the target of dangerous individuals. His magic may be the key to saving his career, but it could also be the very thing that ends it, and worse yet, his life.
‘We watch them grow, from puppy to prime to feeble old age. All in such a brief space of time, for us anyway. A man or woman with feelings, witnessing this passage, remembers they’re just like us. On the same journey. Merely one that happens to be a little shorter, with fewer opportunities perhaps, though full of all the same excitements and uncertainties, terrors and joys. The wisdom of dogs is to remind us of our own arrogance and stupidity in believing tomorrow may somehow prove more precious than today.’
So you want to know how to write funny? “People think it’s very hard to be funny but it’s an interesting thing—if you can do it, it’s not hard at all.” (Woody Allen)
Well, excuuuuse me, but most of us can’t do it. Or, if we sometimes do it, we have no idea how we did it. So, I interviewed some comics and here’s what I’ve discovered:
No one knows how to write funny!
Almost no one.
Arthur Black is very funny guy who lives on an island in the Salish Sea, and who claims to know how he does it. He hovers over his keyboard and then…
I imagine I’m in a tavern with a couple of guys I’ve just met, and I’d like a beer but I have no money. That’s it. I try to make whatever I type outrageous or thought-provoking or incongruous enough…to make them want to keep me lubricated.
Not very scientific, Arthur!
Problem is, if you dissect humour, the blood drains out of it. Like a frog in the biology lab, “the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” (E.B. White)
That’s not even meant to be funny. But it highlights the problem with humour—if you study it too closely…
Humour isn’t funny.
“Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.” (Woody Allen)
This is funny until we start poking around in those innards. Here’s what we find:
a) the statement is implausible,
and yet, somehow, yes, come on, don’t deny it…
b) the statement is plausible.
It’s implausible because we don’t string people up for thinking about murder (except maybe in Zimbabwe or Oklahoma). On the other hand, it’s kinda plausible because exterminating the would-be killer would save the victim. No doubt about it!
Please Note: your story must be more implausible than plausible.
Humour is a delicate balance of implausible and plausible.
Mathematically it looks like this: [ T(x) = ½ Be!2×2 ]
T = the god’s Truth;
B = the belief system by which the Truth is made invisible;
e = the existential quotient discovered by Jack Kerouac in a Mexican cantina;
x = is what we don’t know (although Arthur Black claims to know it).
Oh, yeah, and the “!” is a graphic reminder how serious this is.
In other words:
Humour is absurdly logical.
Which, as I warned you, isn’t very funny.
No one lives by this logic of the absurd more than Miami columnist, Dave Barry:
“As a mature adult, I feel an obligation to help the younger generation, just as the mother fish guards her unhatched eggs, keeping her lonely vigil day after day, never leaving her post, not even to go to the bathroom, until her tiny babies emerge and she is able, at last, to eat them.”
Which is hilarious, right? Why? Because Dave connects with three of Arthur Black’s beer-swilling criteria:
It’s thought-provoking—raising kids? are you kidding me?
It’s incongruous—that a fish should have to go to the bathroom.
It’s outrageous—thatwe should have babies so that we can…eat them.
Important Note: You don’t want anyone bogging down on the “baby” business. You don’t want your audience to know that “humour isn’t funny”. Just keep drinking and above all…
Keep being real.
Humour is about the bare-assed truth.
No one knows this better than the hero of my latest (unpublished) novel.
Conrad Morris, a would-be comedian, loves to disrupt dinner parties with such pithy and outrageous and incongruous truths as, “All disease is constipation.” To explain why this is funny, here’s Conrad himself:
“Finding a cure for cancer has so far cost…what?…a trillion? And all this time the answer lies…excuse me, where? In the toilet? The idea of all disease reduced to ‘constipation’ is comical because it is absurd yet earnest at the same time. It rings true. The implausible is not impossible.”
The implausible is not impossible.
(Are you taking notes?)
Conrad is absolutely correct. Feeling unwell? Skip to the loo and drop a chalupa. We’ve all been there. The logic in the absurd—as long as you don’t think about it—is funny.
In the following chunk from a Woody Allen short story, please locate the plausible that plops out of the implausible:
“The Walt Disney Company shareholder suit over the severance package paid to departing president Michael Ovitz was jolted today by the testimony of an unexpected witness, who was questioned by counsel for the entertainment giant.
“COUNSEL: Will the witness please state his name.
“WITNESS: Mickey Mouse.”
Please leave a “Comment” with your opinions on the foregoing apocryphal nonsense. You may even have your own half-baked notions about “How to Write Funny”.
At the very least, leave a joke.
About the author: PJ Reece’s book ‘Story Structure to Die For‘ is a great resource for writers. It has been downloaded over 2,000 times. Please go here to download it for free.
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There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I dont know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.Kurt Vonnegut, “Cold Turkey”, In These Times, May 10, 2004
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