How to Write Inner Monologue in a Script

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How to Write Inner Monologue in a Script

Inner monologue is commonly used to provide a direct look at the inner experience of characters in a film. It’s that internal voice, in the character’s head. That denotes what a character is thinking. And how their internal thoughts drive the story. The inner monologue is a character driven opportunity for the screenwriter. To convey intimate information about a character’s deepest thoughts. But do you know how to write inner monologue in a script?


Types of Inner Monologue

Before writing an inner monologue in a script, you’ve got to have a plan for the type of monologue that you intend to incorporate into your script. You’ve got two types of inner monologue options to include in your script.

They are:

  • Soliloquy – this is the type of inner monologue that is common in plays. And which involves a fictional character who voices their thoughts out loud for the audience to hear. You might recall this type of inner monologue from Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Stream of Consciousness – this type of inner monologue is generally used to show a character’s inner thoughts in the present tense. Generally as a stream of consciousness narration.

Inner monologues are used in your script to give your character’s a voice. One that will convey their inner thoughts. But they’re also a great opportunity to provide a character’s point of view.

Filmmakers also use inner monologue to show internal conflicts that take place between a character and his or her thoughts. 

How to Write Inner Monologue in a Script

Now that you know why an inner monologue might be used, and what the purpose of the inner monologue in a script is. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can use inner monologue in your scripts.

Knowing how to write inner monologue in a script is an important step for any screenwriter to understand. 

Formatting the inner monologue in your script can be achieved in several ways. In the simplest form, inner monologue is often shown as a voice over by the character and will appear next to the character’s name.

For example, if a character is having an inner monologue with him or herself, the formatting of the script will look like this:


Action lines

Such that, the character’s name is included followed by the “V.O.” to signify the voice-over monologue of the character. The next lines show the action and or dialogue that takes place.

Inner monologues can also be described as a character’s thoughts. Such that the inner monologue would be introduced as a voice over with the words “THOUGHTS” next to the character’s name such as:


Followed by the various dialogue or action items that occur for the monologue. 

The monologue may also be formatted as the character’s name. Followed by the use of italicized dialogue. Or action items to convey the inner dialogue that is occurring. For example:


(to the camera)

Monologue action items and dialogue

In this example, when the inner monologue is complete, the script will denote the end of the dialogue by going back to the character.

As you can see, learning how to write inner monologue in a script is something that will take a bit of thought, and some practice. But you’ve got several options at your disposal to work with when it comes to formatting. Practice using each and you’ll be a pro in no time!