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Thread: Monologue

  1. #1
    Dan Kiehnle


    My teacher asked us all to write a 3 page or more monologue. He gave us one example from his book, which, though it was an example I can use, is still only one example. Looking around on the internet, most everything I've found comes from plays. Can anyone help point me in the right direction so I can better understand what monologue is all about?



  2. #2
    Cathy C

    Re: Monologue

    A three PAGE monologue? Single or double spaced? That's a pretty long drone. Your best bet to easily find a variety of them is to Google "Presidential State of the Union Address". Every one of them is a monologue. They're often over an hour in length (so well more than three pages.) They're dramatic and intended to cause specific reactions in the listeners. There aren't a lot of books (other than non-fiction) that can get away with that long of a monologue. Oh, wait! There is one that I can think of. See if your library has the novel, "Out of Africa." I think there are one or two in there, in the form of diary entries.

    Good luck!

    Cathy Clamp
    Moon's Web - RT Reviewer's Choice Award finalist
    Touch of Evil, coming soon from Tor Books, March, 2006


  3. #3
    Robert Raven

    Re: Monologue

    So, what's wrong with plays? But lots of first-person novel narratives are essentially monologues, too. Check out Little Big Man, by Thomas Berger, or A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, or The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger. Or, best of them all, Huck Finn. Or Great Expectations. Or, for a real twist, Tristram Shandy.


  4. #4
    Simon Says

    Re: Monologue

    A State of the Union is not a monologue - it's a speech.

    Diary enteries are not a monolgue either.

    While some passages of a first person narrative could work as a monologue - others won't so be careful there.

    A monologue is one person dialogue - so it must sound like dialogue - meaning it must sound like a character talks, not like someone writes. Also, like regular dialogue it should reflect and reveal character - not only the content - but the words used, rhythms, etc.

    Read some movie or play monolgues to get a feel for flow, etc.

  5. #5
    Annie Meier

    Re: Monologue

    Other examples...

    Mark Twain ... Just about every short story he ever wrote was essentially a monologue.

    Portnoy's Complaint ... Philip Roth

    Also, a good source might be stand-up comics who tell "stories" rather than jokes. Old Bill Cosby routines, for example.

    The Crucible ... Joan of Arc gave several stirring monologues.

    Speeches aren't monologues. Monologues feel and sound personal. Monologues reveal traits about the speaker and convey his/her take on things.

    Monologues can be deadly serious or hilariously funny. The main thing is to find an inner voice that fits you. It can be something that really happened or something you make up, but it has to have the ring of "your" truth, which is what sets it apart from the monologues of everyone else in your class.

    Hope this helps...

  6. #6
    writersnet 1

    Re: Monologue

    Jane Wagner wrote an excellent series of monologues and turned it into a play for **** Tomlin. It's called The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe which are really fun to read. The play is about a street person/sage/psychotic who tries to explain the world to visiting aliens and some other characters are heard from too. Here is the link on Amazon but you could skim through it quickly at your local library.


  7. #7
    Greg Kosson

    Re: Monologue

    I think what you're really asking about is how the hell one character can go on at length.

    The answer is passion. Find something your character is passionate about and you have solved the riddle.

  8. #8
    Prince Louis Richard de la Pau

    Re: Monologue

    David Sedaris also writes what are, in effect, monologues. And they're humourous, too!

  9. #9
    Misti Wolanski

    Re: Monologue

    Death Gate Cycle, first book (Dragon Wing) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman--see the prologue and epilogue. They're both monologues that read as if dialogues. The prologue is the older man speaking to the younger; the epilogue is the younger man speaking to the older.

    I've done a short story in mostly monologue & description before, and I think the hardest part is figuring out a tale to tell that is worth that long a monologue and doesn't require more than it.


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