Internal Monologue & Writing


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Thread: Internal Monologue & Writing

  1. #1

    Internal Monologue & Writing

    https://mymodernmet.com/inner-monologue/

    Seen this bandied around the media quite often lately.

    Curious though, do you think an 'internal monologue', or a lack of one, makes writing easier or harder or no difference at all?

    I don't really have an internal monologue, though I believe I used to when I was younger. In any case, I actually think a lack of strong internal monologue is actually good for writing. I find it makes thinking more external, increases the need to write rather than simply think.

    I do think, obviously, but the lack of it having a narrative means it only really forms itself when I talk or write, which are good things for writing. Of course, I have no idea of how the alternative might work...

    You?

  2. #2
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    I found the article a bit confusing. Luckily, Oscar Rat was home. Since I have a lot of unused space between my ears, I rent it to my buddy. In return, we have long philosophical conversations during idle periods. Lately, though, my thinking was becoming a little sluggish. I wondered why?

    Well, I asked the rat and he crawled around in the mess of wet thinking matter. "S'Okay, Charlie," he said. "I'll clean it up. How did you know?"

    That damned rodent had been letting seepage from his PortaRatPotty drip onto my frontal lobes. That was why I'd been thinking so much about Trump. I had shit on the brain. Rat shit.

    Actually, I sit alone with soft music and just think for hours at a time.

  3. #3
    I think it depends on what kind of person you are. I see no mention of introversion or extroversion in that article, but I'm guessing that those with an internal monologue tend to be more introverted. Whether you are introverted or extroverted (or have internal monologue or not) has little bearing on your writing. Both types have the same tools, it's just a matter of how you use them.

    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I don't really have an internal monologue, though I believe I used to when I was younger. In any case, I actually think a lack of strong internal monologue is actually good for writing. I find it makes thinking more external, increases the need to write rather than simply think.

    I do think, obviously, but the lack of it having a narrative means it only really forms itself when I talk or write, which are good things for writing. Of course, I have no idea of how the alternative might work...
    The alternative works in a similar but inverted way. The scene(s) I plan on working on today have been running through my head all morning and will continue to do so until I sit down to write. Fishing for ideas, running through dialogue, asking myself if this or that works or "what if". In a way, I do most of my writing away from the keyboard. When I do sit down to actually write, it's the mechanics of writing that translate those abstract thought into a coherent chunk of words.

    I suppose it could be said that all writers work this way, but I believe it's all about a matter of degree.

    As opposed to doing all my thinking behind the keyboard, I, as my ninth grade math teacher used to say, do my thinking "out in left field with a bowling ball." I think what he meant by that is something along the lines of "inappropriately prepared", but I always took it to mean being very, very deep in one's own head, which is where I'm at my best.

  4. #4
    All my MC's have a strong inner dialogue going on - I like it that way because IMO it puts the reader right inside the character's head, rather than at a distance as an onlooker.

    An early draft from my WIP:
    Oscar sat alone in Patti’s Bar letting morose visions fall heavily around him. Was the suicide of an oppressive abuser worth grieving? Killing Hazel and Molly hadn’t disturbed him at all, yet Gladys’ suicide saddened him. Perhaps he had defined himself by his enemies, and once they were gone, he had become less. What could a crusader do once their great mission concluded?



  5. #5
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    I must have an internal monologue. I'll be cruising around and see something that snaps my story sense. For example, a small one-room schoolhouse sitting in a weed-filled lot, front door missing, a brick outhouse behind it.

    Right away, I begin to formulate a story in my mind. On returning home I wrote a fictional history from an outside toilet's POV. "Homer the Outhouse."

  6. #6
    Member Irwin's Avatar
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    I envy people with no internal monologue. It must be nice to live in the moment rather than overthinking everything and worrying about stupid, meaningless crap or ruminating about something that happened 15 years ago. I think there's a high correlation between internal monologue and your level of contentment in life. When you're content, you're more likely to just be in the moment.

  7. #7
    I think some people in this thread may be misunderstanding what's meant by "internal monologue" in this context. It's not just that a person has thoughts (surely everyone has thoughts?!?) but that the thoughts are actually expressed in words in your mind.

    I don't have an internal monologue, but I think a lot. My thoughts are, I guess, non-verbal (because they're non-verbal they're a bit hard to describe, like explaining "purple" to a blind person). If I'm thinking about my writing, I might think [vague dissatisfaction with opening scene] rather than actually thinking the words "I am vaguely dissatisfied with the opening scene".

    I'd say thinking without internal monologue is quicker - as writers, we all know how dialogue slows things down! But I've never really had internal monologue, so I can't say for sure!

  8. #8
    Wɾ°ʇ°∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    https://mymodernmet.com/inner-monologue/

    Seen this bandied around the media quite often lately.

    Curious though, do you think an 'internal monologue', or a lack of one, makes writing easier or harder or no difference at all?

    I don't really have an internal monologue, though I believe I used to when I was younger. In any case, I actually think a lack of strong internal monologue is actually good for writing. I find it makes thinking more external, increases the need to write rather than simply think.

    I do think, obviously, but the lack of it having a narrative means it only really forms itself when I talk or write, which are good things for writing. Of course, I have no idea of how the alternative might work...

    You?
    I don't know if I'd call it an internal monologue but there's definitely some media in there: music, images, scenes, words, all sorts of crap but without which I would probably not write at all. When it's words, it's often very like my writing voice, so the two are closely intertwined for me, and I do use it in my writing. I think it probably helps with creating a certain feel to it, but if there's no story attached, it can - and often does - go nowhere. This process can also throw up a lot of duds. For instance, the phrase "questers carry a bright light" slid into my thoughts last night. What can I do with that? A lot of these snippets become LM prompts. If I'm engaged on some non-writing task (household chores are a particular treasure trove) I'll often get a line of dialogue that just ... I mean it plays and plays and plays to the point where it's quite maddening. It's a useful way of accessing raw material for the sifting though, so into the little notebook it goes. And should I need to I can produce reasonable words, either internally or externally, and string together this nonsense. But a full-on running commentary? No. That would, I imagine, be very tedious. "He is doing the dishes. The dishes want to be done."


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  9. #9
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    bdcharles says:
    "He is doing the dishes. The dishes want to be done."
    THAT did give me an internal monolog. My mind asked a dish, "Why do you want to be clean?"
    In my mind, the dish shrugged, glanced around, and answered, "If dirty my girl, the gravy pitcher, won't sit on my face."
    Those thoughts went through my mind and made me smile.

    Hey! That's how MY mind works. I have one story about the life of a doornail. It was on a dare.
    Last edited by hvysmker; February 22nd, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Wɾ°ʇ°∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvysmker View Post
    bdcharles says:

    THAT did give me an internal monolog. My mind asked a dish, "Why do you want to be clean?"
    In my mind, the dish shrugged, glanced around, and answered, "If dirty, my girl, the gravy pitcher won't sit on my face."
    Those thoughts went through my mind and made me smile.

    Hey! That's how MY mind works. I have one story about the life of a doornail. It was on a dare.
    I think my mind is too fundamentally lazy to do internal monologue. There's a creeping certainty that I lack the attention span for it. My thoughts just go. "Ug. Wash plate. Ug."

    Actually what I'll most likely do is flip that plate upside down and woo-woo-woo it about like the Z-class Saucerian vessel that it obviously is. From there it'll transit the deepest reaches of u-space (bandit country, say the day's galactic bulletins, and I believe them) before docking at a lonely orbital that bears, it must be said, an uncanny resemblance to my dishwasher.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





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