I am working on a short story which begins with the main character reading the lines of a book, and while he is reading, he often gets distracted by his won thoughts. He alternates between his thoughts and reading. I am writing the story in first person. Since the lines of the book and his thoughts both have significance in the story, I wish to communicate both to the reader. How can I do this so that the reader is able to distinguish between his thoughts and lines of the book. I would appreciate if someone can also point me to an example.

1 Answer 1


I think emphasis can be very helpful. You need to make sure the reader knows when is he reading actions, when thoughts and when book. For example:

I went on and read the book "I looked through the sky and there I saw it, a great bird..." My bird, I still wonder sometimes where it went. Another sip from my coffee to continue. "I thought it's all gone".

Most of what I've read used the same font for thoughts and actions. A lot of them use emphasis when a flashback occurs. It's usually used to defer two narratives told one within another, like you have.

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