A note on:
— Interior Monologues
Whether you are considering adding a lengthy monologue to a story, or intend the monologue to be the story itself where the focus of the entire story is on one character’s thoughts and feelings with very little action — from my observations and experimentation, the readers either love them or hate them. There’s no in-between.
However, it is notable that the internal monologue stories that are sought out most frequently tend to focus on a profound emotion of some kind: grief, loneliness, heartache… Usually by either those seeking to deal with such an emotion, as a kind of therapy, or by those that have never felt such emotions. (Strong emotional stories are extremely popular among young adults.)
In both cases, not only does the reader seek to submerge themselves in these profound emotions, they are also looking for a solution, a way back out from under these feelings.
In other words, one shouldn’t try to tackle something like this unless one already has a solution to the story problem in mind. (You really don’t want the hate mail that will come when the readers are left hanging.)
I’m an escapist by nature, so I fall into the other category — those that can only handle interior monologues in extremely tiny doses. I prefer my emotional deep thoughts mixed in with the character doing something; an action scene flavored by internal narration, rather than a whole story told in monologue form.
Being older, I’ve actually had to deal with these sorts of emotions; death, grief, heartache, loss… on a far too personal basis, so dwelling on them (reading long emotional passages,) isn’t something I’m comfortable with.
Interestingly enough, the scanlated Japanese novellas that I’ve been reading seem to be almost solid immersions into emotion with action sprinkled in to give it a sense of motion — even if the motion is merely circular.
However, one should take into account that scanlations are extremely subjective. They’re chosen for their appeal to the English-reading folks scanlating the story, so there’s no way to tell of this is a common Japanese style, or merely a sign of the scanlators’ preferences.
When deciding whether or not your monologue is appropriate for what you are writing, consider your target Reading Audience.
If you’re writing a story steeped in emotional upswings such as a Romance, lengthy monologues steeped in strong emotions will probably fit right in. However, if you’re writing something with lots of action such as an Adventure, you just might want to consider sprinkling bits of light action among your passages of deep thought to keep it from dragging down the pace you’ve already set for your story.
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