How To Write A Monologue

If you feel that inner itch to express something in writing and want to try your hand at writing a monologue, go for it.  There is no secret recipe for writing a monologue and anyone who claims to give you the be all and end all rule book for writing a monologue is completely full of you know what.

Truth is, no one knows!  Not one single writer or teacher or book or article on planet Earth is going to give you the exact answer you need to write a monologue.  Writers have their process, their approach, their muse, their disciplines but you have to find your own way and the only real way of writing a monologue is by simply…writing one.  Just…write…one.  =)

Try this:  Take out a pen and paper and write one single sentence.

I’ll make up a few for you right now to show that it’s not as difficult as you may think:

  • Fran, how many times do I have to turn off the lights in this house?
  • I have this strange image of this bloody volleyball coming straight at my face when I was a boy…still, to this day, I can’t recall if it was actually a real memory or something I imagined.
  • Don’t look at me that way Tara, I’m not the one who told you it would be the smartest thing to do…
  • Today, I went to my favorite coffee shop in New York City and you will never believe what happened inside the store.

You get my point.  Just write one single sentence.  It’s even best if it doesn’t make any damn sense at first.  In a way, it shouldn’t because you want to ride the wave of writing.  The monologue will tell itself to you and all you have to do is write down what it’s saying by trusting yourself.  Just like improvisation in acting.  Same idea.  Let it carry you on to the second sentence..the third…and so on. If you end up with a bunch of insanity…good.  Start again or rehash it and work it, mold it, until it starts to shape into something interesting.  What’s interesting? Whatever the hell you think is interesting.

Monologues can come from a sound, a word, a thought, an image…anything. It’s just a matter of finding the beginning of the thread and pulling it towards you. Am I sounding too mysterious with the whole writing thing?  Good. That’s because writing a monologue is mysterious, fun, challenging, weird, exciting, aggravating and whatever else you could imagine.  That’s the truth. Doing it, will lead you to your own way and that’s all you have to be concerned with.

Just sit down and DO IT.

There are questions like, what does the monologue have to be about?  How is it structured?  Beginning, middles and ends, oh my.  What are the needs, motivations, circumstances, characteristics and emotional life.  Who are you talking to? Blah, blah, blah…ignore all that stuff.  The “questions” always have a way of answering themselves for you regardless, as you work on your monologue…How Can They Not?

Focus on one thing and one thing only…the truth of what your heart is expressing.  Thats all you need to listen to and the rest is in the doing of whatever is coming out of your pen as you write your monologue.  It may be funny, it may be sad, doesn’t matter, so long as it’s honest.

Give it a try and surprise yourself.  Break a leg!  =)

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