I am making a dramatic monologue for a school project in this my character has committed a murder and during talking to his brother lets it slip but in a no direct way (straight up saying I killed him), how would I hint to it so that the reader would have to "read between the lines" to find out?



4 Answers 4


If your character is an adult, particularly if he or she is given to wordplay, just try for subtlety.

I have one character apologizing to another for allowing his suspicions to govern his actions, rather than his love. He hired an assassin but never admits it.

You could have it alluded to as a solution to a problem. If your character has a mathematical turn, he subtracted something recently.

If your character is younger, maybe you were ‘the only one not surprised when X cut class’. Perhaps refer to the deceased character as ‘auditing comparative religion ‘.

There are so many ways to say that without being blunt. Have fun with it and see which scenario or euphemism suits the character best.

  • 1
    "auditing comparative religion" I must remember that, it's brilliant.
    – Ash
    Nov 12, 2018 at 12:21
  • Glad you like it. My MC will admit to being in ‘liquidation of corporate assets’ but never to being an assassin.
    – Rasdashan
    Nov 13, 2018 at 15:09

I am not experienced with 'Dramatic Monolouges', but this question is similar to many others where the writer doesn't want to give "an obvious answer/fact" to the reader.

@Rasadashan gives some good suggestions, and I aggree with them, but without the story these suggestions will probabbly be hard to use/follow.

In all cases, I believe it depends on the story, the characters and the events that have taken place.

What your "character" includes in the monologue will or should be a reflection of the personality of the character and his/her connection to the other characters and the events that have taken place.

Creating the 'puzzle' for your readers to solve, should be based on what you'd like them to work on and what you feel confortable creating.

What kind of puzzle would you enjoy having to solve if you were reading/listening to the monologue?


This is awkward, subtlety is a really subjective quality. For example Rasdashan's line about "auditing comparative religion" has immediate and obvious meaning to me, (in the given context at least), but I know I'll have to explain it to my wife, and I'd have to explain the very concept of comparative religion to my best friend before I could explain the phrase as a whole. In short there is no "one size fits all" approach that gives one audience member a clue without screaming "I killed a man" to another and leaving yet another mystified. I think the "his death is not a great surprise" angle would probably work best, it doesn't necessarily say "I killed him" but it does say "of course someone killed him".


The obvious hints are support for any potential murderer, and the "If I had done it ..." comments.

"If we're lucky, somebody killed him, and we owe them a party. Maybe I'll throw it!"

"If I did it, they'd never find the body. I know just what I'd do."

"I hope he's dead. I know how I'd do it, and I'd get away with it, too. People underestimate me."

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