So, you are thinking about entering our Waiting for Callback competition to write a short monologue or duologue – Brilliant!
But…you’re stuck. The format feels a bit intimidating and you don’t know where to start.
Let’s start by unwrapping the ‘intimidating’ bit.
A monologue is just a long word for a passage (in our case 400 words or less) where there’s just one person talking. Maybe they’re talking to someone else, maybe they’re talking to themselves – but they’re the only one under the spotlight. A duologue is two people probably (but not necessarily) talking to each other.
Maybe you haven’t written in this format before but you know how to do it because you’ve watched TV and you’ve watched films. Think about your favourite bits – minutes when an actor alone on the stage or screen has made your heart stop with their words; maybe a full-on fight or a love scene between two of your favourite actors?
And what if you haven’t written in script form before? Well, your English teachers are probably making you write in different formats all the time – essays, poems, articles – and you can do it. And don’t get hung up on the format. We’ve shown you examples of how scripts are usually formatted on our website and have a look at how we’ve done the script passages in our books – but don’t worry if it’s not quite right. It’s the heart in your work that counts the most.
So, what if you’re stuck?
We’ve all felt the pain of staring at a blank piece of paper. It’s awful – especially when you have a deadline looming. You need to get something down because then you can edit it and change it and rewrite it (you wouldn’t believe how many rewrites we do on our books).
Here are our top three tips:
- Be nice to yourself. Most writers don’t get it right first time. Not even the famous ones who’ve published lots of books.
- Get inspired by reading/watching some great script work. Head over to the BBC Writers Room or just spend some time re-watching your favourite shows and thinking about what makes the writing sing.
- Use your eyes. Sometimes the trigger is visual. Look at photographs of people to help you build your characters; Watch some TV with the sound turned down. Watch, observe, be a little bit of a stalker.
Have fun with your writing no matter what format you’re working in!
We’re extending the entry date until 30 April so you have the Easter holidays to get creative!