By Michelle Lynn Senters-
Today, we are talking about internal dialogue- the thoughts and conversations inside the mind of a character. When I saw the following video, I immediately thought of internal dialogue. The video was made by flying a drone and camera INSIDE a fireworks display. Watch the video and see if you can make a connection between being inside fireworks and being inside the mind.
Wasn’t that extraordinary? Before I saw this footage, I understood fireworks from only one perspective. My perspective was that of a spectator, BELOW the fireworks display. Until now, I never had the perspective of being INSIDE the fireworks.
As I watched the film, I felt like I was personally there. I imagined the rush of wind and the heat of the blasts against my face. I imagined the familiar smell of burnt sulphur and the sound of the explosions. I was INSIDE.
Authors offer the same experience for their readers through the use of internal dialogue. By sharing the inner thoughts of a character, the reader gains a perspective that is highly personal. The reader goes INSIDE the mind and experiences the history, feelings, concerns, and inner conflict of the character.
Use inner dialogue to:
- convey feelings- anger, fear, excitement, worry, shame, joy, embarrassment, etc.
- show personality.
- expose motive for behaviors or growth.
- show inner conflict when a character is struggling or trying to make a choice.
- show secret thoughts that other characters in the story are unaware of.
- show connections between the current situation and past experiences of the character.
Rules of Inner Dialogue:
- Inner dialogue is sometimes marked with italics. Do not use quotation marks to mark inner dialogue. Quotation marks indicate that something is spoken aloud.
- Maintain the “voice” of the character
- Look at the faces below. Notice the eyes of the characters and the expressions on their face.
- Choose one character that inspires you.
- Determine what is happening to the character. What do they see, feel, taste, touch, or smell? How are they feeling? What do they want? What are they experiencing?
- Determine what the character is thinking. What conversation is going on in their mind?
- WRITE the internal dialogue of the character. Use the character’s VOICE to show feeling and personality. Remember, these are the private thoughts of the character.
In the comment section below, write your first name, age, character number, and paragraph of inner dialogue.
Michelle Lynn Senters is the Founder and Director of KIDS ARE WRITERS. She spends her days working as a Reading Interventionist and spends her evenings writing books for children and adults. You can learn more about Michelle HERE and at www.michellelynnsenters.com.