1. hanger_boy89
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    hanger_boy89 Member

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    How to write about a person's thoughts?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hanger_boy89, Jan 6, 2016.

    Bit of a long-winded question here, but please bear with me.

    My story is currently written in first-person present day, and every now and again my main character has thoughts running through their head, but I don't know how best to write these. At the moment, I've done it by italicising it to make it clear that it's not a quote nor standard text. Is this correct?

    However, I've just been reading through a separate thread on here about people's hates with books, and I got a feeling that people generally prefer a book to be written in third-person rather than first-person present day. If I were to change this format, how would I then go about showing the thoughts that my main character was having?

    Any advice is appreciated, thank you :)
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you like first person, stick with it. Plenty of readers like them. You don't really have to set apart thoughts because first person is such a tight point of view. Just weave them into the narrative.
     
  3. hanger_boy89
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    hanger_boy89 Member

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    Thanks for this. I think because of the context and style of my story, first-person is definitely the better option for me as I only have one main character, and the other characters are all secondary. It allows me to really get into the head of the main character and hopefully allow the reader to picture themselves in her shoes.

    But how do I translate her thoughts onto paper? Should they be indented? New paragraph? Italicised? I'm really unsure of how to do it. For example, if I wrote "How strange," I thought. "That wasn't there earlier." - How would this be written? By the way, that isn't a quote from my book, it's something I just thought up for thread's sake.
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I noticed that The smoking gun was lying on the bedside table. Strange. It hadn't been there earlier.

    If you're in first person, EVERYTHING is filtered through that character's perceptions. You don't need to write I thought..., I noticed..., you don't need to italicise.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, you just write:

    How strange. That wasn't there earlier.
     
  6. hanger_boy89
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    hanger_boy89 Member

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    That's brilliant, thanks for the advice! Massive help :)
     

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