The Importance of Inner Monologues (5 Things to Know)

In this article, we go in-depth about the importance of inner monologues in storytelling.

Inner monologues help the audience understand a character on a deeper level. Many times the audience will witness the character revealing their innermost thoughts and feelings while bearing their soul.

What is The Importance of Inner Monologues in Storytelling

An inner monologue is frequently used to flesh out a character during a significant scene or event. The storyteller must make sure that the monologue is not excessive and is exciting in its own right. An inner monologue can also be used to advance the story by explicitly expressing the changes a character or the plot is going through.

You want to use inner monologue to emphasize the inner turmoil and emotional landscape within key characters. This is most helpful when you are trying to convey something to the audience that is not perceivable from the outside.

How to Make a Monologue Sound Good

Here are tips and tricks on how to make a good inner monologue.

Find a "perfect" time.

The inner monologue has to make sense in your story. If a monologue seems out of place or doesn't support the story, it's best to remove it completely.

Be clear about what you want to write.

Have a purpose for an inner monologue. For example, do you want your character to undergo an inner transformation? Should it raise important questions for the story? Or should the inner monologue help explain the character's behavior?

Put yourself in character

An inner monologue summarizes a person's world of thoughts. It allows the audience to put themselves in the character's shoes, think like them, feel like them, and become the character.

For example, a timid character can express their worry with an inner monologue, despite keeping their face thick in front of danger.

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The language

Another crucial aspect of an inner monologue is language. Because the entire text must be written in the first person present tense, i.e., I-perspective and present tense (example: "How should I proceed? I'd instead go back home ") because the current train of thought has been described.

In an inner monologue, direct speech is also wholly avoided; if it does occur, it is repeated in indirect speech. It's also a good idea to use colloquial language, making the written thoughts seem more realistic; choppy and occasionally incomplete sentences make the inner monologue more spontaneous and tangible.

Overall, it is important in an inner monologue to convey a wide range of emotions through linguistic aids to elicit specific responses from the reader or provide supportive additions to the previous text.

Never let the characters make decisions they don't stand behind 100%! Nobody would rather crawl through a snake pit and endanger their life than jump over a meadow with cute rabbits. Choose the most logical way because everyone always thinks logically for themselves (even if you sometimes can't see it so quickly...)

Example of Inner Monologue by a tormented character

What should I do? If I had acted more honestly, I wouldn't be sitting here now. Alone, abandoned... Why did it have to come to this? I can not understand. I will never understand. Why is everyone like that? Why don't they trust me? Why are you leaving me alone? All alone. I cannot go on like that. I don't want to continue like this. It's awful... lonely. I go ahead and don't look back. Nobody can stop me, and I will change my life - here and now!

Monologue vs. Inner Monologue

In addition to the inner monologues described above, some monologues are not "inner." Mono, which means something like "one" or "single/alone," is also used here again.

This characterizes a monologue that is carried out exclusively by one person.

A good example is the typical villain monologue elaborating on their schemes and revealing their plans. In contrast to the inner monologue, the monologue is for "listeners," but it is not performed as such.

So when reading, the monologue is performed as verbatim speech but is not designed to have an audience.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

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