Do writers put monologues in novels? I’m sure they do. Or they have.

My wife, who is a voracious reader, can’t remember any long monologues in the hundreds of books that she has read — at least not the type of monologue I’m talking about.

I like monologues. They are great in plays – a dramatized, well-written monologue can be completely consuming.

But what about in novels?

The reason I bring it up is that I’m currently working on my fifth novel. It’s been a productive week of writing, pushing over 13,000 words. And as I was writing the final scene of court case where the defending attorney was giving his final statement, I decided to go full-fledged monologue. What I mean by is that this monologue could be in a dramatic work, but it’s right in the middle of a novel. There’s no description with it. There’s no describing how the jury was following him around on every word. It’s just him speaking for 1200 words in a row. This is not interior monologue or just a big paragraph of dialogue, it’s an actual LONG monologue.

It was after I finished writing it that it actually caught my attention. I had never put anything like this in a novel before, and I’m not sure how effective it will be. I personally love it. When I read it back to myself, it was completely gripping and kept the focus very tight on what he said, rather than what he did or how he moved. Was it the right thing to do? I’m not sure.

It’s something that I’ll revisit again many times over as I flesh out this first draft. But if anyone out there has experiences with long monologues in novels, I’d love to hear about them.



  1. Honestly all that comes to mind is John Galt from “Atlas Shrugged”, which is not an example I would advise anyone to emulate. Maybe the end of “A Spy In The House Of Love”–it’s been a long time since I read it, but I think Sabine has a long monologue at the end. It’s not common in any event.

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