I’m thinking that I want to use italics to show what my protagonist is thinking since he isn't always around a lot of people and dialogue might be sparse at times so I want to break the story up with his thoughts. What are the general rules for this? Can I use this whenever I feel like it or should it be consistent? Do I have to say thinks like “thought bob” after the italics? Should I avoid using italics for this? Reasons? If I use them can I do it for multiple characters? Is that confusing? My thought is it might be useful for the antagonist in my novel as well. Also I'm writing a novel and also separate short stories or chronicles as well. Is it something I should use in the one but not the other? Here is an example: “W-w-why?” She stuttered which startled him from his trance. Kei opened his mouth to respond but paused as he thought. Why indeed? This is my first step to leaving the life of a street rat behind! As he had told himself a hundred times. But he knew this was a lie and lying to someone who had just been through such trauma didn't feel right. Although he noted that assassinating someone who had never done anything to him good or bad didn't bother him at all. Thanks for any help in advance! I'm excited to start my first novel and I just want to understand a few basic writing do's and do not's before I get too far. P.S. I'm an avid reader and I know my grammar and writing isn't very good as it's been a long time since I've written anything, but I have a lot of good ideas! I just need to figure out how to get them out sounding the way they do in my head.