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Thread: Quotation Marks

  1. #1
    Allison Pereslegin

    Quotation Marks

    Hi Everyone,

    My apologies if I am reposting a question that has been previously posed, but could anyone please tell me whether or not I require quotation marks for internal thoughts that are concluded with the words "She/He thought to themself"?


  2. #2
    Clarissa Anderson

    Re: Quotation Marks

    Hi Allison,

    I would think that one would not use quotation marks when refering to one of your characters thoughts:- for example:
    Jane sat quietly behind the table looking out of the window and her thoughts turned back to the previous evening. She was not sure whether she should be angry at John for not showing up but nevertheless she felt this.....

    I had this problem with the first piece of my novel some months back and found it easier and better just to say, X thought this/that.

    Hope this helps.


  3. #3
    J R

    Re: Quotation Marks

    Its up to you,

    Jane parted her blistered lips thinking, I hate hotdog patte'.

    "I hate hot dog patte'", Jane thought as she parted her blistered lips.

  4. #4
    Alan Smith

    Re: Quotation Marks

    Leave out the quotes...looks too confusingly like a thought spoken aloud..Regards. Alan

  5. #5
    Daniel Layfield

    Re: Quotation Marks

    I often use italics to show an internal thought. I think it is something I picked up from reading other authors. Although if there is going to be quite a lot of thoughts expressed then it might become too distracting. Also, be careful when submitting a MS with italics. Most of the guidelines I have read indicate that you should underline words that you want to appear in italics. (What you should do when you want a word to appear underlined though I have no idea!)

    I agree with Alan that quotations would look like a thought spoken aloud.

  6. #6
    Queen V

    Re: Quotation Marks

    Technically, JR is correct. You could use one of his examples; however, I must side with Daniel on this one, as I use italics for thoughts, too. It clues the reader in that what is being "said" isn't being said out LOUD. Not sure whether that's acceptable as far as proper English goes, but it is used quite a bit in modern fiction.

  7. #7
    Bill Snodgrass

    Re: Quotation Marks

    I'll team with Queen V, Daniel, et. al.

    I do think proper English calls for quotes around EXACT thoughts.

    "Wow! What a pain!" Bob thought.

    Yet, most things I see of late use itallics.

    Wow! Much easier on the reader! Bob thought.

    (I sure hope these itallics tags work, Bill thought.)

  8. #8
    Alan Smith

    Re: Quotation Marks

    Daniel. Have given a little thought to the "underline Italics" advice. Not commonly given in the UK now, I believe. Think this dates from the days of manual typewriters with only one font...you had to do something like underline instead. I use italics in MS, and no-one has ever said it's wrong.

  9. #9
    Daniel Layfield

    Re: Quotation Marks

    I offered the advice for underline italics because I have seen it at least twice (one a publisher and the other an agent) underneath MS preparation guidelines. I guess the BEST advice is to make sure and pay attention to the guidelines wherever you are submitting and be ready to make the appropriate changes.

    I admit I have not tried submitting outside of the states so I can't comment on what sort of MS guidelines you might have come across.

  10. #10
    Mya Bell

    Re: Quotation Marks

    Bill is right, the trend is toward using italics, thus:

    Grady opened the door and looked out. "Hello?" he said.
    Looks like it's gone, he thought, as he peered into the darkness.
    "Maybe it's safe to go out now," he whispered to Clara as she came in and sidled up to his shoulder. But as they took a step outside, a voice in his head said, Don't do it.

    --- Mya Bell

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