Is it ever appropriate to use italics to emphasize parts of dialogue to show which words the speakers is putting emphasis on? I used to do this quite frequently, but I was told that this was a sign of bad writing. More specifically that it's a red flag to many publishers that the only writing experience the author has is writing fanfiction since this is a common style choice in fanfiction more generally and is not appropriate to use in "proper" writing.
At the same time, I am struggling a bit to convey conversations in writing the way I am visualizing them in my head without italics showing what words the characters are placing emphasis on. Here is the sentence in particular that made me realize this was a problem.
"We see a clear difference between the two groups," she said, "but other people won't"
"We see a clear difference between the two groups," she said, "but other people won't."
The tone comes across as very different and the latter sounds a bit flat. I am not sure if it is appropriate to use italics to emphasize parts of dialogue if not doing so would result in the audience missing how the character is speaking (i.e., differences in emphasis relating to different speech patterns or characterization).