2

There is a point in a book I'm writing where a character relates a lengthy story about the inner struggles that she faced a couple years ago. Wouldn't it look a bit awkward if the entire thing was just one ginormous paragraph that opened and closed with quotation marks? It just seems unnatural, especially for a book. Is it possible to write a long monologue like that without the above issue?

  • 1
    Browse the Internet for the John Galt monologue (written in the form of a radio speech) form Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." You don't need to read it, just take not of its length. That's a famous book, for better or worse. – user23046 Apr 23 '17 at 23:49
5

Yes, it's possible to write a long monologue without it being awkward. Just because something is one long statement from a single character does not mean that it all has to be in one paragraph. You can separate ideas in the monologue (or organic pauses in speaking or however you want to do it) into multiple paragraphs; just

  1. Do not close the paragraphs with quotation marks (until the monologue is finished)
  2. Do begin every paragraph with quotation marks.

See this article and these questions from English Stack Exchange for more information.

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    This is very important. Make it organic. A person will not just sit perfectly still and recount something. They will move around, pause, gather their thoughts, clear the throat, have a sip of water or whatever else. Bring that movement into it – user18397 Apr 24 '17 at 0:30
  • 3
    Right. And if it were long enough, you could break the quotation mark train and make that movement explicit. – Shokhet Apr 24 '17 at 0:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.