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Monday, December 05, 2011

How to Write a Monologue

It's nice to be able to help with a piece of coursework.

Daughter:   Dad?  How does one write a monologue
Daughter: or however it is spelt
Me: It is a sort of ramble by one person.  A soliloquy.  Just one person chatting.
Me: Try being that person and just talk to someone else
Daughter: okay
Me: I think the trick is not to be too direct.  People when they talk go all round the houses and don't get to the point.  Sometimes they trail off.  Sometimes they contradict themselves or not make any sense whatsoever.  Writing like that is gret fun but you have to look out through that person's eyes
Daughter: Good, that's helpful
Me: There are two types, I think.  One in which your character is actually talking to someone else who may or may not be there.  My Little Arthur play [Eve of War] was like that with Nanny talking to Little Arthur all the time although you couldn't see him.  The other is where the the character is just voicing his or her thoughts as they run through their mind.  Like Hamlet "To be or not to be, that is the question..."
Daughter: Yes, I think mine needs to be talking to someone
Me: That's good.  It's a good idea to get both characters fairly firm in your mind.  And why isn't the other person answering?  Is it because, they're fed up with the speaker, or ignoring them, or angry?  Or is it that your character talks so much that they can't get a word in edgeways.  Or they're just good listeners like the Samaritans.
Daughter: Good thanks, these are all useful things to think about
Me: Really, a monologue is a proper play with development of ideas and character and story but with just one person speaking.

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