Jakubowski has been an online writer for 8 years and has a particular interest in performing arts, especially monologues.
What Is a Monologue?
A monologue is a long speech made by a single actor in a play or film. Monologues have been around since Ancient Greece, and they are still commonly used as literary devices in dramatic media today. They are tools used to provide additional information and details about a character or the plot.
Theater jargon can be confusing—the difference between a soliloquy and a monologue is that the former is when a character, who's usually alone, speaks their own thoughts aloud to themselves. A monologue is any speech delivered by a character, whether to other characters or the audience.
In this article, I will show you how to write a script from scratch in four simple steps.
Famous Monologue Examples
"To be, or not to be, that is the question..."
Oedipus the King
"Why should a mortal man, the sport of chance, With no assured foreknowledge, be afraid?"
"Yea, for these laws were not ordained of Zeus, And she who sits enthroned with gods below..."
"I left no ring with her: what means this lady?"
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him..."
As You Like It
"All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players..."
"Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York..."
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Flute (as Thisbe)
"Asleep, my love? What, dead, my dove? O Pyramus, arise!"
Steps to Creating a Dramatic Monologue
- Think up a character.
- Create a character profile.
- Begin your script.
- Edit your monologue.
Things to Remember
- In a monologue, you are the only actor/actress.
- It should be clear and easy to understand.
- You should take the audience on some type of journey.
- Aim for something new.
- Your character should be someone who intrigues you to take on.
- In regards to timing, don't rush yourself, but don't pause for a long time.
Step 1: Think Up a Character
Think up the type of character you want. You don't necessarily need to know much about them at this stage. You could do this by standing in front of a mirror holding a position of your made-up character or even talking gibberish and testing out different facial expressions, voice, and movement. Another good starting point is to base your character on someone you know or some TV star you see as an inspiration.
Think about where you want the monologue to go and how it's meant to fit in with the rest of your play. What role do the monologue and the one delivering the speech play in the context of the written work as a whole? Start thinking about these things as you begin to develop your character.
Step 2: Create a Character Profile
Now that you have some idea of a character in mind, it's time to create a character profile. A character profile should include the following:
- Name: The name and all nicknames of your character should be placed here.
- Biography: A brief overview of your character should be written out here. These prompts should be used as a jumping off point. The key is to delve into your character's past, present and future.
- Age: Child, teen, mid-'20s, middle-aged.
- Facial Expressions: Angry, sad, happy, chagrined.
- Hair: Neat/messy, up/down, long/short.
- Clothing Style: Casual, posh, formal, grungy.
- Speaking Style: Shy, loud, accent, slang.
- General Demeanor: How they come across to other people.
- Career: What they are, work as, or get paid for doing.
- Hobbies: What they enjoy doing.
- Likes: What they like.
- Dislikes: What they hate.
Tip: When creating a character for a monologue, it's important to make sure your audience will be able to connect with that character. Since monologues are long speeches, you need to know you'll be able to capture and maintain your audience's attention throughout the speech.
Step 3: Begin Your Script
Begin writing your script. Remember to keep it short and sweet—a monologue should be no longer than one or two pages long and should take about two minutes to deliver (give or take), including all pauses.
Now that you've created a detailed character profile, you should find your path from there simple and easy. Decide whether you want the monologue to be comedic or dramatic, and think about the arc of the monologue. The character should make some discovery or go on some internal journey.
How to Structure a Monologue
You should begin paying attention to the past, present, and future parts of your character profile. This should show your character's life already planned out. Here are some ideas and suggestions to explore when crafting your monologue:
- Start by taking a part of your character's past and creating a flashback scene from it.
- Transitions are very important. Be creative: Pause for a second and let something happen or do something such as putting a hood on or off.
- Next, you should be able to know what your monologue is about. Once you do, you should open up Microsoft Word or any other writing program and start drafting your monologue script.
Again, you should keep in mind or have a copy of your character profile near you at all times.
- Start by introducing your character, in character, to the audience. You could use an aside: An aside is when your character speaks their mind to the audience.
- Next, briefly allow the audience to know what situation you are in or what message you are trying to get across in your performance. Take the audience with you on your own journey depending on what you have created so far.
- Further down in your script, you should have already played out all the key facts you needed to get your chosen message across or what you wanted the audience to see, whether it be a mental journey or a physical one.
- Lastly, you should end your monologue script smoothly, not just by pausing and finishing with the audience having unanswered questions.
Step 4: Edit Your Monologue
Editing is the most important part of writing a monologue—make sure to edit your script a few times after you have finished it. You need to make sure that every single sentence and word is necessary and serves a purpose.
Draft it and keep on going until you are happy with it. Only once you're happy with what you have and it checks all those "to remember" points in the list at the top should you consider it a final draft.
Frequently Asked Questions About Writing a Monologue
How can I memorize a monologue?
Break the text up into sections so that you can memorize the text in bite-sized chunks. This will also help you to revise and edit as needed. Hand-writing has been proven to bolster your ability to retain information, so give that a try as well!
