1. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    How to do character thoughts/internal monolouge?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Cyrano, Oct 21, 2010.

    Not really sure what the best method would be. I've tried shifts to first person without quotation marks, starting off a block of text with "he thought" and gave a third person description of the character's thoughts. Both felt kinda awkward. Whats the most commonly accepted/most correct way to do this?
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Our Mod team has an excellent standard post, which deals with portraying thoughts: http://www.writingforums.org/blog.php?b=294

    Though a controversial area of form, it is widely accepted that thoughts should be entered without itallics, and certainly without speech marks. The act of thinking is made explicit by context.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!
     
  4. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use free indirect discourse. Which basically means that I dont mark it, I just let it sneak in a lot of ways.

    This quote from wikipedia isnt intaierly correct but explains it somewhat.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_indirect_speech

    You can take it even futher.

    "He laid down his bundle. Just what pleasure had he found, since he came into this world?"

    "He laid down his pathetic little bundle. And just what pleasure had he found, since he came into this world?"


    In both cases it still clear that the text is colored by the characters own thoughts (unless you had a very strong narrative voice asking rhetorical question all the time in your work.)

    I added the words "pathetic little" in the second example to show that to a reader you can show the characters opinions of his bundle clearly without having to state that the bundle isn't objectively pathetic but that its just the characters view of it coloring the description.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That is not what indirect discourse means. Indirect discourse means you don't show word for word what is said/thought, but summarize or paraphrase.

    And please do not quote Wiki sources. Wiki is not a reliable reference source.

    Also, emclosing your examples in quotes (and italicizing them) muddies what you are trying to say. I recommend you use [NOPARSE][/NOPARSE] tags instead.

    Direct discourse (spoken):

    Direct discourse (unspoken):

    Justin thought, Damn, Maria's one hot tamale.

    Indirect discourse (spoken):

    Indirect discourse (unspoken):

    The difference between free and reported indirect speech is whether the speaker is explicitly named (reported) or implied by context (free).
     
  6. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    Are these all the different methods? Which one is preferred for what situations? I'm guessing a large chunk depends solely on personal preference...
     
  7. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    We disagree on this. I gotten my view on it from Timothy Spurgin lectures seriers on close reading, and taking a look around the net it easy to find examples supporting my view of the defintion.

    http://narrative.georgetown.edu/wiki/index.php/Free_indirect_discourse

    The passages clearly indicate whats defines free indirect discourse is not summit in paraphrasing but the mixture of involves both a character's speech and the narrator's comments or presentation. Even if summit and paraphrasing can be done in free direct discourse.
     

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