Writing Inner Dialogue

Episode #22 – February 2, 2024

Welcome to episode 22 of the Writing on Caffeine podcast. My daughter (Ragan Franzone) and I (Jonathan Franzone) are a father and daughter who have decided to write our very first novel. In this podcast, we are inviting you to come along on this journey with us.

Dive into the unspoken universe of Inner Dialogue, where silent thoughts shape stories and reveal the soul’s whispers. Discover how this powerful narrative tool uncovers the hidden depths of characters, illustrating internal conflicts and unvoiced desires that propel the plot and bind us to the journey. Please tune in to unravel the art of silent conversation and learn how the quietest thoughts can echo the loudest truths in fiction and within ourselves.

Don’t forget to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Inner Dialogue

First matter of importance: how do you spell dialogue? Dialog or dialogue? American vs. British.

What is Inner Dialogue?

It is the thoughts and feelings of a character that are expressed internally and not spoken out loud. It’s a narrative technique that allows readers to ‘hear’ what a character is thinking.

How to Indicate Inner Dialogue?

Usually, just italicize the writing. Use attribution or dialogue tags (he thought/she thought) (optional). Larger narrative inner dialogue (i.e., flashbacks) could be without italics.

Why Use Inner Dialogue?

Here are five reasons for using inner dialogue in writing:

  1. Character Development: Inner dialogue allows readers to understand a character’s thoughts, emotions, and motivations, providing a deeper insight into their personality and complexities.
  2. Conflict Illustration: It helps illustrate internal conflicts and dilemmas, showcasing the struggles a character faces within themselves, which might not be evident through actions or external dialogue.
  3. Plot Enhancement: Inner dialogue can advance the plot by revealing crucial information, intentions, or secrets that are not disclosed through external interactions.
  4. Creating Suspense or Irony: It can create suspense or dramatic irony, where the audience knows something through a character’s thoughts that other characters in the story do not.
  5. Relatability and Empathy: By revealing a character’s innermost thoughts and feelings, inner dialogue can make characters more relatable and evoke empathy from the reader.

Tips for Writing Inner Dialog (from Red Lounge for Writers):

  1. Internal Dialogue Must be Important: Contrasting internal thoughts with spoken words significantly enhances character development and adds tension to the storyline. Additionally, inner dialogue can creatively convey interactions with characters who are not physically present, enriching the narrative.
  2. Internal Dialogue Must be Authentic: For internal dialogue to resonate with readers, it must be authentic, reflecting the true voice and thought processes of the character. It should mirror the character’s personality and experiences, making their internal struggles and reflections feel genuine and relatable.
  3. What’s around the internal dialogue is as important as the dialogue itself: The surrounding context, both narrative and spoken dialogue, plays a pivotal role in enhancing the impact of inner dialogue. It’s essential that these elements work in harmony, with the external context providing a foundation that gives depth and relevance to a character’s internal thoughts, thereby enriching the overall storytelling experience.

How to Develop Inner Dialogue?

Try writing your own inner dialogue! We all have thoughts running through our heads constantly. Take 15 minutes and just write down your own inner dialogue.

Articles Referenced


Books We’re Reading