1. TylerJ

    TylerJ New Member

    Oct 28, 2016
    Likes Received:

    Grammar Help with wording and thoughts of protagonist

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by TylerJ, Oct 28, 2016.

    I've just started writing something which needs to have the protagonists thoughts throughout. However, I'm not sure how to transition between thoughts and events. I started the first chapter with thoughts and I'm finding it difficult to segway into events. Do I have to have them go side by side or have "I thought" after them at all times?
  2. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

    Mar 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Just treat the thoughts like dialogue, and use italics to set them off. If it's first person, then it's obvious who's doing the thinking, so you don't need tags.
  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    You don't need italics either. I know, I know, many people use them, but they're absolutely not mandatory.

    @TylerJ, do you have a brief example? Or maybe something in the Review Room?
  4. SardonicWriter

    SardonicWriter Member

    Jan 7, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Since you're just starting off, just separate thoughts from events in paragraphs. Very simple. You don't have to worry about italics or any
    of that stuff. You write a sequence of events, what's happening, circumstances, anything. Then BOOM. The character has thoughts the author finds the reader has to know.
    Start a new paragraph and make it obvious that the words in this new paragraph are of the MC. Simple, albeit unconventional.
  5. Unripe Plum

    Unripe Plum Member

    Oct 31, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I suggest reading PG Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster stories. He's masterful at it. He often does what Sardonic suggested: para breaks to set off action vs thought. Even more often, he uses dialogue as the transition. Sometimes, though he does neither:
    He put the good old cup of tea softly on the table by my bed, and I took a refreshing sip. Just right, as usual. Not too hot, not too sweet, not too weak, not too strong, not too much milk, and not a drop spilled in the saucer. A most amazing cove, Jeeves. So dashed competent in every respect. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I mean to say, take just one small instance. Every other valet I've ever had used to barge into my room in the morning while I was still asleep, causing much misery; but Jeeves seems to know when I'm awake by a sort of telepathy. He always floats in with the cup exactly two minutes after I come to life. Makes a deuce of a lot of difference to a fellow's day.

    Note the transition from action to description of his experience of the action to thought.
  6. WNP

    WNP Member

    Oct 19, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I think it depends what PoV you're writing in. I find it a lot easier to slip between thoughts and events when writing first person present tense, as everything is being seen as it happens through the eyes of you're MC, so it can just be written how they would observe it

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice