Smith July 21, When I began writing my first crime novel, I knew it would be a challenge. But there was one aspect of writing that I was sure would be much easier than the rest: The plot was going to take a lot of work, the research would be arduous, the character development would drain me — but the action scenes were going to be a breeze.
The topic of character thoughts has come up repeatedly for me in the last couple of weeks, and I promised to address punctuation for inner dialogue. Inner dialogue is simply the speech of a character to himself.
To do so would make them vulnerable, naked, without protection. With characters, however, we get to listen in. Inner dialogue and thought reveal truth. They reveal hope or dreams or resignation.
They reveal emotions or beliefs too painful to be shared with other characters. They reveal the heart. They reveal despair of the soul. They reveal strength of the spirit. When we see a mother comforting her child, telling him all is well, and then we see into her thoughts, knowing that in truth she has no hope that all will be well, we feel her love for her child.
We see her own feelings and the need she feels to protect her child from a painful truth. What else can thought and inner dialogue do? First, the character must be the viewpoint character for a scene. You could show random thoughts a time or two to establish the way a character thinks, but skip those kinds of thoughts for the most part.
Give the reader thoughts that reveal the character and have bearing on the plot. Thoughts that up the emotional temperature for the reader. In practical terms, try any of the following.
It may not be perfect for every story, genre, and set of circumstances, but it will work for many.
Especially for stories with deep POV, that very intimate third-person point of view. The use of italics for thoughts, however, can create a greater narrative distance, setting readers outside of the character and the events of the scene.
Such a choice may be necessary if an omniscient narrator treats readers to thoughts from a variety of characters in the same scene. Yet a thought tag alone, with no italics, may also meet your needs.
Pairing the thoughts with thought tags thought, wondered, imagined is helpful to identify the owner of a particular thought. Montrose angled his head, taking in both Giselle and her sister behind her. They look nothing alike, he thought.
He should have known Giselle was not Ariana. No need to write he thought to himself. In such cases, you might indeed need to tell us who Montrose is thinking to. Note that the verb look is in the present tense.This writing podcast from Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach, keeps episodes short and focused on offering practical tips and motivation for writers at all stages.
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CANNIBAL FEROX) and CITY OF THE WALKING DEAD (). As with all of your fiction, including dialogue is helpful for breaking up action scenes. However, when adrenaline is flowing, people do not engage in lengthy discussions.
To be realistic, keep dialogue short and snappy when writing action scenes. Return to Writing Romance · Print/Mobile-Friendly Version. A love scene can provide a satisfying ending or an enduring, effective hook that you can thread throughout the plot of a mainstream novel.