A number of years ago I attended a workshop given by David Page. It was one of the most inspiring workshops I have ever attended. I realize now how important that workshop was to the improvement of my writing, and I highly recommend all new writers (actually all writers new and experienced) to practice writing monologues. The following is just a list of points he gave in that workshop. As I read over them, it occurred to me that they can apply to all writings in the fiction genre. I thought I would share them with you. The list is not long. I hope everyone can find at least one point that will help them.
1. If you don’t develop a good character, you cannot have a good monologue.
2. Don’t sit in the easy seat when you want to write monologue. Write about
something you don’t know about.
Note: This is certainly different from what I’ve been told, but you have to
admit it would challenge you, and I love a challenge.)
3. Learn to do interviews.
4. Go to where people tell you not to go -- Taboo Land.
5. Find your hook.
6. In order to be somebody, you have to see/be everybody.
7. Got to feel your character’s heartbeat in their monologue. Should have attitude.
8. Monologue does not have to have just one emotion.
9. If you write something phony, it brings your work to a standstill.
10. Do not write about something you do not have feelings about.
11. To make it real-- it has to have connections to other things: place, personalities
that are insinuated, etc.
12. Need a tone to your dialogue. Needs to sound individual. Imbed the tone into
13. When writing a monologue, remember what it is-- don’t make it its own novel
within your novel.
14. You have to know who you are in order to write good dialogue.
A monologue has one main character, and the monologue is written from that character’s POV. You can use either or both exterior dialogue or interior dialogue. The monologue must be more creative and more personal than a manuscript that has more than one character.
Everyone is different, and we all have our own methods, but I like to sit down and write a monologue just for the practice. I have found that it can also help me when I get a bad case of writer’s block. It seems to stimulate my creativity. At any rate, it is good practice for improving your writing skills, especially if you are a young writer.
Faye M. Tollison
Author of: To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books: The Bible Murders
Member of: Sisters In Crime
Writers on the Move