1. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    Single or Double Quotes for internal thoughts / communications etc?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Tyler Danann, Apr 28, 2014.

    Just decided to remove the italics for internal thoughts but wondering whether to remove the ' and use " instead for thoughts??
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Neither. While there is a controversy about using italics, I don't believe there is a controversy about no quotes.
     
  3. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    So should I remove the quotes entirely then???!!
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Yes. Because it's your character speaking, there's no need for quotes. If it was another character speaking in their head, then maybe you could consider quotes. But because it's internal, and because it's themselves speaking, there is no need. :)
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No, no quotes for anyone's thoughts. Just add tags when needed. I see bad advice out there when I Google it, but here's why one does not use quotes:

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/dealing-with-a-characters-internal-thoughts/
    (bold is mine)
     
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  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just chiming in to agree that no quotes should be used.
     
  7. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    Ok folks so definitely no quotes for thoughts! Wow!

    I might leave in the italics for the other entities that communicate with the main character though.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    also, ' ' are only used correctly for a quote within a quote and for no other purpose whatsoever... in US usage, that is... in the UK, the rule used to be the reverse, with doubles used for quotes within a quote and singles for all other uses, but the US version seems to becoming the norm there, too...

    now, if we could just get them to drive on the right side of the road.....!
     
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  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Other entities? If they're speaking to him, they get normal conversational quotes. What are the other entitles and how are they communicating?
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    See the italics for thoughts thread. I'm an italics gal and believe the convention is heading in that direction. There are several anti-italics folks on the thread who will tell you never to use them for internal dialogue. The only thing we agree on is to check with any publisher you send a manuscript to and follow their conventions when you do.

    But what @ChickenFreak said about any conversation that is spoken aloud, it doesn't matter who is speaking. Animal sounds like meow do not go in quotes. And I'm not going to touch the communication with ESP subject. I've seen long stretches of italics for communicating via ESP and it is distracting in that situation.

    One more suggestion, get a good style reference to have around if you can, to look this kind of thing up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    And we may (or may not) agree that therefore it's best to (1) use a named style for those thought-italics so that you can quickly and easily un-italicize them and (2) write so that those italics aren't actually needed. I don't actually know if we agree on (2), because that would seem to reduce the value of the italics. (Though that may just reflect the fact that I don't perceive the value of the italics at all. :)) But without using that guideline, you'd have to actually edit, not just format-tweak, your manuscript depending on publisher preferences.

    If (2) seems like something to discuss and anyone wants to discuss it, I guess it would be logical to adjourn to the italics thread for that.
     
  12. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Would it matter which type of point of view? If the narrative is in first or a deep third person, it would make sense to not have thoughts in italics. But, if the POV is further back, wouldn't it be less jarring to show the occasional thought separated somehow?
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If you are talking about actual thoughts rather than just something 'she thought about', then treat it like speech. It's one reason I'm using italics for thoughts in my book. The story is first person, past tense. If I inject a direct thought, it is in present tense but the tag is in past tense if I use one.

    For third person it depends on if the narrator is telling us what a person thought, or, relates the exact thought.

    Holy cow! she thought, stopping herself from blurting the words out loud.
    She stopped herself from blurting out 'holy cow' as the words reflexively entered her mind.
     
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  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This, like the use of italics for thoughts, is also not universal.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    When I say treat it like speech, I didn't mean with quotes. And I thought I was clear that the use of italics was my choice and not universal.

    So I'm not sure what else you are referring to, but I defer to your expertise. Might you please explain?
     
  16. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, I thought you meant with quotes. Did you just mean things like the past/present tense, and so on?
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Yes, I didn't mean with quotes, just with tense. I was afraid that might be misunderstood, thanks for clarifying.
     
  18. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    They are communicating telepathically. So I would prefer to have

    'Watch out!' The entity warned.

    Rather than:

    Watch out.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I like the first example also but I don't believe you need the single quotes.
     

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