What Is Internal Dialogue? Definition, Examples & How To Use It Properly • Filmmaking Lifestyle (2023)

Internal dialogue is what a character is thinking and saying to themselves. It’s part of the inner monologue.

Internal dialogue can be direct (spoken aloud) or indirect (in thought). Direct internal dialogue happens when a character speaks directly to someone else, such as their partner or friend.

Indirect internal dialogue happens when a character is thinking about something, but not speaking directly to another person.

For example:

I have no idea how this is going to work out. I just hope that my boss doesn’t find out about it before we’re ready for him to see it.


I don’t know if I can do this job anymore. But I think I should at least try to keep things running smoothly until they can get someone else in here who knows what they’re doing.<br><br>

What Is Internal Dialogue

What Is Internal Dialogue?

Internal dialogue is talking to yourself out loud. You can use it when you’re at work or when you’re driving your car. It’s a way of self-talk that helps you to stay calm and focused during stressful situations.

Internal dialogue is different from the kind of everyday thoughts we normally have when we’re not stressed out or under pressure. It’s more like a conversation than ordinary thought patterns.

You can listen to internal dialogue as if it were a radio station, but if you’re listening with a specific goal in mind, then it can be helpful in achieving that goal.

What Does Internal Dialogue Mean In Screenwriting?

Internal dialogue is the conversation between two or more characters in a movie or TV show. It can also be called thought-provoking dialogue.

Internal dialogue is not just a way of showing what people are thinking, but also how they express their thoughts. This can be done through words, actions and facial expressions.

Internal dialogue can help you develop your story in different ways because it shows how characters think and why they do what they do. You can use this information to create more depth in your story and make it more interesting to watch.

You can use internal dialogue to give each character his own personality by showing how he thinks and reacts to situations that arise throughout the film or series.

Background On Internal Dialogue

Internal dialogue is the internal monologue of a person that they engage in while thinking or reasoning. It is often referred to as “thinking out loud” or “thinking silently”.

The internal dialogue can be either positive or negative, depending on the type of person you are. A positive internal dialogue will help you focus on what you are doing and make you more productive. A negative internal dialogue will lead to procrastination and other bad habits.

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For example, if you have an assignment due tomorrow, but instead of studying for it, you daydream about how much fun it would be if you didn’t have an assignment due tomorrow, then your internal dialogue is probably negative.

On the other hand, if you have an assignment due tomorrow and instead of studying for it, you daydream about how much fun it would be if you had an assignment due tomorrow, then your internal dialogue is probably positive.

Inner Dialogue Meaning – Do You Have An Inner Voice?

Do you have an inner voice? Do you sometimes feel the need to talk to yourself about things you are doing? Do you feel like you have a good relationship with your inner voice?

If so, then this article is for you. Here are some of the reasons why having an inner voice can be beneficial in your life.

It’s All About Communication

The biggest benefit of having an inner voice is that it allows us to communicate with ourselves. We can make ourselves aware of our thoughts and feelings at any time and in any situation.

Having this awareness helps us to understand ourselves better and become more aware of how we act and react in different situations. It also helps us to improve our communication skills as well as giving us the opportunity to express our feelings without fear or embarrassment.

You Are Not Alone

We all experience sadness, anger, happiness, frustration and other emotions throughout the day but if we don’t openly share these feelings with others then they will remain bottled up inside us which can cause problems later on down the line (such as depression). Talking about these emotions helps us deal with them effectively by letting out all our pent-up emotions into

What Is Internal Dialogue?

Internal dialogue is the internal monologue that you have with yourself when you are thinking about something.

The most common example of internal dialogue is when we’re looking at a situation and trying to figure out what we should do, or how we should feel about something. For example, if you’re driving on the highway and see a car crash ahead of you, your brain automatically starts thinking about what could happen if you hit the brakes.

This is called “explanation mode” because it’s used to explain the situation to yourself in order to avoid an accident.

When you’re stuck in this mode, it’s common for your thoughts to become repetitive and obsessive. If you think about this situation over and over again without ever doing anything about it (e.g., by planning ahead), then this is what’s known as “rumination.”

Ruminating is a common problem among people who have anxiety disorders like panic attacks or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Rumination can lead to negative thoughts and feelings such as worry, fear or anger, which can interfere with your ability to function normally

What Is Internal Dialogue In Writing?

