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18 February 2009 @ 06:59 pm
Have any of you ever written a monologue?

If so, do you have any tips/tricks?

Because I'm so not enjoying writing this monologue for writing group.
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Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
The theme for the assignment (it's eventually up for 'performance' at this thing we're having in November) is ghosts of Roane County (or at least ghosts in general).

A few people read theirs last week and my main problem with them all was a tedious sounding reminiscences--which I'm trying to avoid by attempting something in present tense. We'll see...
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Gelsey: believe in mythical creaturesgelsey on February 19th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Oh, those are good ideas. If the one I'm trying right now doesn't pan out, I might just have to try that.
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Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
Good ideas. Supposed to be from the POV of the ghost (don't ask me why, I don't know, I wasn't a part of any of the brainstorming obviously). Right now I'm trying for something from the POV of a soldier in Iraq, his body being shipped home, with a refrain of 'I'm coming home.' Not quite songfic-ish, but similar enough, perhaps.

I kinda want it to be heartwrenching, but we'll see.

It's... okay. I'm not that keen on it, but I suppose it is a good exercise.
Alison Sky: AtS - Lindsey Evil Handalison_sky on February 19th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
Remember that a monologue is a piece of dialogue. So, that said.

Write the entire scene with the main character, the person who they are talking to, and others. Let the entire scene form in your story. Then build up to where the monologue is.

and you can use "..." to substitute for short insignificant dialogue that can be removed from the other people.
Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
Sigh. I'm not as fond of writing dialogue, though. It's not where my strength lays. Lies? Whatever.

I think the subject they picked doesn't actually lend itself well to monologues, but... yeah. I'll figure it out, eventually.
annietalbot: Miranda by John Waterhouseannietalbot on February 19th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Monologue is actually an excellent voice exercise. And I like your notion about the Iraq soldier.

The thing you need to decide is, whom is he speaking to?

Himself? (in which case you can write both sides)

The reader? (which is where reminiscence creeps in)

Or those around him, who don't respond ('cause he's a ghost)?

Is it easier to think of it as a soliloquy? A journal entry? A letter to another person? Set the stage for yourself and your character.

I did little but monologue in I'll Never Take Advantage. Spoken, internal, written... the works.
Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Well, this monologue is potentially supposed to be performed, so it somehow has to speak to the audience, right?

I don't know. It's frustrating me and I'm beginning to doubt that what I have so far is actually a monologue.
annietalbotannietalbot on February 19th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
Well, no.

Because look at Hamlet's Soliloquy. I don't think he was aware of the audience at all.
Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
Bah. Sporks it all.
OzRatbag2: AAM 1ozratbag2 on February 19th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Lots of monologues for me. It seems to be my thing really.

At Any Moment Part I is just about all monologues. Yes, first person, yes five versions of the same events, but each can stand by itself as a snapshot - a monologue of the environment in which I set the characters.

The most important thing is to feel for your character, feel their pain, empathise with them, but not drag the monologue down to a maudlin tale of woe - and that is easy to do. Keeping the pitch neutral - recounting and telling a story is the harder part, but once you do it, it's much easier. :)

I've been reading the other comments, so some suggestions...

Why is your ghost a ghost?

Are they speaking to someone or recounting the past - the events leading up to the point at which they are at the moment?

Have they something specific to say, or are they rambling about how their life was unfair, violent, mediocre, etc?

Perhaps your ghost was married and their wife/husband has now died many years later - a remembrance of their love now that the partner has died.

Could it be that your ghost is anticipating the joy of connecting with someone again?

Could they be responding to anger? Desecration of a their grave, etc.

Was your ghost alive (and died) at a pivotal moment in history? Revolutionary Wars, natural disaster (San Francisco Earthquake), a personal event that might have led to, or hastened their death?

Is your ghost female or male, young or old, bitter or reflective?

Lots of questions. :)
Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Good questions. I'm wanting to avoid reminiscing if possible, because it really annoyed me the other day when I was listening to other people's things. It ended up being tedious and repetitious, or perhaps that's simply because I listened to three of them in a row.

I guess I'm just frustrated. Maybe I just need to walk away from it for awhile.
OzRatbag2: wizard duelozratbag2 on February 19th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Well, to avoid reminiscing, you need your ghost to be recounting something specific, but unfortunately as a ghost, reminiscing is what they will do best.

We all reminisce to various degrees.

I remember when...

But it was never like that; it's all changed...

Reminiscing is fine to do, but it needs a hook, something to draw the listener into the weave of the story you are spinning out for them.

For example...

It's changed, you know, the lie of the land, the way the breeze cuts across the cemetery. I remember well the feeling of isolation, of knowing absolutely that I lay peacefully on the edge of town, but no more. The town encroached piece by piece to almost consume us with little regard for our rest. We lie here under threat. Land is land after all and the argument that we are using valuable land hideous in all proportions. They want us gone, rent from consecrated land now too valuable to house us. We who have no say, no means of defending ourselves.

Do they have no concept of letting the dead lie, of letting us rest when wrenched from the world before our time...

*cough* Sorry, got carried away. ;)
Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
Which is why I think it was a lousy topic to choose. Maybe it was just the way they wrote it that made it annoying--not that I think I can do it any better at this point.

Hee! That's great. Now if only I could do something half as good. :D
redvelvetcanopyredvelvetcanopy on February 19th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Sorry, I'm of no help! Good luck with it, though!
Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Sok. I'm having to walk away from it before I want to kill something for now, though. Too frustrated.

Maybe I'll manage to work it out later, though. Might have to start over fresh.
MissBlane: Confession/Studymissblane on February 19th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
I've never written a monologue, but I did perform a few in drama class.

Do you have a topic at all?
Gelseygelsey on February 19th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
The theme is ghosts, and it's supposed to be in the POV of a ghost.

cecellececelle on February 19th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
Your idea brought to mind "The Lovely Bones" - there is much in there that would work as a monologue. Maybe the soldier observing the reactions of those left behind to his death? How they cope (or don't cope?)