on internal monologue

Internal monologue works especially well when it’s paired with good real-time dialog in scene. A little bit more from The Love Letter (which I’ve also reviewed in greater length):

“Your grandmother is here,” Lilian said. “As she has noted. She’s here and she’s all yours. What you choose to do with her is your business. But may I suggest strangulation as a most satisfying option.” She slammed the car door and stormed, on her little feet in their little high-heeled mules (it was a diminutive but fierce storm), into the house.

“She dislikes having an aged parent,” Eleanor said, in a bland, even voice. “Imagine how I feel. With an aged daughter.”

No wonder I’m such a bitch, Helen thought. Third-generation bitch. Nature and nurture, a conspiracy, a confederacy. Was little Emily also destined to this fate? Secretly Helen hoped so — she was proud of her grandmother, her mother, herself. But my poor Emily. Perhaps just this once, just this one generation could stay benign and sincere.

Most usually these days authors would set up these three female characters and let them interact, and then leave the drawing of conclusions to you, as reader. You can do that here, of course, but you also get Helen’s interpretation by means of interior monologue, which tells something really important: Helen may be selfish, but she’s also highly self-aware, and that’s an important piece of her character puzzle.PS Chris was kind enough to post ‘How to Fly’ by Douglas Adams in the comments to yesterday’s posting. Very much worth a read.