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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Running out of time : General Questions & Discussions • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
Page 2 of 3

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:25 pm
by Oldtimer

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:29 pm
by Laycrew
I checked out your smashwords page. I need to look it up on my Kindle so I can download that version to it. I like the cover and the blurb. I will let you know when I read the free section. I did Pin it on Pinterest so hopefully at some point that will bring you more looks and future sales.

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:51 pm
by updog
I like the cover a lot, Dorothy. IMHO, your sample pages read more professionally than most of what I see published on Smashwords. You're ahead of the game already!

Now, I don't want to confuse you, but while I agree with PLS that inconsistencies with your italicized thoughts is bad, I don't agree that the answer is to do away with the italics altogether. Not unless you change the wording anyway. You write the main story in 3rd past, and direct thoughts were in first present, which is how it should be, and normally you would italicize direct thoughts. If you don't italicize these direct thoughts, it will look as though you're mixing first present and third past willy-nilly. Or at least that's how it would look to me. Again, this is only my opinion, but I feel the problem is that you weren't consistent with your italics for direct thoughts. It's the inconsistency that is the problem. You can fix that by italicizing *all* his direct thoughts. Either use italics for *all* direct thoughts, or reword so you aren't using direct thoughts at all.

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:32 am
by pls
Vonny's on the right track, but you can indeed use first-person direct thoughts in a third-person narrative. I do it all the time in my novels, although somewhat sparingly.

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:33 am
by updog

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:39 am
by Oldtimer
So I should use italics for *all* my POV's characters' direct thoughts? Even ones that take up several lines of text? I don't know where I got the idea from but I thought italicized thoughts had to be sudden, "heat of the moment" ones, and that I should type "he/she thought" to cover longer ones, especially if the character is daydreaming or thinking over a situation. Somewhere along the way I must have misinterpreted advice. But it won't take much to correct my ms. Thank you both for putting me right.

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:56 am
by pls

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:01 am
by updog
I wouldn't want you to change anything on my advice, Oldtimer. I'm not *that* sure of myself. ;) If PLS thinks you can do away with the italics without changing the wording, who am I to disagree? I'm not an expert on these matters. I was able to read and follow your story the way you published it, but I did notice the inconsistencies that PLS mentioned. Just came to a different conclusion than he did as to what the answer was to fixing it, as I'm afraid that with the amount of direct thoughts you have it'll look like a jumble of pov's and tenses without the italics, but I certainly don't want to be the cause of any confusion. And I'm very worried about you making any changes at this point.

I really do feel that your novel reads better (cleaner) than *most* of the other books I've looked at on Smashwords.

ETA: You know, this is why I try to avoid direct thoughts in my own work when I can. You can almost always write the same things out as narration without losing the close pov, and then you don't have to worry about whether to use italics.

Example of direct thought from Staying Alive: "Flipping heck, if I made a noise this late they’d ground me for a week. Anyway, why are they having a meeting in the middle of the night? What's so, so mega it can’t wait ‘til morning?"

This could have been written as an indirect thought without losing the emotion. "Flipping heck, if he made a noise this late they'd ground him for a week. Anyway, why were they having a meeting in the middle of the night? What was so, so mega it couldn't wait til morning?" The reader understands that these are the character's thoughts, but you don't have to worry about italics or ugly "he thought" tags.

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:30 am
by pls

Re: Running out of time

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:35 pm
by Oldtimer