General Question

shawn_finneymanchester's avatar

How do you handle Internal dialogue in writing?

Asked by shawn_finneymanchester (1points) September 20th, 2008

I have seen people use italics for internal dialogue (thought) in a novel. I have also seen them use a dash followed by a capitalization in the middle of the sentence. Is it possible to mix these two styles? There is a lot of personal internal dialogue in what I am writing and doing all italics feels awkward.

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3 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

As a professional, freelance writer, I have always placed a person’s quotations in italics, to help the dialogue stand out.

Sometimes, my publishers disagree with that and place everything in normal type font, but a few of them, on occasion, leave it as I have written it, and that’s a good thing, IMHO.

fireside's avatar

Personally, I like: Line Break > Tab > Line Break

But if you have a lot of internal dialogue, you may not want to double the length of your story.

Poser's avatar

I think italics is a lot easier to follow. I’m assuming that your story must be in first or omniscient third person. Either way, you need something to separate a character’s thought from their narration, and if all the lines of a particular thought don’t stand out from the rest of the text, it could be difficult to tell which is after a while.

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