1. Forde
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    Forde Member

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    A quick speech mark question.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Forde, Jul 16, 2009.

    'Should a character's thoughts be flanked by speech marks?' he wondered.

    Or would they be alright going without? he asked himself.



    Looking at these two examples, am I correct in assuming the former is the right choice? It certainly looks better to my eyes, but I'd feel better after checking with you guys.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can always enclose character thoughts in quote marks, just like spoken dialogue. You can also write character thoughts without the quote marks, but don't italicize them.

    This may help: He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue
     
  3. Forde
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    Forde Member

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    Great, thanks for you help!
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have to disagree with cog here... though that may be done by some and a it's subject of much contention/debate, only spoken aloud dialog is properly put in " "...

    in addition, doing so for thoughts can confuse the readers, most of whom will expect only spoken dialog to be shown that way...

    good writers don't need to use fancy fontery or marks, to let the readers know when a character is thinking...

    cog, how come you're somewhat going against your own advice here?... from your tutorial on dialog:

     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Chicago Manual of Style does recognize quoting around character thoughts as a legitimate alternative to leaving out the quotes, "atthe author's discretion." I have seen authors use quoting for passages of character thoughts, particularly where leaving them out makes the intent less clear.

    Frankly, I prefer unquoted character thoughts, but the CMS is a legitimate authority, even though it is not targeted primarily toward fiction writing.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and therein lies the problem, amigo... imo, it should be used as gospel for nothing other than journalism, for which it is intended and is a 'legitimate authority' only for that...
     

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