Author Topic: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?  (Read 2346 times)

Lin

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HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« on: February 27, 2006, 06:02:25 AM »
She looked at the flowers with their red and blues.  She would never come here again, she thought


Is this correct?
 Please can I have some thoughts on this one for punctuation, I want to add this to Frequently Asked Questions

Lin
« Last Edit: March 03, 2006, 02:15:51 PM by Lin »

SuzieHarris

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2006, 06:11:33 AM »
Lin,

I think there is too much use of the word 'she'.

I would personally write:

I will never return here again, she thought, while admiring the bright reds and vivid blues of the flowers.

 Does that sound better?

Obviously, if I sat and looked at it for a while longer I could probably rewrite it again and make it sound even better.

Suzie
« Last Edit: February 27, 2006, 06:37:57 AM by Suzie »

Offline ellie

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2006, 07:31:37 AM »
'This place holds nothing for me now',  with these sad thoughts,she turned and left; but not before one last glance at the beautiful blossoms of red and blue...

ellie
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jmack

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2006, 08:10:00 AM »
There are many methods to convey thoughts, but the example you provided is, in theory, gramatically correct. Some would argue that the thoughts should be enclosed in quotation marks, but I disagree. Itallics can also be used to convey thought, even though many writers argure against them.

For example; "She looked at the flowers with their red and blues. I will never come here again." (Not ideal, but I'm sure you get the point.)

Furthermore, in this instance, you could withdraw her thoughts entirely and say something like: "Looking at the flowers with their reds and blues, she decided never to come here again."

Apologies for the stagnant prose -- I don't want to rewrite your sentence, just offer you techniques.

Offline Caroline

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2006, 08:52:09 AM »
Hi Lin
Yes, if your punctuation question is regarding whether the thoughts should be in inverted commas, I agree with Joel (ie, no they shouldn't!  :) )
And as an aside (but without wanting to rewrite your sentence!) I'm never too keen on the use of 'she thought.'  Not sure what it is about it...I think there are just better ways to convery the meaning - again, a bit like Joel's example...
Caroline

Offline orchid15

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2006, 07:30:49 PM »
If your POV is strong, you don't need to say 'she thought'  The reader is already identifying with the character and knows who is thinking.  but you would probably want to phrase the thoughts in the first person

orchid15
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Offline Doina

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2006, 08:26:24 PM »
Another way, I gathered from other authors, is when you change the verb tense.

She looked at the flowers with their reds and blues. She'll never come back, she thought [or, she tells herself]

Changing the tense to present is a deeper level, you're inside the character mind, not only describing what she's doing [looking at the flowers]

But the other suggestions posted before me are correct too. I have the same problem too, especially when I write about two characters on the same page, or paragraphs. Then the indication "he thought" or "she thought" works. Oh well, we're learning!
Doina

Offline Symphony

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2006, 09:22:05 AM »
I'd go with Orchid here. Leave out the 'she thought' completely and it's even more powerful.

She looked at the flowers with their reds and blues. She would never come here again.


Lin

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2006, 09:45:52 AM »
I was more interested in the comments from Joel about quotation marks, you have answered my question nicely thanks.

Lin

Jayel

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Re: HOW DO I CONVEY THOUGHTS?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2006, 04:10:31 PM »
My publisher uses italics for silent speech (empathic conversation in fantasy tales) and emphatic language (such as "No!" or "Stop it!"), and leaves thought in regular font.