I am sorry. Its a bit longer than necessary. So as not to put one entire page here, I cut a piece of the paragraph. Ian had difficulty expressing himself, so Lavi squat down in front of him, holding his hands. Being the supportive guy he always was.

"It's like you guys don't trust me. It's like- like I'm back at the-" Since their eyes were connected, he saw of course the effect his words had. Seeing as the smile vanished and the sparkling pink eyes dulled, Ian broke off. His mouth snapped shut. Words weren't forming anymore. Even swallowing didn't help anything. His throat felt parched like he had been under the heat of the sun and not been able to drink anything for a long time. Dark brown eyes were frantically looking at Lavi's. "I-I- n't- I- ean- I mean- I didn't-" Ian tried to explain, the words not forming right and leaving his shaking lips, half choked and half incoherent. Lavi suddenly stood up so fast, Ian's entire body flinched back. Hands snapping back and cradling each other. If strong arms didn't reach out to pull him against an even stronger chest, he would've fallen of the painting stool for sure.

Ian froze for one second before the scent of Lilies and vanilla mixed with smoke penetrated his nose. Relaxing against Lavi. His arms were too short of course, to encircle all of his waist. But small hands gripped at what they could from the shirt nonetheless. He had the need to ground himself. Something to tell himself this moment was real. Lavi was that special something since day one. Ian buried his face deeper into the stomach. Forgetting for one moment everything else. Just for the moment. Later on Ian will ignore his feelings and reason that it's only because of stress again. But now. Right now. To enjoy this simple, yet precious moment with Lavi. Nothing in the world would be to much to give for Ian. Not this moment. Not ever.

Or sometimes I write things like that when they think:

Ian was so stupid. Lavi would hate him if he knew! Hell everyone would. Even kindhearted Bekky. It would break his heart if they ever found out. Maybe Ian still had time to gather his stuff and disappear forever. To never be seen again. If Ian was a bit more attentive, he would've probably notice the pair of keen eyes watching him, from the entrance to Lavi's trailer.

Just wanted to know if someone had an advice. I mean I don't say my name when I think. But for some reason I like writing that in my fictions. Also for example I say either:

I am so stupid how could I make the same mistake twice!


How can someone be so stupid to make the same mistake twice.

English is not my native language. So sorry for the weird writing.

(They are not together yet. Ian is gay. Lavi is bi. These are not the names I used for my fiction.) I'm still in the rewriting process and trying to lessen the pronouns and names. If you guys are so kind to give me some advice. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my stuff and for replying. Thank you very much.

  • Thx. For editing. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 10:02
  • 3
    Yes, it's fine. But you need more paragraph breaks. Use one whenever you shift from one character to another, either in dialogue or action or thoughts. Please keep in mind that we ask questioners to wait a full 1-2 days before accepting an answer. Accepting too soon discourages other people from answering and of course your goal is multiple good answers. Do upvote every answer you think is worthy and you can always accept an answer later. There is no time limit and you'll always get your 2 points.
    – Cyn
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 14:57
  • Oh! Thx for the advice. Hmm. I do take a paragraph break when shifting for character POV or when they think. I thought it would be better not to have too many short word blocks. But I will keep that in mind. I'm only writing fanfiction right now. But I want to write my own fantasy novel one day, so I try to train and learn stuff and I want to write it 'right'. And strangely I have fun correcting myself and looking for other words and to rephrase my paragraph. Thx again for the advice and I will keep in mind not to jump the gun and not discourage other people from answering. Thx. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 20:00
  • Fan fiction is a good transition into original fiction for many people. Have fun and stick around!
    – Cyn
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


If the narrator is describing what a person said and thought, then the narrator can use their name. Typically direct thoughts of a character are in italics, while tags and words from the narrator are not.

Unlike other writing in the real world, in novels you need to be careful with italics, when used with a sentence or fragment in a paragraph by themselves, they are a signal for thought.

I am so stupid, Lavi thought. Why did I do that?

In third person (which you are using) there are two ways to show the thoughts of a character, one is for the narrator to describe the content of the thought, the other way is for direct reporting of the thoughts themselves, as I did above, when somebody has an internal conversation with themselves.

The narrator description of thoughts uses third person, no italics (perhaps single words can be italicized for emphasis). Usually we use narrator description for times when our thoughts cannot actually be verbalized very well. For example, if I ask you to imagine a motorcycle, what happens in your mind is NOT a long verbal description of a motorcycle, it is likely an image of a motorcycle unaccompanied by any verbal description at all. (In fact, that image can be different for different people; perhaps your favorite motorcycle, or ideal motorcycle, or typical motorcycle, or an actual motorcycle your nephew owns, etc).

In the second mile of her run, Mandy's thoughts turned to Bill's writeup on the Hergowich deal. It made no sense, he handed her the writeup, said I think you're gonna love it, then when she read it, he murdered the deal. What's she supposed to love, murdering the deal? It occurred to her in a flash, jogging in place at the light at Spring View, that maybe he wasn't talking to her, or maybe not for her benefit, but somebody else's benefit. Images of the gathering ran through her mind, who was nearby? She saw Jerry, Michael, Lisa ... Lisa triggered something, a feeling, an instinct. Something about Lisa, she couldn't put her finger on it, but it was there. It was frustrating, she couldn't quite get there. Mandy finished the second mile back at her house, the last push a sprint up the stairs to the shower.

Of course, these two styles can be mixed. Just break and start a new paragraph in italics for direct thoughts. If you show thoughts for only ONE character, then you don't even need tags, like "Mandy thought." The italics tell the reader it is a "Mandy thinking" paragraph.

Use italics in a new paragraph, just like dialogue, when thoughts can be easily formulated into sentences.

I personally do not use italicized thoughts for confused, broken, or hesitant thoughts, or thoughts of images and other things that are seldom verbalized, including activities: If I am thinking about walking the dog or playing volleyball or vacuuming the house or scrambling eggs for breakfast or going out to dinner, I don't internally verbalize a description of these activities, I see images.

For thoughts that don't come with an easy verbalization, I use narrator description of thoughts.

  • Thank you for the detailed reply. I was rather unsure, because I read somewhere, that if the characters are referring to themself they would seem egotistical. I am the narrator, since I write the story, it's not necessary for me to be, I could make an narrator up or smg. I thought It would seem like he was full of himself to other people who would read my story. Thanks for the advice. I will go back to my story and try to shape it up. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 11:42
  • Sry. I'm still new. 'My oh crap' Expression won't leave my face. I try to read up on everything. Like, 'liking' and 'blockquoting' and 'points?' Sorry? Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 12:35
  • @LucyNamikaze I'm not sure what you are sorry about; I answer to help people on questions just like this. We gotta make more writers! Also, if you need more examples, you can pick almost any best-selling author and look through their novels. Not only do they usually know their craft, but publishers pay professional editors to examine every word and punctuation mark. You can be pretty sure those are done the way you should do them.
    – Amadeus
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 13:47
  • Sry. Just me being stupid. Thank you for your encouragement. And for taking your time to give me advice. I'm on the phone more than on my rickety old tab. So sometimes it's difficult to navigate through the mobile version of pages. I switch to the desktop version to look for the tools I need and then I switch again and confuse myself. So yeah me being stupid. Thx. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 20:16

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