How can I write a monologue for a ___________ character?
Make sure to do research on the type of character for whom you're writing the monologue. If you don't know how to write from the perspective of a character who's older, younger, gay, straight, male, female, or different from you in some other way, beginning the monologue-writing process with extensive research is key. You need to get inside your character's head to feel what they feel and think what they think—reading books, watching movies, or talking to people who understand the type of character you're going for is a great place to start.
How long should a monologue be?
A monologue needs to be short and sweet. Remember, you need to capture and maintain your audience's attention. Keep it to two minutes (three minutes maximum), including all pauses.
How do I make a monologue interesting?
Keep it short, and make sure your character has an arc or storyline that is examined within the text of the monologue. Focus on the editing phase of writing the monologue—remember that every word needs to drive the plot forward.
How do I use a monologue worksheet?
A monologue worksheet is a physical template you can use to direct your monologue-writing. With it, you can create a visual outline for your character profile. Fill out information about your character—their age, fears, likes and dislikes, etc. Then answer some questions about the monologue itself, such as where it takes place, what issues will be resolved, what outcome the character desires, and what obstacles may be preventing that outcome. With a monologue worksheet, you have all the information about the character and the monologue in front of you while you're writing. You can use Microsoft Word to create the monologue worksheet template, then print and hand-write on it, or simply use it as a working document on your computer.
Mike oxlong on June 28, 2020:
Hi my name is mike
Braelen Falla on June 24, 2020:
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Eoin on June 22, 2020:
Yes he is.
Alc on June 22, 2020:
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Monica fleya on June 22, 2020:
That isnt very nice Eoin.
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Eoin Murphy on June 22, 2020:
I very much dislike this
Sarah Creber on June 22, 2020:
I love it like my dog
Katie on May 20, 2020:
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Ncamsile Thabet on January 06, 2020:
I would like to get knowledge in writing a monologue and to get the auditions
GLADOS.exe on October 24, 2019:
THX guys this is good you should read it again. Cussing isnt good peeps.
somebody...anybody on August 14, 2019:
thank you for the help
Rodrigo on August 11, 2019:
i think that to make or write a monologue is so easy but when you start and try to write simple and short the idea no the end
Ageiram on June 04, 2019:
This website really helped. THX :D
vuyo mdaka on April 24, 2019:
thanks with the very solid and helping massage especially i want to make one of my own.i always loved acting not knowing how to get started not having a clue of what i need to do to get me started...so watch out for the next south africas best actors to come.....thank you
Jesus kondom on March 18, 2019:
wait isn't a monologue writen like you think
mac9999888777666 on January 18, 2019:
it realy helped
idk and idc on January 15, 2019:
Thanks for the help I sorta get it now
bob on January 13, 2019:
i am wrighting a monolouge it helped a bit
Abigail on December 01, 2018:
Thank you vety much,you madee to writey monologue for theater class
aphroditeJl on November 04, 2018:
Thanks for lending us this incridble ideas especially for me cause' it helps me making my nephew a monologue. Well,first I am having a difficulty in writing it but when the time I found this page of yours, I felt so excited. So thank you a lot!
suhani on October 31, 2018:
was very helpful
Dixa on October 26, 2018:
I have an assignment of writing a monologue on a bubblie character (girl) of 17/18 yrs but I really don't know what to write?!
Jai on September 17, 2018:
I have a project to do on Hispanic people by doing a monologue but i really don’t know much about what you supposed to put omg a monologue
newbie on September 12, 2018:
Hi! i have an audition coming up and don't know much about it. this is my very first audition ever so i don't know what to expect... should i prepare to sing? dance? give a monologue? and how long does an audition usually take?
Buhle on July 15, 2018:
Hei guyz ineed a help about monologue theme say isolation
Unknown on June 25, 2018:
hi , I'm trying doing my best to write a monologue but I don't know how because I never write monologue in my life
Wolf478 on May 29, 2018:
I'm also writing a monologue for a class, and I will be presenting it. after reading this, I feel confident in my capability to do so with an effective script.
Person on May 29, 2018:
This was ver useful and it did not just make the crowd laugh it made me laugh! I loved using your tips for my presentation Thanks
Sarah on May 29, 2018:
Hi, I am learning how to d a monologue and this really helped me and I got a A+ for my assessment. Thank you so much for helping me i really learnt a lot of things i really appreciate it.
By the way keep up the work, yo really helped so much.
Britney on May 29, 2018:
Can you please write an example straight away because I need this next week, I am gong to to it in front f a class I don’t know what to write. We are doing a refugee and I don’t know how to start it and I am really scared f doing it in front of a class because I have stage fright and I sweat alot
mae on May 19, 2018:
example?plz and thanks
Emani on May 08, 2018:
This is broken down very well and was very helpful! i follow the exact steps and came up with a good monologue! Thank You !
Dun dun DUN on April 07, 2018:
This is pretty helpful!
jella cyrus on March 20, 2018:
thank you for this, this explanation it's helpful .
. on March 17, 2018:
Could you plz give an actual example of a monologue as well
Annonomous on March 16, 2018:
Not too helpful,but okay
allie on March 13, 2018:
this was really helpful. I'm writing a monologue for my school play auditions and this helped so much. I hope i get the lead role
Paul Bernardo on March 13, 2018:
hey this helped me a lot, thanks.
Ben dover on March 13, 2018:
Me on February 24, 2018:
I thought this was gonna HELP me WRITE the script, not just say " oh, you just make up a character, the script will just POP into your mind..." Yeah. BIG help. Thanks.
cro cro on February 06, 2018:
i did not understand a thing
YoUr mOm on January 29, 2018:
where is the explanation of how to copy paste?
Jeff on November 28, 2017:
I still don't understand
butler (alfred pennyworth) on November 05, 2017:
hello the past i em from thy future! :) thanks for this its going to help me on my history monologue!
Delights on September 29, 2017:
A lot of things here I didn't know
random person on August 07, 2017:
hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! i am 5 years late!
Junjun on July 20, 2017:
Thanks dude... cool explaination
nik on June 04, 2017:
did not help me a lot but was still pretty good on tips.
Yashveen on March 26, 2017:
johnclarke on March 14, 2017:
Have already got a book published but am trying a new genre.
the character goes through three srages in the action, Spanish civil war, world war 2, and the Cuban revolution. He cannot reconcile the fact that his adopted father who has raised him an Argentian shot his biological father in line of duty. What would be an appropriate monologue to reconcile these two fact realizing that he loves his adopted father, but his Latin temperament means that he must revenge his biological father
Rachel whitfield on March 06, 2017:
This monologue set plain, is the best.
after i got through reading it, i had the best monologue ever with an A+. thanks so much.
hotdog69 on January 19, 2017:
thanks but I still dont know how to wright one as a story its only telling me how to start it with a character
Samanther on December 16, 2016:
SOOO GOOD AND USEFUL - like your BBC
POOP on December 16, 2016:
Samuel on November 23, 2016:
Thank you so much, that helped me a lot.
Karenza on November 17, 2016:
This was sooooooo helpful, thx :)
Jane on September 18, 2016:
Thank you so much for this. Now I know what kind of character I want to portray. :)
idk1236 on September 15, 2016:
this helped me so much .
joy joy on April 09, 2016:
nozipho on May 22, 2015:
Wow!thank you so much I have confidence and I so hope I'll nail my upcoming Audition,it my very first Audition
sfundo on February 12, 2015:
katie on November 05, 2014:
omg, i just wanted an idea of how to start my monologue, like a good opening sentence, not the steps of making one, I already did all of that. wow this was such a waist of my time.
niki maniji on September 23, 2014:
yasssss thank you mad props
champion on November 29, 2013:
extremely shity i did a better job
teacher on October 08, 2013:
You cant learn people... You can only teach them!!
La Senor Espanol on October 08, 2013:
Genial! Me encanta!! :)
samiha on September 13, 2013:
thx i like it
ILOVEWHOEVERMADETHISPAGE on July 14, 2013:
I would have failed a big piece of English without this help!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much.
YOUSAVEDMYLIFE on July 14, 2013:
THANKYOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH
HS on May 29, 2013:
maramo on March 26, 2013:
i need an example of a monologue!!!!!!!! help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you made this on Google sites man! on March 26, 2013:
thnkz use hubs for homework
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OHMAH GAWD on March 15, 2013:
amazing thnxx chuu
sarah on March 10, 2013:
mlp on February 26, 2013:
el profe de world history de tercero de secuandaria del IBS me la pelaa muaks :*
WHAT on February 25, 2013:
bob on February 21, 2013:
proper it helped a lot
rosi on January 23, 2013:
omggggg ths was so helpful. I got this whole Romeo and Juliet monologue in the bag
c on January 23, 2013:
thx a lot bro
amelie on January 20, 2013:
thank you dude!!!!
alfie on January 15, 2013:
Pickles&Cabbage on January 10, 2013:
I had to do a monologue in history and I've never written one, let alone seen one until then! This helped me soooo much! Thank you so much!
iftehar rafi on December 19, 2012:
sweet!!!!!!!!! really saved my hind.............. thanks a lot dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
alfie on December 09, 2012:
amalayer on November 20, 2012:
thanks! it helped a lot...
The Slender Man on November 04, 2012:
Very useful! Much thanks!
emily on October 28, 2012:
woww!!!!!!! it is so easy thanks dude
Amy on October 28, 2012:
thanks alot person that really helped
R on October 21, 2012:
that was soooooo goooood
vaness on September 28, 2012:
kaka on September 22, 2012:
coool like it
vo on August 29, 2012:
thanks so much
doctor on August 27, 2012:
me on August 15, 2012:
wo on May 28, 2012:
wow that is easy
angie on April 26, 2012:
jack on April 04, 2012:
Bongani cyril Sikhosana on August 31, 2011:
like it so much