Should a character's thoughts be in quotes?

Asked by: Gary Scott  |  Last update: 29 June 2021
Score: 4.8/5 (27 votes)

When you're quoting a source, use quotation marks to indicate a character's thoughts, and make it clear in your prose that you are quoting thoughts, not speech: ... If you're writing fiction, you may style a character's thoughts in italics or quotation marks.

View full answer

Furthermore, How do you quote a character's thoughts?

Example: “I lied,” Charles thought, “but maybe she will forgive me.” Notice that quotation marks and other punctuation are used as if the character had spoken aloud. You may also use italics without quotation marks for direct internal dialogue. Example: I lied, Charles thought, but maybe she will forgive me.

Besides, How do you show thoughts in writing?.
  1. Thoughts can be shown by using italics—or not. This is often a style choice made by the author or publisher. ...
  2. Thoughts can be shown by using thought tags—or not. ...
  3. Thoughts can be shown directly, using the first-person present tense, or indirectly, using the third-person past tense.


Also Know, How do you express a character's thoughts in writing?

6 Ways to Write a Character's Thoughts in Your Story
  1. Use dialogue tags without quotation marks. ...
  2. Use dialogue tags and use quotation marks. ...
  3. Use Italics. ...
  4. Start a new line. ...
  5. Use deep POV. ...
  6. Use descriptive writing for secondary characters.


Should I use italics for thoughts?

When an author wishes to visually differentiate between thoughts and dialogue, thoughts are often put in italics, especially when the phrase passing through the character's head is not preceded or followed by the phrase “so-and-so thought.” In second and third person, italics are usually necessary (without the “so-and- ...

45 related questions found

How do you write thoughts in second person?

You must have a reason for writing in the second person — and it must involve the reader's experience.
  1. Avoid too much repetition where possible. ...
  2. Set it in the present tense. ...
  3. Consider using it sparingly. ...
  4. Choose a form that makes sense. ...
  5. Test the waters with a short story.

How do you write thoughts in first person?

In the first-person narrative, everything you write is straight out of the main character's brain. You don't need to clarify the character's thoughts by placing them in italics or qualifying them with an “I thought” tag.

How do you think of good characters?

6 Tips for Writing Great Characters
  1. Develop characters who reflect your interests. ...
  2. Reveal their physical world through detail. ...
  3. Give them the right skills. ...
  4. Create memorable characters. ...
  5. Give the reader access to their inner conflict. ...
  6. Subvert your reader's expectations.

What is a character's actions?

Characters reveal themselves through action as well as dialogue. ... Like dialogue, a character's actions in response to the words or actions of others can be deliberate or involuntary. And the choice of a deliberate action over an involuntary one, or vice versa, will direct the story in a particular direction.

What is a thought tag?

Thoughttags are exactly like the ones you use in dialogue – their only real purpose is to make it clear to the reader who is speaking or, in the case of thought tags, that these are the character's thoughts and not the narrator's words. ... It's obvious that these words are coming straight from the character's head.

What are thoughts examples?

The definition of thought is the act of thinking, or the outcome of mental activity. An example of thought is to be deeply concentrating on how to figure out a problem. An example of thought is an idea on how to solve a problem.

What is the meaning of thoughts?

Thought is the process of using your mind to consider something. It can also be the product of that process: an idea or just the thing you're thinking about. Thought can also refer to the organized beliefs of a period, individual, or group.

How do I just start writing?

8 Great Ways to Start the Writing Process
  1. Start in the Middle. If you don't know where to start, don't bother deciding right now. ...
  2. Start Small and Build Up. ...
  3. Incentivize the Reader. ...
  4. Commit to a Title Up Front. ...
  5. Create a Synopsis. ...
  6. Allow Yourself to Write Badly. ...
  7. Make Up the Story as You Go. ...
  8. Do the Opposite.

What is inner voice?

An internal monologue, also called self-talk, inner speech, inner discourse or internal discourse, is a person's inner voice which provides a running verbal monologue of thoughts while they are conscious. It is usually tied to a person's sense of self. ... It may reflect both conscious and subconscious beliefs.

How do you write dialogue in a story?

How to Format Dialogue in a Story
  1. Use Quotation Marks to Indicate Spoken Word. ...
  2. Dialogue Tags Stay Outside the Quotation Marks. ...
  3. Use a Separate Sentence for Actions That Happen Before or After the Dialogue. ...
  4. Use Single Quotes When Quoting Something Within the Dialogue. ...
  5. Use a New Paragraph to Indicate a New Speaker.

How do you format dialogue?

Rules to Format Dialogue
  1. Enclose the spoken words with double quotation marks. ...
  2. Dialogue tags (the he asked/she said portions) stay outside the quotes and get separated by a comma. ...
  3. Actions that occur before or after the dialogue go in a separate sentence. ...
  4. Punctuation goes inside the quotes.

What are the six traits of good character?

The Six Pillars of Character are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

How do you write unique characters?

Easy And Effective Ways To Make Your Characters More Memorable
  1. Know Your Character. Develop A Thorough Backstory. Examine Your Character's Personality. ...
  2. Write Your Character Into The Story. Develop Interior Dialogue. Create Authentic Dialogue. ...
  3. Don't Make Them Boring!
  4. Find Your Characters In The People Around You.

What are the 7 character traits?

Tough's book outlines seven character traits that he says are key to success:
  • Grit.
  • Curiosity.
  • Self-control.
  • Social intelligence.
  • Zest.
  • Optimism.
  • Gratitude.