Monday thoughts (some in italic)

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I blow out a bunch of copy and then go back over it, reading critically, and adjust as needed. Sometimes something needs to get marked as a break in the consistency of that block of writing. Italics seem so much more subtle that bold or underlined. I say predominately because my current WIP is set in and around the Jura mountains.

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The main language there is French so I used Italics for the three two lines places where there was an interaction in that language. Italics don't bother me, though I did remove all from current whip. So maybe it does bother me? Now I'm confused.

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The people at the next table are whispering as they point, look at me. Did I say all this out loud? I don't know. The managers walking toward my table. I have to go. Well, what worse thing can possibly happen when I'm already in the slush pile? Italics are necessary for distinguishing foreign words which I use throughout my WIP. It's also important to show that I didn't make a mistake in misspelling a word, but using the spelling of another language. Ex: I use quai instead of quay throughout my ms.

My understanding is, the foreign word is suppose to be italicized the first time and thereafter it's not.

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As others have said, it's subjective. I'd been using italics to indicate song lyrics sung. Happens a lot in a book featuring music, but I'm realizing lyrics are already evident from the indentation. I like the way Jane Austin the best author ever, BTW used italics in the dialog to indicate a slight emphasis on a particular word, sometimes not always the one you would expect, to subtly convey alternative interpretations. My novel is written in English but I have a character who is French.

When he speaks, he tends to replace English words with French words that sound similar. Is this an acceptable use of italics? I think, from now on I will only italicize the dirty words which are encapsulated in my first person thoughts. I'm in trouble. Jenny C: I'd be interested to see the responses to that query, myself I would specify italics in the initial instance and then roman from then on. As I understand it, the use of italics for internal dialogue is similar to the use of quotation marks for external dialogue.

Note that this is for a third person past tense narrative. For example: External dialogue: "I can't do this," said James. Internal dialogue: I can't do this , James thought. Now, non-dialogue thoughts don't need the italics. James knew he couldn't do that. The two types of dialogue, you'll notice, are first person present tense, just the way you would speak. The non-dialogue thoughts are third person past tense, the way the narrative is written.

The thing to remember there is, you rarely need the inner dialogue as often as some people think. It's smoother to keep all thoughts in the narrative style, and only use internal dialogue when it's important. Because, no matter how you use italics, they're going to grab the eye. For first person POV, though, I don't understand why italics would be needed, since it's all internal.

Yes, it's usually past tense, but I'm just not coming up with a reason to put something in present tense, and therefore italicize it. Also as a note: foreign words and phrases are usually italicized. You'll see this in most style guides. Dena: The reason we used to underline things to be italicized is because it was very difficult to italicize on a typewriter - especially a manual typewriter.

It was how we told the typesetter we wanted those words italicized. Susan: Use what is working for you now. It sounds complicated enough that you don't want to switch it up before you've got it written out. Things like italics can be switched around after the fact. For now, just write the damn thing. Jennifer R. Donohue--You are not alone! I always think of Emily of New Moon whenever the topic of over-italicizing comes up. I think I'm more guilty of the overuse of exclamation marks. It's taking great self-restraint to use only one in this comment box.

Well it looks like I have some reformatting to do. I wrote my book in Bold Comic Sans. I thought it would make me stand out. My understanding was that most imprints have their own style guidelines and that those guidelines would cover the use od italics, too. I tend to use italics only for foreign words or, very very rarely, for emphasis. I like a well-placed exclamation mark. It's seasoning. You can't put cayenne pepper in everything, but a sprinkle here or there can take a dish to the next level. Remember, anything that may pull the reader from the story, and draw attention to itself like italics , should be used with caution Always question anything that may yank a reader from emersion.

It's probably a bad thing. Love this post. I hate italics, bold, underlining too. When I was an editorial assistant my favorite job so far I would edit most of them out. Uh oh. I haven't been working on it, because, proposal, but in my Forestry outdoor mystery novel, I have a Deaf character who plays an important part in the storyline.

When anyone signs or converses through writing, I italicize and describe the sign language hand motions at times, non-italicized so you can differentiate between speech, writing and signing.

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She also uses speech, which I don't italicize. Having worked in the Deaf community, this happens quite frequently, Deaf persons speaking, writing and signing with hearing persons - three forms of communication.

Also, if you do understand ASL and someone signs to someone else in front of you, it's considered rude of you not to let them know you understand I can HEAR you! Makes for a great mystery however, that nasty eavesdropping bit : Anyhow Is it okay to use italicization to differentiate languages in this circumstance? Donna, I started working on a revision at 7 Am Saturday after morning run. Just couldn't do it so I thought I would take a stab at the flash fiction contest thinking that would draw me out of my funk with my darn WUS.

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It did and swept me away. Thanks for that, Janet. Got caught up with the story the way I do with video games or books I read sometimes. I obsess. Can't stop until I finish. Stopped to walk dog a few times and just kept writing. The story was so much fun to write and unlike anything I normally write - a bit twisted, a lot nasty, and will probably just end up in some virtual trash can.

The story is told entirely from POV of a particularly rebellious succubus. I wrote until 9 Am Sunday so just short of 24 hours. No sleep. Some beer, some whiskey, a lot of coffee. I am still hung over. There were lots of exclamation points, adverbs, non-standard quote tags, and italics surrounding material that would make a sailor blush.

It was fun. Sort of like a creative cleansing. Just a lot of darkness I needed to get out of my system. Maybe in time it will turn into something that can be sold but I will need a serious cloaking pen name.

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And one sick puppy of an agent. My daughter looked at a snippet and told me that I must never play Cards Against Humanity again. I'm glad I'm not the only one with an aversion to blocks of italics - my eyes just slide right over them.

Monday thoughts (some in italic) Monday thoughts (some in italic)
Monday thoughts (some in italic) Monday thoughts (some in italic)
Monday thoughts (some in italic) Monday thoughts (some in italic)
Monday thoughts (some in italic) Monday thoughts (some in italic)
Monday thoughts (some in italic) Monday thoughts (some in italic)

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