Is this an acceptable introductory paragraph to a fictional character's memoir? I'm not sure if the first sentence should be in quotations or have its own line and be italicized..

How often do you get the chance to find your dream in life? This is what I was thinking when the rotten smell crawled into my nose inside the killing floor. The floor was dirty, an ocean of blood, but like many oceans, it could be crossed. This is why I took a job at this theatre, Schnaufer’s. The hope of finding myself in my dream was the wind behind the sails on my ship of glory.

  • I think this sounds fine, and keep in mind that character thoughts vary for each character, just like dialogue. As long as it’s grammatically correct and sounds like your character then it’s fine. Dec 2, 2020 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


I would italicize or put in quotes, as right away it isn't immediately recognizable as thoughts. If that's what you want, though, then it seems fine.

As always, it's fine if you write it well enough.

  • Thanks! Should I keep it in the paragraph? Dec 2, 2020 at 15:55
  • @defaultmandelbrotsetting yes, it is fine like it is. for the most part, treat it like dialogue except you don't have to start a new line for it. Dec 13, 2020 at 21:53

Your text reads as a direct address of the reader in a 1st person POV story, so since you are not using character thought you don't need any italics or quotation marks.

As a general guideline, character thought is italicized when it is the direct speech of the character's mind in that moment of the narrative. It is usually written in present tense when the rest of the story is written in past tense.

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