Internal dialogue is a way of describing the thoughts and feelings of characters. It can be used for books, movies, plays and any other written work. It’s a great way to describe how characters feel about things and their actions.

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Internal dialogue can also describe what they say to themselves when they think about something else.

Internal Dialogue In Books

When reading a book you may not always know what’s going on inside the heads of your characters. It’s important to try to figure out what they might be thinking or feeling by looking at the words they use and how they use them. You can find some examples in this article about internal dialogue in books.

Internal Dialogue In Movies

In movies it’s very easy to see what a character is thinking because there are so many lines spoken out loud by characters as well as action scenes where we can see what happens next without anyone speaking directly at us or us seeing their face expression change from one moment to another moment in time (except maybe for closeups).

What Is Internal Dialogue? Definition, Examples & How To Use It Properly • Filmmaking Lifestyle (1)

How To Show Internal Dialogue In Writing

Internal dialogue is one of the most important aspects of your writing. It’s a way to show the reader that you know what your characters are saying, what they’re thinking, and where they’re coming from. But telling the reader all this can be a challenge; internal dialogue is often hard to write well. Here are some tips on how to do it:

1.Show us their thoughts and feelings in action

When we read about a character’s internal dialogue, we want to see that character acting out those thoughts and feelings rather than just hearing about them from an outside perspective. A good way to do this is by having the character talk directly to themselves in their head: “I’m an idiot,” or “I’m so scared.”

This helps show us that this person is experiencing those emotions first-hand and not just having them explained from an outside observer’s point of view.

2.Use direct speech whenever possible

Direct speech is another great way for you to show us your characters’ inner monologues — or at least have them say things aloud while they’re thinking them. It can also make things sound more dramatic by using shorter words than normal speech would use (like “Oh my god”).

Internal Dialogue Example In The Fight Club Screenplay

Internal dialogue is dialogue that is spoken by the characters in a film. Internal dialogue can be found in almost every film script, but it is especially important for films that are played out as one long take with no cuts or edits, such as “The Right Stuff” and “Fight Club.”

Internal dialogue is also important for films that are shot with a single camera and do not use split screen to create the illusion of multiple cameras.

Internal dialogue is usually written as part of the screenplay, but there are also several other ways this type of script element can be employed. In some cases, internal dialogue may be presented as a list at the beginning of the screenplay.

This list could include all of the characters’ names and their relationships to each other, then provide descriptions for each character’s thoughts about what they are doing and why they are doing it.

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Some writers choose to write their own internal monologues so they can better understand how their characters think and feel about things going on around them. They may also choose to use these monologues as a way to show how different people from different backgrounds have similar reactions when faced with similar situations.

Internal Dialogue Examples American Psycho Business Card Scene

This internal dialogue is a perfect example of how Jordan Peele uses the same technique to create suspense in his films. The movie starts off with a very friendly tone and then as the scene progresses, it becomes more and more intense and dark.

The scene begins with Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) talking to his boss about his next assignment. He is excited about it because it means he can get away from his life of crime for a while.

He is going to Paris to meet up with his friend Paul Allen (Allen Chang), who owns a business there. They are going to help him set up a company called “American Psycho.” This company will focus on importing foreign goods into America and reselling them at a profit.

The conversation between Patrick and Mr. Allen goes on for several pages, but it only takes up about two minutes of screen time because Peele keeps cutting back to different internal thoughts of Patrick’s mind while he is talking with Mr. Allen.”

How To Write Through Dialogue

Dialogue is a major part of your story. It’s the words that people say and the thoughts they have as they talk to each other.

If you want to write through dialogue, you need to know how to use it effectively. But you also need to understand how it works and how it can help your readers understand what is going on in your story.

What Is Dialogue?

Dialogue is a specific speech pattern used in writing. It’s characterized by short, simple sentences and direct, unemotional conversations. The characters don’t show much emotion; they just talk about what’s happening in their lives or what’s going on around them.

They don’t argue, cajole or otherwise try to persuade each other of anything; they just tell each other what they think and feel.

This isn’t a description of real conversations — it’s an idealized version of how most people speak when they’re not trying to impress anyone with their wit or knowledge base.

Internal Dialogue As A Tool For Drama And Comedy

Internal dialogue is a tool used by writers to create drama and comedy. It is a running, continual inner monologue that lets the writer know what’s going on inside the character’s head. The internal dialogue can be very simple or complex, depending on the story.

