When you italicize a word or a phrase, it gets noticed. However, italics typeface that slants to the right are a bit understated and do not attract the same attention as say, bold or underline. When to use italics? There are certain style rules to remember.
If you substituted something more innovative, like "he pondered" or "Harry deliberated", you might even have scored a big red tick. If you liked to read as well as write, you probably cottoned on to the fact that there are other ways to indicate thoughts - such as using italics.
It's not likely that a teacher pointed this out to you. Usually, teachers considered their job done once they'd taught you about "he thought". Off you went, liberally sprinkling italics all over your stories to show what was going on in your character's head.
Occasionally you might have used italics AND "he thought". No way the reader could get confused then! Neither of these two methods is the best way to show thoughts.
The single most effective way is to show what your characters are thinking is to blend their thoughts into the narrative flow. Instead of moving into the present tense, stay in the past tense. Unless your entire story is in the present tense, of course. Let's use a few examples to show the difference.
What if someone attacks me? I won't be much use to Laura if I'm dead. He stopped on the bottom tread, holding his breath and peering into the gloom. Over in the far corner, something moved No, something did move.
Chris was sure of it. I wish I had stayed at home. What's wrong with this? The constant switching from past to present tense and from third person to first person is annoying to the reader.
The "flow" is much smoother if the tense and person remain the same - unless clear signals are given to the reader. In this example, the writer has not even used a simple tag, "he thought", to prepare the reader. No, he thought, something did move.
This is an improvement. Now that we've inserted "he thought", the reader has clear signals. They're prepared for the change in tense - they know that most thoughts are in the present tense. When you use the tag "he thought", try to get it as close to the beginning of the thoughts as possible.
Note in the example above, I've written: NOT No, something did move, he thought. This is because readers commonly take in chunks of text when they read, rather than reading one word at a time. The closer the words 'he thought' are to the beginning of the thought, the clearer the signal to the reader that things are changing.Finally, in many cases, you don’t need any special formatting.
For example, when you’re writing in third person, the narrator can tell the reader what characters are thinking. Hurry up, I thought, shifting my bag and wishing the train would come.
Some writers would italicize “Hurry up” in. One site will clearly state that you should use quotation marks, and the next will adamantly state that you should never use quotation marks. One will recommend italics, and another will recommend against italics.
It’s enough to make you have some internal dialogue of your own. Sometimes, you don’t need to do anything to make it clear that a character is thinking, because the character’s thoughts will appear as if they are a part of the narrative—so that the line between the character and the “narrator” is thinned nearly to invisibility.
When you really need to emphasize a word in writing, italics are the best way to do it. Italics can be used to ensure readers recognize the word requires emphasis. The effective use of italics in this manner can add flare to writing and indicate more poignant text. Generally (though standards ay differ) longer works are italicized and shorter works are in quotes.
That's to say that books, be they poems or otherwise, are italicized (The Iliad, for. After this, your entire essay with be done in MLA format f or you and waiting in the closest printer nearby. If you do not want MLA format, then go fak yourself.