The Quirks of Internal Monologue

In the spirit of Bill James’s Wolves of Memory, here’s a particularly tricky exercise for you today. In my review of that book I said:

Bill James fascinates me as an author. He does several things I’m not accustomed to seeing and makes them work so beautifully it’s amazing to behold. Very few things actually seem to happen in his books, and yet it doesn’t matter. Most of the story takes place in people’s heads. Even action-filled events are told as recollections, something that in most authors’ hands would rob them of their power and energy. And yet what really drives James’s books are the internal workings of the characters, who are so fascinating that you don’t mind and even vastly prefer spending whole chapters inside their oh-so-bizarre heads.

Today, write a full page of internal monologue from the point of view of a fictional character (preferably one of your own, but you could use another author’s character if you don’t have one of your own to work with). Try to make it quirky, memorable and fascinating. Try to make it say a lot about the character without simply droning on about the character directly.


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