1. Dan Rhodenizer
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    Dan Rhodenizer Member

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    Question on italics

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dan Rhodenizer, Jul 25, 2007.

    When it's the main character's thoughts in a first person story, do you use italics for it? Or what are some other options?
     
  2. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    Italics often show thought rather than speach, so I guess you could use them.

    I'm not sure how many other ways to show thought there are. You can have internal monologues, as he thinks about what he is going to do, or what has happened.

    I guess it depends on what type of thought you need to show.
     
  3. Dan Rhodenizer
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    Dan Rhodenizer Member

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    Well here is an example. I don't think this one is really a thought. But I'm going to be using Italics for some of my quite thoughts now.

    Edit: Never mind, fixed it up, and also noticed I was using past tense where it wasn't necessary.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You may want to read this thread, which has discussed this very question extensively:
    How do you write character thoughts?
     
  5. mypensmysoul
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    mypensmysoul Member

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    I usually write by hand, so I usually just underline them, or if it is a particularly long thought that I dont want to bother with underlining, I will just put quotation marks around it and add a "he thought" or whatever to the end so I understand when I am revising what exactly it is. When it's only a rough draft, it really doesn't matter that much.
     
  6. Dan Rhodenizer
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    Dan Rhodenizer Member

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    Okay, I have a question. If you're gonna say something like this in a novel: "WHAM—A helicopter smashes right in front of us" Do you use that in italics, like shown? Or do you just quote it with italics? Or do you do both: quote it and use italics?

    Same question for this "Help! I heard," like if it's a distant noise. Thanks in advance :D
     
  7. Christopher
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    Christopher New Member

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    Onomatopoeia is generally expressed with italics. So any sound would be written in italics.

    As for the shout? It could be in italics, because people tend to write one or two words in italics within quotes of dialogue to express a direct emphasis on said words. It would be pretty clear that the shout was a spoken word if it were in italics without quotes either. And I've seen people write in all caps to express loudness. It's really up to you, and whatever you find to keep the clutter out of your writing.

    P.S. I hope you don't ever write "WHAM - A Helicopter smashes right in front of us!" in a novel :p
     
  8. Dan Rhodenizer
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    Dan Rhodenizer Member

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    Why is that? lol, because I am actually. Any suggestions on the following would be great (I'm a new writer and this is my first story)

    "An ear-splitting explosion was heard. Hundreds of rocks were lifted into the air. I was deaf for a moment; I could only hear a sharp ringing noise in my ears. Then I heard this loud bristling sound… WHAM—A helicopter smashed right in front of us, rocks and debris were bringing the helicopters down."

    :) I know it doesn't make sense, but it would if you were to read the 1st chapter in order :p
     
  9. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    I was taught that for character thought you would actually use single quotes instead of double quotes. Italics would be used for things such as sounds line Wham! or Bang! I have also seen italics used to show a reflection in time or a flashback.

    As far as your example goes. You don't need quotes at all and I would just italicize the Wham and that should do it.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    can't imagine where you'd have been taught that, koz, since singles are correctly used only for quotes within quotes [in the us, anyway]...
     

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