W Writer: Blog

Back to W Writer's Blog
September 16, 2012
Posted at 4:55 am
Updated: September 16, 2012 - 4:56 am

Protagonist's thoughts and quotation marks

I've had a bit of feedback about how confusing the story can be to tell the difference between the protagonist's thoughts and what he says aloud, because I use double quotation marks for both. I can certainly see how this can be the case.

Some people suggested using italics for his thoughts, while others suggested putting them in single quotation marks. I did think about going with the single quotation marks. But after doing some reading about this, I'm now not so sure as according to all the gramar guides that I've read, single quotation marks should be used as I thought they were, "which is for 'a quote' inside another quote".

Some of the writing guides suggest using italics, but a number of them also warn against using them if there is going to be a lot of thoughts. As they can be tiring to read. Which is something that I find when I'm reading other stories with a lot of italics in them.

From the writing and grammar guides that I've read, it seems that with thoughts, they don't have to be inside quotation marks but if they are going to be, then the double quotation marks are correct.

So I have a number of options on what to do about this:
1. Leave them as they are, but try to make some changes to make it more clear that they are internal thoughts and not said aloud.
2. Use italics, which I'm certainly willing to do, but personaly don't really like.
3. Remove the direct thoughts and change it so that they are described instead.
4. Go with the single quotation marks. Even if they aren't grammatically correct, if they make the story easier to read, then maybe its the best thing to do.
5. Some other idea.

Any thoughts on this subject are welcome.

For now, I'm going to do some more reading on the subject, and I hope to do something to improve this situation before I post the next chapter. So it looks like reposts of the current 4 chapters will come before the next chapter.