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citymouse
04-30-2006, 04:35 PM
Hello, I have a question that my Chicago Manual of Style doesn’t address.



In my novel SONS, my main character’s conscience is often represented by his good angel and his bad angel.



On occasion, these imps offer him [Jan] advice. In all his inner thought processes I italicize his phrases; he thought, he wondered, etc. However, the dialogue between Jan and his angels I leave as straight text. So far two of my beta readers have asked me about this; carefully avoiding committing themselves.

My take is that these spirits are separate entities and there for I treat their dialogue in the normal way.



Does anyone here have exact knowledge on this or is the issue left to the discretion of the author?



Here is an example:

The scene takes place at the end of a hallway dominated by a large window. It’s midnight. A son, Jan Phillips never knew he had, has just been unceremoniously dropped off in the middle of a blizzard. Here is part of his inner struggle.



Jan leaned forward, palms down, on a long table that stretched below the dark window. Soft light drizzled through grills set deep into high ceiling. A blast of wind slapped at the window’s thick glass with insolent fury yet Jan heard nothing. He stared at his reflection in the ebony wood.

If I could take that moment back, would I?

There was no quick answer to ease his mind.

Jan’s angel asked, “What are you going to say to him? How are you going to explain it all to him without trashing his mother’s memory? He’s only fourteen. He can’t know what it was like married to a woman dominated by alcoholic parents who neither wanted nor liked their second daughter. She needed far more than just an attentive husband. You couldn’t have known that when you married her.”

Jan’s devil said, “Look, that ***** gave you nothing but three years of hell. Why make her a martyr? Now’s your chance! You’ve got her kid. You can make him into anything you want!”

“Stop it, both of you and let me think!” Jan shouted.


Thanks for your help!
Michael

Medievalist
04-30-2006, 05:38 PM
Sure you' d want to italicize them in the printed book, but I suspect in the ms. you would use underlines.

Underlining is usually used instead of italics, in mss. because it's easier to add the copy/proofing marks inter linearally.

citymouse
04-30-2006, 07:24 PM
Sure you' d want to italicize them in the printed book, but I suspect in the ms. you would use underlines.

Underlining is usually used instead of italics, in mss. because it's easier to add the copy/proofing marks inter linearally.

Medievalist, what if these spirits appear outside of Jan's mind? What if he turns around and there they are sitting on his bed; wings and all? In that case would not the dialogue be straight text rather than in italics?

I'm aware of the rule governing underlining words to indicate where italics should be used. I use them in my ms for my own eye.
With the advent of word processors and digital printing replacing typesetting I wonder if layout artists still follow that rule. But that's probably another question for another time in another forum.

Medievalist
04-30-2006, 07:37 PM
Medievalist, what if these spirits appear outside of Jan's mind? What if he turns around and there they are sitting on his bed; wings and all? In that case would not the dialogue be straight text rather than in italics?

Yes, in that case you'd use Roman/plain text


I'm aware of the rule governing underlining words to indicate where italics should be used. I use them in my ms for my own eye.
With the advent of word processors and digital printing replacing typesetting I wonder if layout artists still follow that rule. But that's probably another question for another time in another forum.

Yes, it's still the rule unless you're told otherwise--some houses are now taking italics but they generally tell you in the submission guidelines. It's mostly because it's so much easier for ms. markup, and the underlining does stand out a bit more to the eye.

reph
04-30-2006, 07:54 PM
Cmouse, I think you're asking whether the angels' speech should be italicized on the basis that it's almost the same kind of text as Jan's thoughts. No, I don't believe it should. I'd put it in quotes, as you did in the sample. If you italicize everything the angels say, the page will have too much in italics if they say more than a few words at a time. There's also the problem of making a switch if they become visible, as you noted.

Jamesaritchie
04-30-2006, 09:07 PM
I would treat the dialogue of angels the same as I would treat the dialogue of humans. Use quotation marks. These angels may be speaking in the fashion of angels, but they're still speaking.

As for underlining, yes, use it rather than italics. Some things haven't changed, and the ability of a typesetter to miss a word that's actually in italics is one of them. Underlining is much easier to see, believe it or not, especially with Courier fonts.

citymouse
05-01-2006, 02:54 PM
Thanks, everyone. I've taken notes on this issue. Since my Jan Phillips stories are a series these angels will appear regularly.

Thanks again,
Michael

fallenangelwriter
05-09-2006, 10:35 PM
I'd vote for Italics, actually. telepathy is often italicized, so real characters nonverbal dialogue can be...


I'm no expert, that's just what I'd probably want to read

KTC
05-09-2006, 10:37 PM
I know this is off-topic, but I think the title of this thread would make for a fabulous poem title. May I steal it?

citymouse
05-09-2006, 11:28 PM
I know this is off-topic, but I think the title of this thread would make for a fabulous poem title. May I steal it?

Hmmm, I'm not sure how to answer that. I intend to use it as a title in one of my Jan Phillips novels but that's a ways off.
Let me think on it.
Michael

www.michaelhalfhill.com (http://www.michaelhalfhill.com)

KTC
05-10-2006, 12:26 AM
"Italics for Angels" just has such a nice ring to it. I will await your response. Feel free to say no. I just immediately thought of poetry when I read the title of the thread. Thanks (-;