Guide Stream of Conscience

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The cold domed room of the tower waits. Through the barbicans the shafts of light are moving ever, slowly ever as my feet are sinking, creeping duskward over the dial floor. Blue dusk, nightfall, deep blue night. In the darkness of the dome they wait, their pushedback chairs, my obelisk valise, around a board of abandoned platters. Who to clear it? He has the key. I will not sleep there when this night comes. This disinterest would not be so apparent without the monologue's inclusion. It meant having the blues in a way that annoyed other people.

Having the blues aggressively. Image credit: Olu Eletu via Unsplash Indirect Interior Monologue Indirect interior monologue also known as narrative monologue is a commentary of the character's thoughts by a third-person narrator. An omniscient third-person narrator delivers the tale, but taps into the consciousness of multiple characters throughout the course of the narrative. What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air.

How fresh, how calm, stiller than this of course, the air was in the early morning; like the flap of a wave; the kiss of a wave; chill and sharp and yet for a girl of eighteen as she then was solemn, feeling as she did, standing there at the open window, that something awful was about to happen Great stories reveal the depths of the human heart. Image credit: Gabriele Forcina via Unsplash How to indicate characters' thoughts There are a number of different ways to show that a certain passage is actually the thoughts of a character. Choose between a mixture of italics, thought tags, or nothing at all.

And whatever mode you decide, make sure it is consistent throughout your text. Avoid long passages of italicised text; it can be difficult to read and you will lose the emphasis that italics creates. Use this emphasis to your advantage and get those thoughts leaping off the page, especially if you are relying on your interior monologue to capture your reader's attention.

Translating thoughts into your story remains a challenge for every writer. This can be both direct and indirect. Lockie froze. He hadn't said anything of the sort — not a flamin' whisper You bitch, he thought. I couldn't ski for all the poo at Bondi. I thought of that green sea, foam-flecked, that ran down the channel beyond the headland.

Did the wind come suddenly, I wondered, in a funnel from the beacon on the hill, and did the little boat heel to it, shivering, the white sail flat against a breaking sea? You may want to come back to it at a later time or include it elsewhere in your work. Illustrate inner thoughts and feelings. Stream of consciousness writing is often used to display the interior monologues of characters in stories.

Stream of Consciousness

This form of writing is meant to replicate the fast-flowing, free-associating way our brains automatically work when we are thinking inside our own heads. So the inner monologue is a stream of often disconnected thoughts, ideas, or subjects. Read other examples of this writing style. One of the best ways to master any given style of writing is by reading examples where it is done well. If you find yourself struggling, spend some time reading some texts that focus on the stream-of-consciousness style.

Familiarize yourself with the form. A great way to prepare yourself for writing in the stream-of-consciousness style is to practice a type of brainstorming called freewriting.

What is stream of consciousness journaling, and how do I actually use it to help clear my mind?

This usually involves forcing yourself to sit and write for a predetermined amount of time on a certain topic — though content, grammar, and style should be mostly ignored. This allows you to write more than you think you can and to see how your brain works connecting various thoughts and topics. This makes for great practice for stream-of-consciousness writing because it will give you a model to follow when writing the inner monologues of your characters in the stream-of-consciousness form. Choose your tools. Freewriting is much better done with pen on paper than on a computer — computers greatly restrict the format of your writing and the flow of your thoughts.

If you are on a touchscreen, then try to activate software for drawing writing and test a few actions for comfort and tool sets. Find a spot to write. You should be comfortable — find a spot with the proper lighting, a comfortable seat, and few distractions. The most important thing is to find a place where you can sit comfortably and not be disturbed.

Write backwards, upside down, or in a shape. You could do a spiral starting from the center of the page, or a starburst of phrases, or any other shape that seems to work. You could change colors every letter, or every word, or in a way that makes the overall work look pleasing. This can be done at any time. Keep writing until you run out of words. But try to push yourself to keep writing until the time is up. Keep writing without distraction until you hear the timer go off. Give your brain freedom. Freewriting gives you the freedom to write whatever comes to mind, or at least to appear to be doing so.

And it's kind of just this like internal pep talk. And I again feel so different when I do it. If you've never written down affirmations to yourself, I highly encourage you to do it. I typically just say, "I'm And some days, it's two or three sentences. And other days, or two or three lines. Other days, it's half the page.

And you really just get into a flow, and once you start to feel the impact of those words on your own mental state, then it really becomes this powerful thing that can really transform your attitude, and your confidence in yourself, in your abilities, and make you feel really good about the day. I often find myself feeling a lot more secure in all of the feelings that I had in that morning of insecurity, or fear, or nervousness, or worry, or anxiety. Through the process of journaling, being grateful, and affirming myself, it all goes away, and I can sit down and start my day, and just feel so clear and confident.

Literary Devices: How to Master Stream of Consciousness

That has been so helpful for me. And this is usually something I do first thing in the morning. I'll get up, I'll rinse my face, and I will sit down in my dining room, and fill this out. And I actually always leave this out in the dining room, and it's kind of also a visual cue for me to do it, even on days where I'm busy. This is always sitting out there with a pen.

And I will just sit down, and set a little timer, and whip it out.

Stream of Consciousness

I like to do it in the morning. I have talked to some friends that do this now, and they have been doing it in the evenings before bed as well. Really make this your own. I definitely think that it's a great thing to have in your routine in the morning to start the day.

Stream of Consciousness - Examples and Definition

But definitely feel like it's something you can use throughout the day, or before bed. If you find yourself a little crazy midday, or your mind is just racing before bed, definitely think you should feel free to use this at anytime. You can kind of look at this as a little lifeboat when your brain just feels a little overwhelmed. That's what I do, but I definitely do it every single morning, if not at other times of the day. If you're interested in doing some stream of conscious journaling, and following kind of this three part format that I use in the morning.

Who First Thought of the Term Stream of Consciousness?

You can download a free printable that I've made for you, that will just kind of get you started, and give you this framework, so that you can just sit down, and whip this out really quickly. Do you do stream of consciousness journaling? Some people call it morning pages.

Examples of “stream of consciousness”

And if you use my free printable, I'd also love to hear from you how it felt, and what you learned from it. Let me know in the comments below! This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info. Does this sound familiar: You wake up and have thoughts, worries, questions, and to do lists swirling through your head all at once?