View Full Version : How to format internal dialogue?
08-17-2008, 02:42 PM
I'm at a spot in my script where a main character has an internal dialogue in a pivotal scene. Is this written as a V.O., or do I have the character actually speaking the dialogue to himself? Thanks!
08-17-2008, 02:53 PM
I'd use V.O. (but only if painted into a corner with no other way to deliver this pivital info, whatever it may be).
Ugh to speaking aloud, tho' there tricks that can excuse this, such as using a personal recorder.
08-17-2008, 03:58 PM
you should take a look at some scrubs scripts, they always have internal dialogue
08-17-2008, 04:49 PM
Formatting is straight forward, simply append (V.O.) to the character name.
As Derek said, the more difficult aspect is making sure that it is apt, that it fits with the texture of the scene (i.e. doesn't disrupt the flow or mood or interfere with suspension of belief), and that it is interesting internal dialog and not blunt exposition. But the mechanics of writing it are simple.
08-17-2008, 04:52 PM
I should have added that you could have the character talking to himself - anything from whispering to screaming depending on context. You just need to figure out which works/feels best, V.O. or dialog. Watch the scene in your head and go with your instincts.
08-17-2008, 07:52 PM
I'd try to find some way to turn it into actions.
Motion pictures are *pictures* before the are anything else.
If I tried everything and it all failed, I'd consider finding a more visual story or rethinking the story into one with narration like HIGH FIDELITY.
But I'd start by trying to find the actions.
08-19-2008, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the input all! What I decided to do, since the scene is a dream sequence, is to create a darker duplicate of the character that goads him on- kinda like the 'angel and devil on the shoulder' routine. I think that satisfies the visual medium enough and still hits the main point of the scene- what is real and what isn't, how far is this character willing to go, and for what reasons.
Writing a novel is much more forgiving when it comes to spelling out a character's motives!
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