A character might think something out loud like “I don’t know how to do this,” or he might talk to himself about whether or not he should go through with something.

Internal dialogue can be used for both comedy and drama. It can also be used for comedy when it comes at the beginning of a scene where there’s been tension between the characters before the scene begins.

This gives the reader an indication that things are about to get bad for one character or another and shows them how they feel about it already, instead of waiting until later in the story when things have already gotten worse for them before they realize it themselves.

Internal Dialogue Examples – Vegeta’s Respect For Goku In Dragon Ball Z

Vegeta is a character with a strong inner voice. He is the most powerful fighter in the Universe, but he only uses his power to defeat weaker opponents.

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In Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta has become one of the most popular characters in the series. He is known for his arrogance and pride, but at the same time he is also a great fighter who has trained himself for years to be powerful enough to defeat Goku.

Vegeta’s Respect For Goku

In Dragon Ball Z episode 104, Vegeta tells Goku that their fight will be a battle between two equals. He doesn’t want to win because it would make him look weak or show up his enemies.

Instead, he wants to prove that his strength is what makes him different from them and not just another Saiyan warrior.

This internal dialogue shows us how Vegeta feels about fighting Goku, especially after watching Goku fight against Cell and Frieza in their previous battles. In fact, Vegeta even said that he wanted to beat up Goku just like they did in the past when they were training together as children

Internal Dialogue Examples – Elaine’s Inner Thoughts In Seinfeld

She’s been in this relationship for a long time. She knows that she doesn’t want to end it, but she’s not sure how to keep things going. She wants to be able to look at her boyfriend and see him as the person he is, but she also wants him to be able to do the same thing.

She’s not sure how they can both stay committed to each other if they’re not communicating well. She knows that there are some problems with their relationship, but she doesn’t know how or why these things happen or what needs to happen in order for them to get better.

She’s starting to think that maybe this relationship isn’t working out after all; maybe they should break up instead of trying harder or talking more about what’s wrong with their relationship and why things aren’t working anymore.

What Is Internal Dialogue In Screenwriting – Wrapping Up

Internal dialogue is the “I” in “I-thou” conversations, the inner monologue that we all have as humans but that’s rarely heard in films. Internal dialogue is also known as character dialogue or internal monologue, and it’s an important part of screenwriting because it helps readers get inside your character’s head and understand him or her on a personal level.

In short, internal dialogue is your character talking to himself or herself about what’s happening in the story. It usually takes place during scenes where there are no other characters around (or at least not many), so it can be a bit tricky to use effectively.

But if you keep in mind that internal dialogue is just one way to show readers what your character thinks about what’s going on around him/her, then you’ll be able to use it well.

How To Use Internal Dialogue Effectively In Your Screenplay

Internal monologues don’t have to be long; they can be as short as a single sentence or as long as several pages. The trick is knowing when they should be used — which means knowing how to identify them correctly in your screenplay.


What is internal dialogue example? ›

Direct internal dialogue refers to a character thinking the exact thoughts as written, often in the first person. (The first person singular is I, the first person plural is we.) Example: “I lied,” Charles thought, “but maybe she will forgive me.”

What does internally dialogue mean? ›

Also referred to as “internal dialogue,” “the voice inside your head,” or an “inner voice,” your internal monologue is the result of certain brain mechanisms that cause you to “hear” yourself talk in your head without actually speaking and forming sounds.

How do you work internal dialogue? ›

5 Ways to Turn Your Negative Self-Talk Into a More Productive Inner Dialogue
  1. Recognize Your Negative Thoughts. ...
  2. Look for Evidence That Your Thought Is True. ...
  3. Look for the Evidence Your Thought Isn't True. ...
  4. Reframe Your Thought Into Something More Realistic. ...
  5. Ask Yourself How Bad Would It Be If Your Thought Were True.
3 Apr 2018

What is your internal dialogue like? ›

Your 'internal dialogue' is quite simply your thoughts. It is the little voice in your head that comments on your life, whether that is what is going on around you, or what you are thinking consciously or sub-consciously. All of us have an internal dialogue, and it runs all the time.

Why is internal dialogue important in a story? ›

Internal dialogue can tell the reader what a character is thinking. It can provide deep insight into a character's thoughts, fears, self-esteem, and general point of view.

What is an example of internal monologue? ›

Inner monologue in a story may be used to reveal a character's self-speak and preoccupations. For example, in a story where a character's primary or secondary struggle is accepting their body, there may be a scene where they're looking in a mirror: He turned and stood at an angle, sucking in his belly.

