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Monologue and Dialogue

I have thought, recently, about the relative strengths and weaknesses of monologue and dialogue. I haven't studied them from a literary or theatrical standpoint, but I have been contemplating a series of conversations I have had with myself and with others and their value in evolving my ideas.

I've always been very attached to my internal monologue. If I weren't, I don't suppose I'd have quite so much to say here. Internal monologue has some great advantages. For one thing, I can be certain my audience is interested and focused on everything I have to say. I can follow multiple paths at once, without risk of confusion. I can loop back through the same topics as often as needed, or skip ahead without warning. I can take myself as deep as I want into something as fast as possible, without making sure someone is following me and without concern over whether I'll inadvertently say something that will hurt, offend, or annoy someone else.

What the monologue tends to lack is new information. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut and repeat the same thought loop for long periods of time. And there is no feedback to catch false assumptions or faulty logic.

Dialogue, on the other hand, is interchange with an entirely different set of thought patterns and information. It provokes fresh thought in new directions. A good dialogue generally brings its own reward, as well - even the most anti-social human is still a social animal.

However, dialogue tends to be either slow or superficial. It's prone to misunderstandings and confusion of definitions. Once a conversation has moved on from a point, it's not likely to get back to it without a great deal of work, even if I have new thoughts on it, unless I'm talking to someone else who participates in circular conversations. This is especially true when I wasn't ready to move on.

One thing that is rapidly becoming one of my pet peeves is something that I'm every bit as guilty of as anyone else I talk to. That is "Let me think about it and get back to you" and variations on the theme. The way I use it, and others use it to me, generally means "I really ought to think about that right now and give you a useful answer, but I don't want to think about it, so I'm just going to quietly forget it." I am coming to dislike it greatly, and I want to break myself of that. Sadly, due to the quietly forgetting about it, I can't remember who and what I need to answer right now...


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)
It won't help with the current one, but from now on, every time you say that you need to think about it, write it down so that you have a physical reminder every time you change the items in your pants pocket over to the next day's pair of pants.
May. 4th, 2004 07:41 pm (UTC)
Not a bad idea, aside from the general lack of pants... I suppose I could stick it inside my bra; then there'd be no chance I would forget about it.
May. 4th, 2004 07:45 pm (UTC)
Sticky notes. I love sticky notes. Or attach a notebook to your keychain. Purse? that wouldn't work for me becuase mine is the black hole from which nothing ever returns.
May. 4th, 2004 08:09 pm (UTC)
3M makes "super sticky" now.
May. 4th, 2004 08:21 pm (UTC)
You could also get one of those mini voice note things. I know barry (burd) used to carry one around.
May. 4th, 2004 09:20 pm (UTC)
I don't want super-sticky notes. I like somewhat sticky that peel off quickly and easily. I used to hate them. Wastes of paper. Can cut up scrap, etc., but I've become addicted to them. I'm so ashamed of my disposable lifestyle!
May. 4th, 2004 10:40 pm (UTC)
Do you know what makes the whole conversation about stickynotes traumatic is that you are all talking about them after Colla indicated she was going to put them in her Bra... Now why she needs super sticky in her bra I have no idea...
May. 4th, 2004 08:26 pm (UTC)
I don't owe you an "I'll think about it", do I?

Amy, thinking she's up to date, but never quite knowing.

May. 4th, 2004 08:30 pm (UTC)
I don't think so. And I would just bug you about it if you did, anyway...
May. 4th, 2004 08:30 pm (UTC)
Lord Have Mercy, I'd hope so.
May. 4th, 2004 08:32 pm (UTC)

Nah, I'm not specifically fishing for anything from anyone, it was just a part of my thought process...
May. 4th, 2004 08:34 pm (UTC)
No, tht's what I figured, but I'm losing track a lot lately, and I do do that.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )