1. A_budding_writer
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    A_budding_writer New Member

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    portraying a narrators thoughts, (telling a story in first person)

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by A_budding_writer, Oct 30, 2015.

    so i'm working on a story told in first person, with the main character being the narrator. (duh) but i'm wondering if i should do anything to separate "thoughts" from telling the story. Like should I put thoughts in italics, quotes or what?

    here's an example from my story

    "The city was alive and bustling. Everyone rushing to go to where ever it was they had to be. I could take the subway….no that won’t work it’s much too crowded this time of day. Me having a panic attack wouldn’t help the situation. I continued hurrying down the streets my mind racing with a thousand thoughts. "

    with the "I could take the subway. no that won’t work it’s much too crowded this time of day. Me having a panic attack wouldn’t help the situation" being the thought. Should I do anything to separate the narratots thoughs from the actuall naration?
     
  2. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I don't think so.

    Everything you read is effectively coming from the mind of the character, and personal thoughts (I could take the subway) vs observational thoughts (The city was alive) are still thoughts from that same mind.

    When there's dialog going on, it may help but I have a headache so am not 100% sure on that :D
     
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  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Italics are the standard when portraying inner monologue or thoughts. King to Gaiman to uses them like that. If you do so the reader will totally understand.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I'm with @Aaron DC on this one. I can't see the point in separating thoughts and narration in first person.
     
  5. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Well worth doing a search on "Italics" restricted to title search. Some good discussion here in the past on this very subject:

    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/italics-of-single-quotes-for-thoughts-of-character.132101/
    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/survey-of-forum-members-reaction-to-using-italics-for-first-person-thoughts.60933/

    etc.

    I may have previously defended the idea, however as I reach the point of commencing my own first-person POV novel, I realise what I wrote above: it's all coming out of the head of the same character, so for me personally it makes little sense to separate different types of thought through italics.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see no need to separate them. If you want to read (endlessly) about the issue, check the "Italics for thoughts?" thread at the top of the Word Mechanics subforum.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Jim Butcher does, so does David Wong. It's pretty established.
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I know.
     
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