This is an idea for teaching monologue writing to teenage girls – maybe or maybe not boys as well. This may help students who have trouble sustaining a monologue, and is more accessible for some students than Hamlet or my Last Duchess.
Get the book Runaway by Meg Cabot (warning – some of this book is not suitable for younger students). This is called the “Airhead” series and is well named. Set the scene – The main character is a nerdy girl, Em, who has had her brain transplanted into the body of a supermodel. The supermodel, Nikki, has had her brain transplanted into another comparatively ordinary body. They have been kidnapped by the evil, but not-too-bright son of an evil billionaire. The supermodel wants her body back, although this risky operation may result in death for both girls. The boy that Em “loves” breaks in to rescue her …
You could read the beginning of the chapter where she refuses to be rescued if you have time and the fortitude – there is a lot of teenage angst and runimating in this novel – I really mean a lot – and much of it is in monologue style. Most teenage girls will enjoy this book, or have some insightful critical opinions, which will also be valuable for discussion. (By the way, I enjoyed this book. it will be popular with lovers of chick lit)
• Students highlight all the reflective words in the section below that promote the monologue eg.” like who even knew” “probably” “I’ll just be honest” “Plus I had gotten used to…”
• Students divide some of the paragraphs into knowing, feeling and doing/action parts.
• Students reduce the monologue to a plan on a story graph showing orientation, rising tension steps, climax, resolution/conclusion
• Students list modal words – probably, maybe etc
• Students identify possibilities and choices considered
• Students select which part they would include if they had a word limit – you might need to type the text for this or do some OCR conversion (in Australia we can copy 10 percent or a chapter under our school copyright licences). This might help with students needing help identifying structure and where to start and end their monologue and the need for a climax- to do this you might want to copy a bit more and start in a less obvious place.
Pages are for the Hardcover version of Runaway by Meg Cabot Chapter 6
p68 start “I sat there on my bed expecting the knob to turn” or
p70 “I lay there and wondered how unhappy Rebecca would be if she knew how much her highest-paid client was about to really lose. As in her life if Nikki has her way.”
p72 “Why hadn’t I just told Christopher last night that Nikki had demanded her old body back in return for her spilling her secret to Brandon.”
p74. “I mean did I deserve to have my brain pulled out of my body again and have to learn to adjust to being a new person all over?”
Yes this makes nearly 6 potential pages of monologue, with only a short detour. . It has a climax at TSTL – too stupid to live.
Other resources for monologue:
Monologue – emotional journey http://ezinearticles.com/?Writing-Monologues—Be-So-Emotional&id=1806733
Monologue activities http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/drama30/teacher/3writing.html
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