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Thread: Italics for angels

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  1. #1
    fantasy dweller
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Italics for angels

    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!
    Last edited by citymouse; 04-30-2006 at 05:51 PM.

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