1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. A_budding_writer

    A_budding_writer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    portraying a narrators thoughts, (telling a story in first person)

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by A_budding_writer, Oct 30, 2015.

    so i'm working on a story told in first person, with the main character being the narrator. (duh) but i'm wondering if i should do anything to separate "thoughts" from telling the story. Like should I put thoughts in italics, quotes or what?

    here's an example from my story

    "The city was alive and bustling. Everyone rushing to go to where ever it was they had to be. I could take the subway….no that won’t work it’s much too crowded this time of day. Me having a panic attack wouldn’t help the situation. I continued hurrying down the streets my mind racing with a thousand thoughts. "

    with the "I could take the subway. no that won’t work it’s much too crowded this time of day. Me having a panic attack wouldn’t help the situation" being the thought. Should I do anything to separate the narratots thoughs from the actuall naration?
     
  2. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,312
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    I don't think so.

    Everything you read is effectively coming from the mind of the character, and personal thoughts (I could take the subway) vs observational thoughts (The city was alive) are still thoughts from that same mind.

    When there's dialog going on, it may help but I have a headache so am not 100% sure on that :D
     
    Tenderiser likes this.
  3. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,058
    Location:
    Denver
    Italics are the standard when portraying inner monologue or thoughts. King to Gaiman to uses them like that. If you do so the reader will totally understand.
     
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,793
    Likes Received:
    5,763
    Location:
    London, UK
    I'm with @Aaron DC on this one. I can't see the point in separating thoughts and narration in first person.
     
  5. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,312
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Well worth doing a search on "Italics" restricted to title search. Some good discussion here in the past on this very subject:

    https://www.writingforums.org/threads/italics-of-single-quotes-for-thoughts-of-character.132101/
    https://www.writingforums.org/threads/survey-of-forum-members-reaction-to-using-italics-for-first-person-thoughts.60933/

    etc.

    I may have previously defended the idea, however as I reach the point of commencing my own first-person POV novel, I realise what I wrote above: it's all coming out of the head of the same character, so for me personally it makes little sense to separate different types of thought through italics.
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    9,714
    Likes Received:
    6,267
    I see no need to separate them. If you want to read (endlessly) about the issue, check the "Italics for thoughts?" thread at the top of the Word Mechanics subforum.
     
  7. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,058
    Location:
    Denver
    Jim Butcher does, so does David Wong. It's pretty established.
     
  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,793
    Likes Received:
    5,763
    Location:
    London, UK
    I know.
     
    Aaron DC likes this.

Share This Page