I've been having some difficulty with writing the thoughts of the characters. I know that sometimes they are done like dialogue, sometimes with italics, and sometimes just written into the text.
When is the appropriate time for each of these three types? When i say "he thought" do I have to put the thoughts in quotes?
This is assuming that I'm in third person. However, if you are in third person limited, where you are focusing on one character (not sure if I used that term right), do you have to say they are thoughts?
[This message has been edited by ethersong (edited February 15, 2006).]
Hello Ethersong, Like Monolith says there are many ways...I've used italics as well, but I've seen examples where this can spoil the page! Wondered/thought/consider/deliberate just a few options on Word when you ask for alternatives, I love my Thesaurus - it helps too Hope this helps. Best Wishes John Mc...
Posts: 140 | Registered: Jan 2006
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I often use dialogue, but to those who read my work it they all see my MC as an insane egolamaniac (sp?) who rambles. I sometimes use italics, but as John MC said it can ruin the page.
Posts: 384 | Registered: Oct 2005
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I don't use dialogue, mainly because I've seldom seen it done well.
Italics are fine, but as Johnmac1953 points out, they tend to drag the story down. I find it simpler to put a "he/she thought" if the penetration warrants it, and to leave the thoughts in standard format. I change paragraphs when I get out of the MC's thoughts, in order to reduce possible confusion.
If you're in deep 3rd-person, though, you don't even need the "he/she thought". Check out OSC's "Characters and POV", which sums up the problem pretty well.
What always trips me up is whether or not I can use the "I" without the "he thought" tag. Probably not for the first occurrence, but it sure is a nuisance avoiding first person throughout a short story or novel length piece. So, after the 3rd limited has been established, could I simply go with:
James slammed the door. I'll never see the point in this sort of thing. The evil robot monkeys are on their way. Why does Maria insist on talking about rotisseries?