Character's thoughts

Hi,

I’ve met some controversial opinions about a character’s thoughts. Some say we need to italicize & quote. Some say that italicization is enough, no quotation is needed.

What’s the right way?

I do italicization only, because with quotation I think it will get too difficult to easily what is spoken and what is thought. Also, if you read non-Wattpad books, thoughts will always be italicized

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I don’t italize anything. Bolding just makes the story look a bit clumped and weird. It depends on how you’re trying to explain the character’s thoughts. I barely italize, yet people get it.

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In books I’ve read, thoughts have always shown been in italics so I’ve just done the same

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Wait, people italicize thoughts? I might need to go back to my story and edit again :sweat_smile:

The story excerpts I remember reading didn’t italicize thoughts or put speech marks. I remember thoughts being written like this:

I hate you, she thought.

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Yeah, I’ve seen it happen too. But I find it much more clear when it’s italicized. Especially when a story is written in first person it’s more difficult to figure out what is a thought and what is just registered to the MC (if you understand what I mean :thinking:)

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Yes, that’s what I thought. I was thinking of putting the thoughts between quotation marks but I didn’t want to confuse it with dialogue.

I just checked the internet. A lot of people italicize them. I think I’m going to use that style from now on.

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I only italicize. Sometimes, when it is opinion built into narration, I don’t italicized because it is a part of the delivery and I don’t like having too many italicized lines interspersed between paragraphs.

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I italicize.

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I think it depends on you. Or what they’re thinking

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cute dog
cute dog, i thought

cute dog” , i thought

”cute dog,” i thought

“Cute dog,” i thought
I use all 5

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Italics looked more professional I think.

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I personally prefer direct thoughts to be italicized.
Ex.
What are they doing here? he thought

But when thoughts are built into the narration, ex.

She was always going on about the amount of guys she could get to trip over themselves by her very presence. He rolled his eyes. Some hotshot she was.

I don’t italicize. I think it looks professional this way.

Quotations are meant to indicate speech. If the words are not being said aloud, there is no reason to use them with thoughts.

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I don’t do either, actually. I insert the thoughts into the character’s internal narration.

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I prefer italicization only. I think putting quotes signifies something verbal and putting quotes on inner thoughts might confuse the audience.

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i generally just do narrative chucks when necessary and never do a character’s thoughts from their “spoken” perspective. but quotes generally imply it’s spoken aloud and that could be confusing, so i’m not sure of the “correct” way, but just using quotes like regular dialogue is gonna get confusing as all get-out. again, since i dont use this much, i’m not an expert on how to do it well, just an observer who can say what doing it wrong looks like.

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You don’t need to use italics for internal thought, and I would largely recommend against it. It’s entirely unnecessary, and if you’ve written the scene well enough than the reader should be able to tell when a line is in your character’s head.

That being said, it’s you’re story, do what works best for you. The awesome thing about the “rules for writing” is when you know and understand them you also figure out which ones can bend, and which you can break altogether (hint: that’s all of them.)

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I italicize and put it within quotes. Specifically due to the sub element of first person. The story is mainly written in third person omniscient, however. The cadence of the character, the deepest thoughts are italicized, this is a monologue. So this is without quotes.

In the end, I opted for the regular thoughts to be in italics within quotes. I use bold print for flashback scenes, or transition titles.

In professional work, thoughts are italicized. This much is following the basics. How you want to do it after this point, it is up to you.

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I personally just italicize the character’s thoughts. It you use quotation marks, single or double (I usually see single quotation marks used for thoughts) it gets confused because dialogue can sometimes be italicized too.

Example with italics:
It works! She thought
It works!’ She thought
It works!” She thought

Example without italics:
It works! She thought
‘It works!’ She thought
“It works!” She thought

The thoughts put into italics seem much more professional then the ones without. Also, the single quotations look incredibly similar to the double quotation marks, italics or not. It gets confusing. If you look in a published book, the thoughts are italicized. In the end the choice is yours, but I’d just recommend italics with no quotation marks.

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For me, anytime i write a persons thoughts I italicise is as in my opinion (to me anyway) quotation should be used when actual speech between characters is used not for thoughts.

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