1. Gloom Kitty
    Offline

    Gloom Kitty Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    in a little cage in the bowls of Cephalid

    voices in my head

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gloom Kitty, Apr 18, 2008.

    I'm just wondering how would you write voices in a persons mind. I've noticed some authors use italics and Ann Bishop uses ** between words like you would quotations marks. But is there a correct way to do this?
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If the voices sound to the person like other people talking to him, then treat it as ordinary dialogue, with double quotes. Let the context show that the voices are only in his head - gimmicky typography merely distracts the reader.
     
  3. Gloom Kitty
    Offline

    Gloom Kitty Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    in a little cage in the bowls of Cephalid
    right thanks for that, it makes sense after all if that person thinks the voices are real...
     
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i agree... if they're just thoughts, then no marks/gimmicks are needed, just good writing to let the reader 'get' that the character is thinking... italics or other marks just get in the way, are annoying and are not needed by the better writers...
     
  5. KP Williams
    Offline

    KP Williams Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    My place
    Here's an example of what I do. I have a character named Wolf who has a literal darker side to him, who, for simplicity's sake, I named Dark Wolf. Dark Wolf is not another person; just another side to the real character that seems to have a mind of his own. When Dark Wolf is communicating, I use ordinary quotation marks, but I make sure that the audience knows that the voice is only heard by Wolf the first time the dark half appears. However, when Wolf is talking back, he isn't talking aloud, so to make that clear, I use itallics with no quotes--just like if the character were thinking to himself. Otherwise, I would have to clarify that he was thinking the words every time he did so. It's just easier and, in my mind, better this way.

    I'm not sure if that'll help you or not. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    For unspoken dialogue (thought dialogue) in the thinker's own "voice", The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (Section 11.47) allows enclosing the dialogue in quotation marks, or omitting any such punctuation as a matter of personal choice; there is no endorsment of italicizing unspoken dialogue. Most writing guides discourage the use of quotation marks as well.
     
  7. flashgordon
    Offline

    flashgordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    1
    Read "Crime and Punishment" and you will get a good look at how to write about voices in one's head. Or Steppenwolf by Hesse is another great example that comes to mind.
     

Share This Page