Hot answers tagged

21

It's not that it's always a bad thing - and to directly answer your question it can be appropriate to use it. Where it's bad is when it is over-used, specifically when the writer relies on it to place the emphasis they "hear" on the words but without actually conveying the particulars of that emphasis to the reader. Imagine you're trying to show a ...


10

Item #1: Words are just tools First, writing is ultimately about conveying something. If your words convey to the reader what you want them to, they're good by definition. It's just a question of: is there a better way to get your message across? If not... then keep it how you have it! Item #2: You're relying on a (possibly inaccurate) proxy. You're ...


6

While its certainly easy to overuse both italization and bolding, if you take extra care to use it quite sparingly and certainly NOT multiple times with a sentence it can be ok. Oh, right that also applies to all caps which is bad vs While its certainly easy to overuse both italization and bolding, if you take extra care to use it quite sparingly and ...


4

I would say for me, my style would be a hard no, but I use italicized letters to denote a shift in my two narrators. Italicized letters are the thoughts of the main character while reflecting on events that they would be aware of at that moment. For me, I do capitilizations of non-proper nouns I wish emphasize, and even then I try not to do it in dialog. ...


4

I think this is perfectly fine, just so long as you aren't abusing it. I myself don't do this much anymore, but that's less because of me thinking it's bad and more because of me writing on a platform that doesn't support italics. There are also plenty of published books out there that use italics for emphasis, although I can't remember them at the moment. I ...


4

This is a tricky one, as the advice would usually be "write however feels natural to you". But I want to help, so I'll try. Writing, by its nature, is an art. It's subjective - especially when we're talking about a "style". A style isn't always quantifiable, like grammar for example. Style is nuanced and ambiguous, often difficult to put ...


3

Voice is highly individual --it's a large part of what makes your writing distinct, so there aren't really any rule-based ways to develop it. In fact, many of the strongest writers' voices break rules that are ironclad for other people. I would recommend finding some writers whose voice you admire, and writing some pieces in imitation of them --not for ...


3

Start two chapters early If it takes you a couple of chapters to get into the flow of writing, then start writing two or three chapters before where you plan on opening your story. These chapters aren't ever going to be seen by the readers - they're purely for your own writerly benefit. After you've finished your story then go back and cut the chapters in ...


2

As others have said, italics in moderation are fine. If they're your only tool for emphasis, yes, they can lose some impact. One other option is moving the dialogue tag: "We," she said, "see a clear difference between the two groups. But other people won't."


2

The first thing to note is that making prose style sound too much like poetry doesn't make it sound right. It still has to sound like prose. What I found useful was not so much consciously attending to the style structure as reading great stylists and writing imitations of them. Often horrendously bad imitations, but it helped master getting the words to ...


2

I find italics to be quite helpful in both emphases on words in dialogue, and internal dialogue. I second the others that you just need to be aware of how much you're using it - don't want it to lose meaning, right? Same goes for internal dialogue. Like, if you have a paragraph of thought, and it's all in italics, that's hard to read sometimes. Overall, ...


2

There is nothing wrong per-se in using italics for emphasis, though relying on it is thin ice. Here's a suggestion: Use whatever you like in your draft, then when editing take it as a prompt to try to paint the picture of the conversation in more detail so the reader is in the same mindset as you. Draft: "I will never let you..." Edit: John ...


2

Your challenges arise from the first line of dialog and not how to structure the response Davis walked towards, and stopped close to me — he was tall — he tried to look me in the eyes, but I kept dodging them as I look around trying to find a place to focus on. Because your narrative already communicates everything that Davis's line of dialog communicates. ...


1

The punctuation you use will depend on what you want it to show. The punctuation will probably depend on whether or not you want to write it as a question or a statement. If your character is asking 'yeah?' as if he is not sure whether or not he wants to ask the other character to sue him, then I'd use a ? mark, but if its an exclamation, such as if he is ...


1

Italics can represent emphasis, so that is your best option. You can write it as, "Yeah? Sue me then!"


1

This question has some good answer that might help. Anyway, my suggestion for making your characters unique is to write down their personalities, take a look at the situation, and then just role play. Whatever you/the character does, write it down. Might require some imagination, but if you've written a book already then you've got that covered. This should ...


1

The thing to remember with writing is that you're trying to produce an effect --to induce certain states of mind in the readers, to give them experiences through your words. Everything that helps that is a good thing, everything that doesn't, isn't. A modern convention followed by many writers for any unusual speech pattern is to give enough of it for flavor,...


1

When you introduce a new word, you can provide a context that allows the reader to figure out the meaning. For instance, in the book The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe, he makes use of the word fiacre, which is a horse-drawn carriage which did in old times what a taxi cab does in modern times. When the characters hired a fiacre to go somewhere, Wolfe ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible