Dialogue writing research

Before I’ve started writing my interior monologue for the next scriptwriting workshop I’de decided to research how to approach writing dialogues and monologues. At first I’ve looked at an article written by Rob Tobin titled “How to write screenplay dialogue”. He uses an example of “Good Will Hunting”(1998) to illustrate how important is the knowledge of your characters, their background and how to develop them. Later he claims that “There is another factor in writing great dialogue. It’s the understanding that there are four key components to any story, whether screenplay, novel, play, or short story: characters, situations, events, and dialogue.” 

In another article that I found, titled “How To Write Great Dialogue”, author, Staton Rabin gives ten tips that are supposed to help young writers improve their work. What I have learnt from it was that again, the context and characters background and relationships are important. That quirky characters are more interesting and that if I want to make my dialogue interesting I need to avoid stating the obvious, telling the viewer what he already knows, characters shouldn’t always say what’s on their minds, or say what they’re doing at this moment(for example if a character is looking for his keys in his room and we can see him looking under the bed, checking every draw etc. there is no need for him to go and say “I’m looking for my keys”).

But what about interior monologues? What exactly are they? Well one way of describing them is that “an internal monologue is like ‘overhearing someone’s thoughts’.” I’ve also started thinking about examples of interior monologues or narrations in movies that I’ve seen. At the start I was thinking about “The Big Lebowski”, or “(500) Days of Summer” but as I’ve quickly realised, these films do have narrators but they are a 3rd person. So a better examples would be films such us “Forrest Gump”, “Shutter Island”, “American Psycho”, “Fight Club”, “The Thin Red Line” or “25th Hour”. Few examples:


How To Write Screenplay Dialogue . 2014. How To Write Screenplay Dialogue . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.movieoutline.com/articles/how-to-write-screenplay-dialogue.html. [Accessed 02 November 2014].

How to Write Great Dialogue | Final Draft. 2014. How to Write Great Dialogue | Final Draft. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.finaldraft.com/learn/articles/how-to-write-great-dialogue. [Accessed 02 November 2014].

Interior Monologues in Writing | Write Anything. 2014. Interior Monologues in Writing | Write Anything. [ONLINE] Available at:http://writeanything.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/interior-monologues-in-writing/. [Accessed 02 November 2014].