Saturday, March 26, 2011

Question For Writers: Alternatives to the Evil Monologue

Question For Writers: Alternatives to the Evil Monologue

In the movies, the bad guy often monologues at the end, just in case you or the protagonist missed some important fact from the last 2 hours. Written fiction rarely relies so heavily on the monologue because readers hate to read the same thing two, three, or four times in a novel. Short stories run into the same problem as movies, where a lot happens in a short time, yet I rarely see the monologue there, either.

So, what do you do instead of the monologue? How and when do your characters discover the bad guy's plans? What sort of confirmation do they get that they're correct?

One device you might find useful is to have your character overhear something that other characters are trying to hide from them. Or maybe they find a note, or follow the money trail, or even receive a confession from a minnion. Even for protagonists who have to guess most of their way through the book, you want to throw them tidbits to let them know (or think) that they're headed in the right direction. Even Thomas Covenant sometimes gets to talk to dead people who used to work for Lord Foul.

Feel free to answer/ramble in the comments. If the question inspires a Flash Friday or something similar, feel free to link to your story in the comments and please link back to here on the applicable webpage.

Ready. Set - Anti-monologue device, activate!

1 comment:

  1. I like the way Rowling does it in the Harry Potter series.

    Voldemort often gets his own POV scenes or scenes where muggles accidentally get a peek into the inner workings of Voldemort's cabal.

    The protagonists are able to figure these things out on their own. The monologue is for the audience's benefit. Having it be subtle exposition is a better choice.