Internal dialogue is used by authors to indicate what a character is thinking.
Direct internal dialogue refers to a character thinking the exact thoughts as written, often in the first person. (The first person singular is I, the first person plural is we.)
Example: “I lied,” Charles thought, “but maybe she will forgive me.”
Notice that quotation marks and other punctuation are used as if the character had spoken aloud.
You may also use italics without quotation marks for direct internal dialogue.
Example: I lied, Charles thought, but maybe she will forgive me.
Indirect internal dialogue refers to a character expressing a thought in the third person (the third person singular is he or she, the plural is they) and is not set off with either italics or quotation marks.
Example: Bev wondered why Charles would think that she would forgive him so easily.
The sense of the sentence tells us that she did not think these exact words.
Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 4:47 am150 Comments on Internal Dialogue: Italics or Quotes?