Style question.

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Crystal
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Style question.

Post by Crystal » March 21st, 2010, 7:50 pm

I am writing a scene where my MC is reading a letter. In that letter are informative bits about what has happened to her.

The letters are of course written from the pov of another character and she is reading his words. My problem is that I want to somehow interject her thoughts into this reading session. Do I use ( ), or - -, or just put her words in italics??

here is a small example.

As you all know Angelina is in the hospital. Late last night I came home to find her lying on the porch, bleeding and unresponsive. (I don’t remember ever being on the porch, only in the front room) She was taken to Rochester Methodist Hospital.


Her thoughts are in color here, but obviously that can't happen in a book. :)

Thanks for any help.
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

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shadow
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Re: Style question.

Post by shadow » March 21st, 2010, 7:54 pm

I don't have any personall experience with this type of thing but I think I saw it in another novel. What they did was something like this:
As you all know Angelina is in the hospital. Late last night I came home to find her lying on the porch, bleeding and unresponsive.
I don’t remember ever being on the porch, only in the front room
She was taken to Rochester Methodist Hospital.... You see what I mean? Start a new paragraph and italic the thinking. But maybe I am wrong. It's just what I remember seeing. Luck!
~Shadow~
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Quill
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Re: Style question.

Post by Quill » March 21st, 2010, 9:24 pm

Is your main story in first person? If so then italicizing may be confusing. If you are writing in third person then I agree, it could work.

If you know a copy editor or are willing to pay one, they'd tell you. Or maybe a writing teacher.

Edit: Oh wait, maybe you could double indent when it is the letter and single indent as usual for the rest. Like it's often done with diary or journal entries. And leave an extra space when switching.

Definitely check with a formatting expert before finalizing that sucker and sending it out.

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dios4vida
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Re: Style question.

Post by dios4vida » March 22nd, 2010, 12:25 pm

If it's written in first person I've seen the letter be in quotes like someone is speaking, and her thoughts normal...I've also seen the letter in italics. If it's written in a different POV you might have to switch those, and have her thoughts in quotes or italics like previously mentioned.

Personally I usually do the letter in italics, unless it is very clear that the letter is the one "speaking" - then I'll use quotes. Something this is easy, sometimes not. It depends on your style.
Brenda :)

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HillaryJ
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Re: Style question.

Post by HillaryJ » March 23rd, 2010, 1:47 am

If this is 1st person and her thoughts are not italicized, then you should probably italicize the letter, which makes sense if it's from an other POV anyway. Any, please note that, in the (near?) future, color to differentiate characters or actions WILL be possible. Change? *cringe* I don't feel so good.
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E McD
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Re: Style question.

Post by E McD » March 31st, 2010, 10:53 pm

I agree with italics, but as HillaryJ said, if the bulk of the story is told in first person POV, then the differentiation should come with the look of the letter rather than the continuation of her internal monologue. Besides, most letters in the books I've read normally use some sort of scripty font anyway. Good luck!
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