1. Punctuate THIS!
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    Punctuate THIS! Member

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    Interpreted dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Punctuate THIS!, Sep 24, 2009.

    This likely falls under the "inner dialogue" rule, but here it go's.

    If I look at a vase, and the vase says to me, "I was purchased as a last dich effort to spruce up this house."

    Quotation marks/no quotation marks? What do you guys think?

    Keep in mind: it is an inner thought. The fact that I would say "that its says something to me" is purely a point of description, and not actual speech.
     
  2. Lalis
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    Lalis New Member

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    Still, I think the quotation marks would help make it clearer...
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, the " " are needed... especially since you wrote, 'said to me'...

    had you paraphrased it with a 'that it was' then there'd be no confusion, no " "...
     
  4. Punctuate THIS!
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    What about ones conscious? If my conscious tells me not to do something, should that be in quotation marks?

    "You'll get in trooooubllllle!" my conscious warned me.
     
  5. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    “Ok, let me put it this way:”

    “Listening.”

    “Go jump off a bridge,” I thought, but did not say out loud.

    Just because something is in quotations, doesn’t mean it is said aloud. However, I don’t know if it is a strict rule that you need it in your example. Italics might be fine.

    Go jump off a bridge, my mind screamed at me. I’m not listening.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't use italics to denote dialogue, wheter it be internsal, external, telepathic, virtual or hypothetical. There are writing elements that use italics, but dialogue is not one of them. There are instance for which italics are called for within dialogue, and you will be unable to use them if the dialogue, whatever its origin, is italicized.

    Don't denote any form of dialogue by italicizing.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and there's no way to tell if it's the writer who used the italics, or the publisher's book designer/editor who put them in, so you can't determine who does what in this regard, by what you see in books...

    two editions of the same book, put out by different publishers may not be identical in this and other 'styling' details...
     
  8. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    I know I underline (for manuscript) my character mental thoughts when they are in first person. I do this because quotations would confuse the conversations since I use the technique often. I think it gives extra dimension to the narrative (the first person thoughts)

    But on most things, like a sign that reads “The Drunken Duck,” I use quotes.

    I hope I don’t make any agents discard my manuscript, but I see no other way.
     
  9. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    Hmmm. I looked around on the internet and found that no dialogue should use italics, unless it's telepathic communication. So, I'd guess, if punctuateTHIS is saying that the vase actually implanted the thought in the character's mind, then italics would be the correct choice.

    I'm not intending to be an instigator in a battle that doesn't concern me, but allowing for too much personal choice in writing rules would create a disaster for readers.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Telepathic communication is still dialogue between two parties, and follows the same rules.
     
  11. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    Maybe a list of the respected rule books can be listed, and we can list each book and what they suggest for dialogue. If some say it's proper and some say it's not, then we can assume that there's no distinct rule (or some are wrong and some are right).
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I have yet to find a respected guide that endorses that use of italics, after a pretty extensive search. There are specific purposes that many style guides endorse for italics, but none of them include using italics to denote any form of dialogue.

    The only references anyone has offered on this site as evidence tat italics can be used for dialogue are non-authoritative blogs and sites, or pointing out examples of the typesetting choices made by publishers. None of these are suitable arguments for using italics (or underlining, the standard for indicating italics in manuscript) in submissions.

    All the advice handed out so freely to use italics to show some form of dialogue appears to be completely anecdotal and with no basis in any accepted writing handbook.
     
  13. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    Ok. Point well taken, Cogito. But couldn't there be a respected guide you haven't looked at that does suggest italics?
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There could. If someone can point me to it, that would be fine. That is the best way to dispute a point, in fact, and I have learned a great deal by people doing just that.
     
  15. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    Ok, so I would not have to worry about internal thoughts, since they have nothing to do with dialogue.
     
  16. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    Dialogue, the form of communication between two or more people or a person and a thing, is probably not the best word to express thought. Good point, but there are guides that specifically state that thought should not be italicized.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and, despite this or that guide's rules 'n regs, publishers will still go by their own house rules that don't always agree with the 'authorities' [such as they are]...

    remember, we're dealing with 'creative writing' here, not the academic, or technical variety, where rigid rules can and probably should be followed to the letter... in creative writing doing so would be oxymoronic, wouldn't it?...

    so, if you want to be a creative writer, you'll have to learn to make your own decisions in re some of the 'rules' depending on what's best for whatever it is that you're writing... and what best fits your distinctive 'voice'...
     
  18. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess the main thing is that you be consistent with your choice to italicize or not, and then if the house style is different (assuming you're lucky enough to get it published), it can be edited later. Does that sound right?
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Literal thoughts are also known as unspoken dialogue. They are written without quote marls, and are not italicized.
     
  20. Punctuate THIS!
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    Okay, I think I understand now.
     

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