The Ins and Outs of Internal Dialogue

There's what we do, and what we think about what we do. One is active and the other is passive. Someone can guess our intentions by our actions, but it's only if they were to read our mind, that they would really know our motivations, our insecurities, and our secrets.

I've been thinking a lot about internal dialogue, since my current novel has quite a bit of it. Granted, it's told in first person, but I've been wondering: How much is too much?

So I decided to see what other, more experienced writers had to say. Here is a sampling of what I found:

Author Gail Gaymer Martin shares eight significant reasons to use internal dialogue.

Author C. Patrick Schulze gives some do's and don'ts when using internal dialogue.

Novelist and writing teacher Marilynn Byerly explains how to format a character's inner thoughts.

And author Margot Finke gives a nice explanation, with some good examples.

Do you have your own ideas about how much to use internal dialogue? Or an article you've found that made a lot of sense? Leave a comment below.


  1. These are great links and you've given me a lot to think about. Thank you!

  2. What I could really use are some names of short stories that use a lot of internal dialog or do it especially well.

  3. If I come across some, I'll post the titles. Anyone else have some recommendations?




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