Writing Monologues – What’s the Story Morning Glory?

Writing Monologues – What’s the Story Morning Glory?

WHAT IS A MONOLOGUE?

 

  • A monologue expresses the thoughts of one person.
  • A monologue must have a beginning, middle and an end.
  • A monologue should always reveal something – be it a story, a secret, an answer to a question, or an emotional outpouring.

 

In life, we don’t speak in monologue. There’s no point we turn to our mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend and start talking about that smell, that memory, that event.

In the theatre, a monologue can be a great gift. It’s a gift to the audience to look up on that stage and see inside the thoughts a human being. The great monologues are private moments, secrets, emotions, heartbreaks, wonders.

Keeping that in mind, it’s no easy feat to write a powerful monologue. There’s a lot of dreck out there: rambling “do you remember when’s” of past tense cobbled together into sentences. 모바일홀덤

PART ONE of this series on Writing Monologues will focus on story driven monologues. The story of a monologue must have purpose. There must be a reason for a character to speak at length!

Dealing with the Past This is a very common story driven monologue form. To illuminate something that is currently happening in the script, a character relates a past story. The problem with these types of monologues is when a character says, “I remember.” “I remember” creates an insular experience; it’s something that only happened to the character and it’s difficult for the audience to share in the event.

Another problem with past monologues is the use of the past tense. When something has happened in the past, it’s over, it’s done. Using the present tense is much more alive and active.

EXERCISE

  • Write a monologue where the first line is ‘I remember when…’ and uses the past tense.
  • Re-write the monologue, taking out all mentions of ‘remembering.’
  • Re-write the monologue in the present tense.
  • Read aloud the first version and then the third. What are the differences?

Making the Story Count: If a character tells a story, “I went to the grocery store and THIS JUST HAPPENED,” there has to be something besides the base story going on for the audience. There has to be more. The story has to show something: character flaw, a plot point we didn’t know, a lie, a romance, and so on.

 

EXERCISE

 

  • Write a monologue where the character tells a story about going to a parade.
  • Re-write the monologue so that by telling the story, the audience sees the character is a liar.
  • Re-write the monologue so that by telling the story, the audience sees the character is heartbroken.
  • Re-write the monologue so that by telling the story, the audience sees the character is in love.

Beginning to End Monologues as with all stories, must have a beginning, middle and end. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean there can’t be a story arc. Not only that, there has to be a journey, a change, a shift from the beginning to the end of the monologue. That’s going to go along way to make the monologue alive and exciting.


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