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 but there are some ways to guide you in doing so.
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.
That may sound a bit frustrating but try the exercise below.
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 at first:
- 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.
Just write one single sentence of dialogue.
It’s even best if it doesn’t make any sense at first. You don’t have to have the idea all worked out before you begin writing. The less you know the more you will discover through the act of writing as write.
There may be times when you have an image or a subject matter in your mind or hear a bit of dialogue that interests you. There is a multitude of ways in which the urge to write your monologue will present itself to you.
None of them are wrong. Follow your own process through and see where it leads.
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 you think is interesting.
As mentioned, 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 or following where it leads.
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?
These are all valid questions and concerns but you don’t want to get bogged down by overthinking them. The “questions” always have a way of answering themselves for you regardless, as you work on your monologue.
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 or type on your computer/phone.
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! =)