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Inner Dialogue/Thoughts?

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My PB has the thoughts of the main character, which are written in italics,  but is this the right way to go? Is inner dialogue too confusing for a PB? Should I change it to spoken dialogue or portray it differently?
#1 - November 15, 2021, 07:49 PM

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When I do inner dialogue in PS, I also italicize. Just be consistent in how you treat it. When the book is acquired, the editor and art director will decide exactly how they want inner dialogue to show up in the PB.

One thing to keep in mind, since it's inner dialogue, make sure it sounds true to the character and like it's a kid, not long, flowing sentences, etc. :-)
#2 - November 16, 2021, 07:18 AM
Freaky Funky Fish ( Running Press Kids, May 2021)
Tell Someone (Albert Whitman, October 2021)
Peculiar Primates (Running Press Kids, October 2022)

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If the text is first person narration, ALL that's written are his or her thoughts so you probably don't need to italicize. Even in a close 3rd person, thoughts and feelings belong to the narrator, so you don't have to emphasize it by italicizing blah, blah, blah, he thought. Ex. Narrator spies a jar. Cookies! It's clear that's his POV and he's thinking it. But as Deb says, above all, be consistent in your usage and the publisher will use their house style.
#3 - November 16, 2021, 11:44 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags

As an editor I am wary of inner dialogue or thoughts in a picture book text. Is there an alternative? I'm not saying don't do it, but I am saying do it only if absolutely necessary.
#4 - November 16, 2021, 03:08 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site:


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