5 Innovative Ways to Write Interior Monologues in Script

Interior monologue, that voice in our heads narrating thoughts and feelings, is a potent tool in screenwriting. It allows audiences to delve into a character’s inner world, providing depth and perspective. Here, we explore the intricacies of writing and formatting interior monologue in a script.

Crafting Interior Monologue in Scripts

To effectively incorporate an inner monologue in your screenplay, the standard method is to use the character’s name followed by “(V.O.)” for voice over, then write the monologue as normal dialogue.

Example:

Terry (V.O.)
Does he even know the stress he's putting me under with this decision?

Innovative Approaches to Interior Monologue

While the above method is straightforward, various scripts have creatively adapted the interior monologue. Let’s look at some examples:

  1. Netflix’s “You”: The show treats the protagonist’s inner voice as a separate character. This style not only drives the narrative but also serves as a crucial element in character development.
    “Character’s Name” 
    Thoughts
  2. “House of Cards”: Here, the inner monologue is presented in a novel-like fashion, with the character addressing the camera directly. This approach gives a unique insight into the character’s psyche
    “Character’s Name”
    (to the camera) 
    [Italicized monologue]

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Pros and Cons of Using Interior Monologue

Before deciding to use an interior monologue, consider its implications:

Why You Might Avoid It:

  1. Show, Don’t Tell: Screenwriting thrives on visual storytelling. Over-reliance on internal monologue can detract from this principle.
  2. Risk of Over-Narration: Excessive narration can dampen the script’s dynamism, making it feel more like a narration than a visual story.
  3. Breaking the Fourth Wall: This technique can disrupt the narrative flow if not executed skillfully.

Why You Might Use It:

  1. Deep Character Development: It offers a window into the character’s mind, revealing motivations and conflicts that may not be visually apparent.
  2. Perspective and POV: It’s an effective way to convey a character’s personal viewpoint, especially in complex or emotionally charged situations.
  3. Exposition: When used judiciously, it can be an effective tool for dispensing necessary exposition without seeming forced or unnatural.

When to Employ Interior Monologue

The best time to use an interior monologue is during moments of heightened conflict or crucial decision-making. These are the instances where a character’s internal thoughts can add significant value to the narrative.

Conclusion

Interior monologue, when used effectively, can enhance your screenplay, offering deeper insights into your characters. The key is to ensure that it serves the story and doesn’t overshadow the visual storytelling aspect. As always, the golden rule in screenwriting applies: use any device, including interior monologue, in a way that enhances and progresses the narrative.

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