To Use or Not To Use - Characters Thoughts in Italics

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Re: To Use or Not To Use - Characters Thoughts in Italics

Postby crit33324 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:29 pm

Well, right or wrong, I use both normal and italic for expressing a character's thoughts - often at the same time. I look at it this way: Sometime the character is just thinking, working something out in their head. But sometimes too the character is just having a sudden revelation - an OH or NO moment in their head, which is immediately followed by much deeper thought or personal analysis.

In these instances, rather than express an anguishing moment (all caps = italics) : Michael! No! It's my fault he's in this trouble.
I would express it instead: MICHAEL! NO! It's my fault he's in this trouble.

Undoubtedly, learned editors will decide what they will of this method, but I like emphasizing an instantaneous, peak emotional response from other simply troubled thoughts. It's like a kick in the butt. You feel the surprise and pain immediately, and afterwards just feel a bit sore.
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Re: To Use or Not To Use - Characters Thoughts in Italics

Postby crit30320 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:06 am

I did not flip through a book to double-check, but doesn't Stephen King use a variety of methods to show character thoughts and reactions? He uses italics, parentheses, and sometimes all caps, alone or in combination, depending on the situation and the emphasis he's trying to convey.

I don't know if there are rules or not. I think that consistency will matter more than rules and the reader can adapt to whatever method you choose.
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"From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent." H. P. Lovecraft in "The Shunned House"
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