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