Reading Between the Lines

I saw this on Facebook the other day and I had to laugh. It brought me back to high school English class and it was the one part of class I could never quite grasp. It was what I liked to call “book dissection” and I hated it. I could never understand how the teacher (and some of my classmates) was able to dissect paragraphs and come up with information that was somehow hidden somewhere deep between the lines. Even worse was when the teacher called on “me” to decipher a paragraph from some book. After um-ing and er-ing and a feeble attempt to read something other than the actual words, the teacher would finally move on to someone else. I would sigh with relief and listen with utter amazement as one of my classmates seemingly found the secret meaning behind the author’s words and would proudly announce his discovery to the rest of the class.

Now that I’m an author I can honestly say that any hidden meanings are purely coincidental. The only thing that I do (which I find quite surprising) is unknowingly link something from one chapter back to an earlier chapter without planning it. I usually don’t discover that until the editing phase and when I do, I am astonished.

So if I write “the sun faded, blue curtains fluttered in the breeze” it doesn’t mean that the character is trembling with sadness because they are getting older, but then again – it might!

What about you - could you read between the lines?

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