Friday, February 8, 2008

Italics or not to use Italics

When indicating thoughts of the POV [Point of View] character in a novel do you prefer that it is Italicized or not? We had a lengthy discussion about this on one of my groups this morning. There are two editors on that group - both with a different mind as to how they choose to have a characters thoughts presented.

For me it just became more confusing - If you use the words s/he thought, then I would assume you wouldn't have to put that in Italics. The reader would know it was the characters thoughts. Still I think the best answer came from a fellow author - not an editor - she had this to say:

"I'm inclined to go for the italics, also. With italics I feel as though I'm right there in the story with a talking person rather than a character. It's a quick understanding of what's going on without having to revert back over a passage. Italics POP for me. It says, this is happening NOW. Maybe what I'm saying is, it conjures a personal feeling between me and the character."
pw [Pee Wee]
Sk Hamilton author of
The Kahill’s of Willow Walk

Thank you Pee Wee (Ms. Hamilton) for that thought. I think that is how I will handle italics unless one of my publishers expressly informs me that they do not want the characters thoughts in italics.


Joyce Anthony said...

I agree with PW's viewpoint, Billie. I NEED italics--otherwise my characters get strange looks from passerbys for talking to themselves :-)

S.K. Hamilton said...

Thank you, Billie. I might add, you're right, when you use he/she thought--you do not use italics. I'm by far an editor but that's what I learned in Writers Village University. One thing I didn't learn was spelling. LOL My downfall.

Thanks for displaying my book cover. Can't wait to order Small Town Secrets. I know it's going to be a hum-dinger and a big seller for you.
luf ya
Pee Wee

unwriter said...

I totally agree with both of you. With the way that I write, I have to distinguish between thoughts and talk.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I read Kahill. Reviewed it for Amazon. Glad to see you giving it some more exposure, Billie.

Nice blog.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

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