I'm in close third PoV. My character has a specific way of thinking: two voices in her head discuss all the time.

In my paragraphs, I then have three "voices":

  • The usual, close Narrator voice
  • The first internal voice
  • The second internal voice

As a short example:

Alssa had just left a sunny street to enter the first hotel she’d found, and yet the lobby’s lights still blinded her. She glanced around, accommodating to the brightness. Mh, Quite fancy. Nothing we haven’t seen before, though, right?

Here, I used italic and bold sentences to display the difference in voices, but I feel like the bold sentences draws too much attention. Here are some of the ideas I had:

  • Formatting it like a dialogue, but I'm afraid it'll get confusing with the real dialogues. And I might want to use those voices in the text between actual dialogues
  • Using different fonts, but I can't see to find a combination that looks great.

Any ideas? Thank you!

  • Thank you for your suggestion. But what happens when they "talk" during regular dialogue? The readers will need to infer that some lines are only heard by my character and the other internal voice, but not the other characters presents? Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 9:49
  • I see. Thank you for the suggestion, I'll try it and see how it goes! Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


Let me convert my earlier comments to an answer:

I think it would be a mistake to use variations in type face to denote the different internal 'speakers'. And not just because you have been struggling to find faces you like. Mainly because that's not how novels, and other extended works of non-graphical fiction, present dialogue to the reader.

I suggest instead that you have your character give the two internal voices a name each, then write the dialogue 'as normal'. So long as the internal voices are properly introduced, and so long as their dialogue remains internal (that is the inner voices never directly speak to other characters), your readers should be able to keep track of who is saying what when.

This is the 'natural' solution to the problem of writing dialogue when there are n+2 characters in the room. If the protagonist's inner voices speak during a scene you write ...

"Be careful, can you really trust him," said shrinking Violet. "Go on, drink it," said bold Violet. Violet took the smallest sip, not even enough to wet her tongue.

You'll see that I've given the inner voices names or attributions which hint at their psychological roles. You might want to call them Gog and Magog or some other pair of names which are not obviously descriptive. I think, though, that using names such as shrinking Violet and bold Violet helps to emphasise that each is an aspect of Violet.

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