1. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    How do I best do this?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Aprella, Aug 6, 2013.

    I have the moment were words are running through a characters head. It's is not quite a flashback, but it are words that someone repeatability said to him.
    This is the sentence I currently have, but should I put the words between quotation marks? or leave them like this?

    The words started to run through his head. Murderer. Monster. You’re worthless. This is a kindness, you deserve far worse.
     
  2. NeonFraction
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    NeonFraction Member

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    I tend to put them in italics. No quotation marks. No paragraph breaks. I've seen other authors do this as well and I think it's the most elegant and effective way of doing it.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Ditto the italics. :)
     
  4. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    Okay, thank you :)
     
  5. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Italics-haters will say you should keep the font the same as in "regular narration" ;)

    I believe it's your call, really. Italics make it clearer, but often readers can also deduce from the context that the words are a part of the character's thought-process.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    are dwindling in numbers. ;)

    But the standard (from my research) is optional italics, and no quotes either way. I like the italics, I think it's more clear to the reader, but when it's time to submit a manuscript be sure to check the publisher's convention if they have one.
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    ... and for those who have yet to research it, italics in a manuscript are not italicized, they're underlined. ;)
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it would be clearer for the reader if you changed it ever so slightly

    The accusing, condescending voices in his head returned; murderer, monster, worthless piece of shit. He clutched his heads in his hands, screamed "Go away!" They didn't, I'm being kind you deserve so much more

    just my tuppence
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no good reason for using italics there... the preceding sentence makes it clear the words are not being spoken aloud, so nothing is needed to hit the readers over the head, for them to get it... adding italics would be intrusive and annoying, imo...
     
  10. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I agree on the italics. It helps separate those echoing words from the character's own original thoughts.
     
  11. NeonFraction
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    NeonFraction Member

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    Really? Wasn't that just before computers were common?
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Definitely your opinion. I don't believe most readers feel 'hit over the head' to see internal dialogue italicized.



    I don't read the OP question as separating the echoing thoughts from other thoughts. One should either italicize all internal dialogue (thoughts) or none of it.



    Because you've added a tag, you don't need the italics. It is already clear to the reader those are thoughts in his head. Consider though, the rest of your story and where internal dialogue occurs to make up your mind.

    *In my recently thoroughly researched opinion. Citations posted in this thread starting about halfway through the thread.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    And before a lot of self publishing formats. Still it's important to check with any publisher you are submitting anything to.
     
  14. CyberFD
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    CyberFD Member

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    I go for italics for repeating someone other person's words in a character's head.
     
  15. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    I have a different problem with that sentence. The ideas of words starting to run. I know what you're saying, but it comes across strange to me. Change the sentence, and I think you alleviate the problem altogether.

    Murderer, monster, you're worthless! the thoughts came of their own accord. You're worthless. This is a kindness and you deserve far worse.
     
  16. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    Okay thank you for the tips :D
    Yes the line needs a bit of changing but I was drafting a bit and the question popped in my head.
     
  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with [MENTION=373]mammamaia[/MENTION]. No need for italics at all, it's clear from the preceding sentence. However, if the italics are your preferred style, it wouldn't be wrong to use them.
     
  18. Terok
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    Terok Member

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    It makes perfect sense the way you posted it. I wouldn't use Italics or quotes. You just explained that it was in his head.
    If it was a recurring voice in his head, that continued to speak throughout the story, and you didn't lead into it, or treat it like dialogue, then I might italicize it.
     

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