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April 30th, 2006, 11:09 PM
Lots of characters have internal conflict, and there is even the internal dialogue where they let you know what they are thinking, but what about internal dialogue?

I am talking about a character going through thoughts in his head, but then having his conscience second guess him.

As of right now, I am using italics as the conscience and regular text as the character's thoughts... and treating the conscience as another person, does this sound too complicated or do you think there's a chance it might work?

May 1st, 2006, 12:19 AM
My first thought is "Too complicated." But then I thought, "Well, let him try it, if it doesn't work, then he can drop the pages and try something else." Then I thought, "Yeah, then he'd be mad at me for not telling him straight up and allowing him to waste a lot of time on something which probably won't work." So then I thought, "At least mention that this is just your opinion, and to take it for what it's worth."

Like I said ...


May 1st, 2006, 04:42 AM
Earcollector, is "treating the conscience as another person" an element of the writing style, or is it an attribute of the character (playfulness, mild schizophrenia...)?

I have internal dialogue in my current WIP, too. It's something halfway between telepathy and schizophrenia (as in: hearing voices that tell you to do things). The specifics are a bit more complicated. I use italics for both the thoughts and the "replies" (when they actually manage words instead of just white noise whispers).

Naturally, I think it can work. If it doesn't my entire novel may run into problems (it's quite integral to both plot and theme).

May 1st, 2006, 04:45 PM
The short story I am working on has internal dialogue. It is actually moments of his thoughts and a voice trying to control him. For the voice I use all caps, especially since it is very commanding. Whether this works or not time will tell.

May 2nd, 2006, 02:04 AM
The "second voice" that he has his internal dialogue is really like a whole different character...
It's the person he wants to be, the person he should be, but is unwilling to let go of reservations and become. I guess you could say that it is a personification of his id because it is bringing him down and breaking him apart (until he embraces his dark side and realizes that falling more into the grey is really the way to go... after falling completely to the dark side after fighting the id for so long and then finally giving in).

I guess it's more of a schizophrenic type of voice than anything else... It's interesting to see that other people are trying to work with a similar idea here.

I had a really great start I think, there was lots of tension and you could tell that the voice was chipping away at the wall that he had put up, but the longer I tried to continue like this the more complicated it became to separate the thoughts (which is, I guess, kind of what needs to happen... eventually they become one).

May 2nd, 2006, 10:07 AM
It sounds fine. The other voice -- conscious or the ideal person, etc. -- should indeed be in italics.