What is an example of a dialogue? ›

For example: "I don't want to go home," said Julia. "I like it here at the zoo. The animals are all so funny." She began to cry and then wailed, "I didn't even get to see the elephants!"

How many internal dialogues are there? ›

Psychology professor Russell Hurlburt estimates 30 to 50 percent of people have an inner monologue narrating their thoughts throughout the day. But if you don't have one, Hurlburt, who teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says not to worry.

What is internal dialogue in writing called? ›

Internal monologue (also known as inner monologue or interior monologue) is a literary device that allows the reader to observe the inner thoughts of characters in a narrative.

How do you show thoughts in writing examples? ›

If you're writing fiction, you may style a character's thoughts in italics or quotation marks. Using italics has the advantage of distinguishing thoughts from speech.

How can an internal dialogue be positive? ›

Try to Live in the Present (mindfully)

Your internal dialogue often tends to focus on the past or 'What might have been', and the future or 'What might be'. Focusing on the present therefore both quietens your internal dialogue a little, and also helps you to concentrate on, and appreciate, what is happening now.

Is internal dialogue in first person? ›

Internal dialogue typically takes three basic forms: first-person narration, third-person narration, and direct thought-speech.

What are the 3 purposes of dialogue? ›

Though dialogue can serve many functions in fiction, three of its primary purposes are to: establish the tone and atmosphere of a scene. reveal your characters. advance your storyline.

What is a good example of monologue? ›

A monologue involves one character speaking to another. A better example of a monologue is Polonius' speech to his son, Laertes, before Laertes goes to France. Here, he gives advice for how Laertes should conduct himself overseas. "Yet here, Laertes!

What is an internal monologue and what is the purpose? ›

Intrapersonal communication, also referred to as internal monologue, autocommunication, self-talk, inner speech, or internal discourse, is a person's inner voice which provides a running monologue of thoughts while they are conscious. It is usually tied to a person's sense of self.

What is an example of monologue in a sentence? ›

Example Sentences

The comedian is famous for his monologue about winning the lottery. I stifled a yawn as she launched into a monologue about how she is going to become a famous star.

What is the best definition of dialogue? ›

: a conversation between two or more persons. also : a similar exchange between a person and something else (such as a computer) : an exchange of ideas and opinions.

How do you express your feelings and thoughts in writing? ›

Here are some writing tips to help you write and evoke emotion:
  1. Be specific with word choice. When writing your first novel, it's easy to fall into cliché when writing emotions. ...
  2. Make sure readers identify with the protagonist. ...
  3. Vary your descriptions. ...
  4. Build up to intense emotions for greater impact. ...
  5. Try journaling.
19 Aug 2021

How do you start writing your own thoughts? ›

Try these tips to help you get started with journaling:
  1. Try to write every day. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. ...
  2. Make it easy. Keep a pen and paper handy at all times. ...
  3. Write or draw whatever feels right. Your journal doesn't need to follow any certain structure. ...
  4. Use your journal as you see fit.

How do you show someone thinking in a script? ›

Use Italics.

Italics are often used for emphasis in writing. They are also a technique authors will use to identify the main character's thoughts. The use of italics makes a clear distinction between thoughts and the surrounding text.

How do you know if you have internal dialogue? ›

You can tell that you have an inner monologue when you experience signs like having songs stuck in your head, replaying a favorite podcast or movie in your mind, or having a conversation with yourself. Some people experience inner monologue in the form of hearing their voice going over the words when they read a book.

What is importance of dialogue? ›

A capable writer uses dialogue to drive a story's plot forward, to bring the reader closer to its climax and, ultimately its conclusion. Dialogue can also help charge scenes with emotion, heightening tension between characters or building suspense ahead of a key event or turning point in the plot.

What are the four major elements of a dialogue? ›

4 Key Elements to Writing Effective Dialogue
  • 1.) Listen to other people speaking.
  • 2.) Read the dialogue you write out loud.
  • 3.) When in doubt, write how it sounds.
  • 4.) Play with punctuation.
13 Apr 2018

What are the main elements of a dialogue? ›

Plato and the Elements of Dialogue examines Plato's use of the three necessary elements of dialogue: character, time, and place.

