1. Transylvanian Amnesiac

    Transylvanian Amnesiac Member

    May 7, 2016
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    Talking to a television...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Transylvanian Amnesiac, Apr 7, 2017.

    Thanks to reading through the "Italics for Thoughts" discussion board in its full-- sorry for being 7 years late-- I have finally been compelled to do what I often thought was probably the right decision and remove my italicized thoughts. I do not want to be labelled as a lazy writer for having used the italics before, but labels are subjective at times anyways. Still, I'd like to defend myself for it on some level as someone who is not skilled with brevity, occasionally removing dialogue tags, thought tags, and beats seemed to be a way to make my writing a bit more concise. Reading this out loud, I'm beginning to be convinced that I was being lazy :p Did I just sin again?!

    Nevertheless I have been going through my WIP and I am seeing that the italics were acting as a crutch for my writing, and potentially making the tense confusing. One spot I still need help with editing though is at a point where one character is watching TV. Originally I had him thinking about what he was hearing but now I thought that since he's drunk and alone in his house, why not have him shouting at the TV, thus saying things aloud. I'm pretty sure that I've seen it done somewhere in something I've read before that there is a particular writing format that shows whether something being said is coming from a recording (radio, TV, etc.). For some reason my mind keeps going to the double-hyphen but at the beginning and end of the quote(s) but I am almost certain that that is wrong. I am loath to overburden this particular section with dialogue tags or beats because the back-and-forth is pretty rapid-fire but I worry that it would not read well with or without them. Is there something formulaic for this particular type of dialogue, or am I imagining it?
  2. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    I would just use treat it like dialogue and use regular quotes. After all, whatever the character hears on the TV/radio is being spoken like any other piece of dialogue.
  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

    Jan 8, 2017
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    Rhode Island
    I believe they're almost always italicized. The radio/television voices that is, not the thought quotes (though my editor recently told me that italicized thought quotes are essentially industry standard now for commercial fiction. Literary fiction is a different story, but so is everything else literary)

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