Interior Monologues - Chapter 1

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Interior Monologues

by OokamiKasumi

Libraries: Writing Tutorials

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When deciding whether or not your monologue is appropriate for what you are writing, consider your target Reading Audience.

Interior Monologues

I was just wondering what you think about interior monologues, long passages of reflection?
-- Curious Kitty
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A note on:
-- Interior Monologues

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Whether you are considering adding a lengthy monologue to a story, or intend the monologue to be the story itself, where the focus of the entire story is on one character’s thoughts and feelings with very little action, from my observations and experimentation, the readers either love them or hate them. There's no in-between.

However, it is notable that the monologue stories that are sought out most frequently usually focus on a profound emotion of some kind: grief, loneliness, heartache... Usually by those seeking to deal with such an emotion, as a kind of therapy, or by those that have never felt such emotions. (Strong emotional stories are extremely popular with young adults.)

In both cases, not only does the reader seek to submerge themselves in these profound emotions, they are also looking for a solution, a way back out from under these feelings.

In short, don’t try to write something like this unless you already have a solution to your story problem in mind. You really don’t want the hate mail that will come if you leave your readers hanging.

I'm an escapist by nature, so I fall into the other category -- those that can only handle internal monologues in extremely tiny doses. I prefer my emotional deep thoughts mixed in with the character doing something; an action scene flavored by internal narration, rather than a lengthy monologue.

Being older (in my 40's,) I've actually had to deal with these sorts of emotions; death, grief, heartache, loss... on a far too personal basis, so dwelling on them (reading long emotional passages,) isn't something I'm comfortable with.

Interestingly enough, the scanlated Japanese novellas that I've been reading seem to be almost solid immersions into emotion with action sprinkled in to give it a sense of motion -- even if the motion is merely circular.

Unfortunately, scanlations of any kind are extremely subjective. They're chosen because they appeal to the English-reading folks scanlating the story. Because of this, there's no way to tell of this is a common Japanese style, or merely a sign of the scanlators' preferences.

In Conclusion…
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When deciding whether or not your monologue is appropriate for what you are writing, consider your target Reading Audience.

If you’re writing a story steeped in emotional upswings such as a romance, a monologue or two will probably fit right in. However, if you’re writing something with lots of action such as an adventure, you just might want to consider sprinkling bits of light action among your passages of deep thought to keep it from dragging down the pace you’ve already set for your story.

Enjoy!

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DISCLAIMER: As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest. As a multi-published author, I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty,) advice does not suit your creative style, by all means, IGNORE IT.

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Ookami Kasumi
http://ookami-kasumi.livejournal.com/

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