Masters tales

Dialogue and internal musings

The book I’m working on has two characters, one main heroine and the other is a male ‘bit-part’. I’m not sure how long he will be hanging around but while he is around my character is chatting to him.

Understandably she has, up to now, had an internal dialogue with herself. So how do I distinguish between the two?

I’ve thought about italics.

Or just staring another line, the voice inside my head suggests.

But I’m not sure how to play it.

I started using “speech-marks” but that isn’t something I can do if she keeps chatting to people. It is just too confusing.

I think I’ll keep this problem until I finish the book, but any pointers would be gratefully received.

4 thoughts on “Dialogue and internal musings

  1. I usually use italics when my character is thinking to him/herself. And quotes when speaking out loud to someone else. If we are talking social media chat, then you could use names and colons like social media does.

  2. I’d go for italics I think but whatever you choose, consistency is the name of the game. If the internal dialogue is throughout the story then you may not need any identification for it, if the character is effectively the narrator for example. You’re right, quotes everywhere are confusing! If the ID is not doing the job of narration, italics are a nice way I think of letting the reader know, almost subconsciously, what is going on in the mind of the character.

    Or you could just have all the ID in purple!

    1. I agree – I need to choose one and stick to it. In this case I think I’ll use italics… or nothing. The book is first person present so it may be clear without anything… I think it is going to have to be an editing job. Thanks.

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