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muse
08-05-2017, 11:33 PM
I know you're not supposed to use speech marks for thoughts, but Im having a problem with one line in my scene (bolded below). The character, Amy, actually hears voices in her head. (Yup, shes slightly unhinged. :greenie). Because Im using a dialogue tag the voice in her head said I feel the speech marks are necessary.

Can anyone advise?

Here's the problem piece:


They wouldn't hurt her, not with the threat of discovery so close. Plus, they offered her a way off the island; she'd be a fool not to take it.
'You're a fool if you do,' the voice in her head said.
Amy shushed the voice with another swallow of vodka.

Roxxsmom
08-05-2017, 11:40 PM
Most writers I've seen use italics for psychic or telepathic speech, or for voices inside people's heads.

muse
08-06-2017, 12:27 AM
Most writers I've seen use italics for psychic or telepathic speech, or for voices inside people's heads.

I've used italics elsewhere in my novel for thoughts, but this doesn't feel like a 'thought' to me. Amy is convinced there's a voice in her head. It's as real to her as a normal voice. I think that's where my confusion is coming from. Maybe I'd be better deleting the tagline?



They wouldn't hurt her, not with the threat of discovery so close. Plus, they offered her a way off the island; she'd be a fool not to take it.

You're a fool if you do.

Amy shushed the little voice in her head with another swallow of vodka.



That might work.

Al X.
08-06-2017, 12:30 AM
I concur with italics, except in the case of a very long, several paragraph thought, which I just treat as a separate scene in normal font.

Roxxsmom
08-06-2017, 12:43 AM
I think you should be able to use italics for verbatim, first-person-in-present-tense thoughts, as well as using them for telepathy or voices speaking inside one's head. Context would usually make it clear what's going on, and in cases when it doesn't, you could certainly use tags (it sounds like you're doing that anyway).

Another way to present direct thoughts without italics is to make them part of the narrative. So instead of writing

Susan dropped the cup of coffee, splattering her white blouse. God, I'm so clumsy.

You could write:

Susan dropped the cup of coffee, splattering her white blouse. God, she was so clumsy.

If a voice in her head is telling her she's clumsy, it could be written:

Susan dropped the cup of coffee, splattering her white blouse. Clumsy girl.

There are lots of ways to handle these things, though.

muse
08-06-2017, 12:51 AM
I concur with italics, except in the case of a very long, several paragraph thought, which I just treat as a separate scene in normal font.

Thanks, Al X.


I think you should be able to use italics for verbatim, first-person-in-present-tense thoughts, as well as using them for telepathy or voices speaking inside one's head. Context would usually make it clear what's going on, and in cases when it doesn't, you could certainly use tags (it sounds like you're doing that anyway).

Another way to present direct thoughts without italics is to make them part of the narrative. So instead of writing

Susan dropped the cup of coffee, splattering her white blouse. God, I'm so clumsy.

You could write:

Susan dropped the cup of coffee, splattering her white blouse. God, she was so clumsy.

If a voice in her head is telling her she's clumsy, it could be written:

Susan dropped the cup of coffee, splattering her white blouse. Clumsy girl.

There are lots of ways to handle these things, though.

Thanks for the examples, Roxxsmom. The voice in her head one is rather creepy the way you've written it - I like it! :greenie

Enoise
08-14-2017, 12:31 AM
I think italics is okay, since it's a voice from her head and not actually a physical person. The reader would grasp your intent.

muse
08-14-2017, 10:54 PM
Thanks, Enoise.

I've decided to rewrite the sentence and remove the dialogue tag. :greenie