What are the main types of dialogue? ›

There are two broad types of dialogue writers employ in their work: inner and outer dialogue. Inner dialogue is the dialogue a character has inside their head. This inner dialogue can be a monologue. In most cases, inner dialogue is not marked by quotation marks.

What is a dialogue explain with its types? ›

Dialogue is the exchange of spoken words between two or more characters in a book, play, or other written work. In prose writing, lines of dialogue are typically identified by the use of quotation marks and a dialogue tag, such as "she said." In plays, lines of dialogue are preceded by the name of the person speaking.

What 5 things should you include in a monologue? ›

5 Tips for Writing Dramatic Monologues
  • Start with a compelling opening line. Monologues lack action and dialogue, which can leave the audience unengaged. ...
  • Present a strong point of view. ...
  • Develop a storyline. ...
  • Know your parameters. ...
  • Wrap up with parting words.
7 Jun 2021

How do you introduce yourself in a monologue? ›

Introducing Yourself: How to Get Your Speech Off to a Great Start
  1. “My name is X, and I've been asked to speak to you about Y because Z.” ...
  2. “Good morning, my name is X. ...
  3. “Good morning, my name is X, and I'm here to talk to you about Y. ...
  4. “Hi, my name is X.

What are the 3 types of monologue? ›

  • Soliloquy (monologue in drama)
  • Dramatic monologue.
  • Operatic monologue.
  • Comic monologue.
  • Monologuing.

What is the difference between internal dialogue and monologue? ›

While dialogue means real exchange of ideas between two or more points of view (I-positions), monologue refers to one-sided communications (whether to oneself or to another person) in which an answer is not expected. Researchers have recently engaged in efforts to measure individual differences in inner dialogues.

What are good monologues for auditions? ›

To get you started, here are 10 top monologues for auditions.
  • “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare: Act 3, Scene 1. ...
  • “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare: Act 2, Scene 2. ...
  • “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare: Act 2, Scene 2. ...
  • “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov: Konstantin's mother monologue.
19 Jul 2022

What is a monologue easy definition? ›

a prolonged talk or discourse by a single speaker, especially one dominating or monopolizing a conversation. any composition, as a poem, in which a single person speaks alone.

What is monologue short answer? ›

Monologue, in literature and drama, an extended speech by one person. It is a speech given by a single character in a story.

What is an example of external dialogue? ›

With external dialogue, a simple conversation is had between two characters. “Hey!” she whispered, “Are you sleeping?” “Knock, knock,” he said.

What is internal and external dialogue? ›

'Internal conversation' refers to the inner dialogues that individuals have with themselves· about themselves and the social environment, while 'external conversation' refers to those parts of internal conversation that the individual shares with others.

What is internal dialogue called in writing? ›

Without having to write dialogue, an author can convey simple, intimate information about a character's deeply held secrets—like their memories of the first time they fell in love. Such things are possible due to the literary device known as internal monologue.

What is it called when you don't have an internal dialogue? ›

The lack of an inner monologue has been linked to a condition called aphantasia — sometimes called "blindness of the mind's eye." People who experience aphantasia don't experience visualizations in their mind; they can't mentally picture their bedroom or their mother's face.

How do you write a dialogue example? ›

Dialogue tags stay outside the quotation marks, while the punctuation stays inside the quotation marks. Example: “There was blood everywhere,” Karen explained. If the dialogue tag comes before the dialogue, the comma appears before the first quotation mark. Example: Karen explained, “There was blood everywhere.”

What is the difference between dialogue and internal dialogue? ›

External dialogue is what the characters actually say. We make dialogue a little more interesting by adding speech tags like he said, and she replied. And we add some description, but mostly it's what characters say to each other. Internal dialogue is what the character is thinking.

How do you write a good dialogue? ›

5 Rules of Dialogue Writing
  1. Dialogue should reflect your character's background. ...
  2. Be true to the period. ...
  3. Desire should motivate your characters to speak. ...
  4. Fictional characters don't say “uh.” In real life, speech has lots of padding or “stuffing”: words like umms and yeahs. ...
  5. There's always subtext.
3 Sept 2021

How do you write internal thoughts in a script? ›

6 Ways to Write a Character's Thoughts in Your Story
  1. Use dialogue tags without quotation marks. ...
  2. Use dialogue tags and use quotation marks. ...
  3. Use Italics. ...
  4. Start a new line. ...
  5. Use deep POV. ...
  6. Use descriptive writing for secondary characters.
23 Aug 2021


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