General Writing and Grammar Help/FICTION - THOUGHTS


When my characters have a thought I put those thoughts in italics. I then have been adding the comment
“he thought” or “she mentally wondered,” etc. My question is - do most publisher want that added comment for
clarity or are the italics enough for the reader to know the person is thinking this?
Thank you once again for your help sir.

Hi Michael,

If you are consistent about the use of italics it should not be necessary every time. I would probably do it the first couple of times that it happens to let the reader know what's going on and then after that they'll associate the italics with thoughts automatically. Although, in some of my own fiction work, I didn't even bother denoted "he thought" because with the italics and the change from 3rd person to 1st person it was obvious what was happening.

Kind Regards,

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Johnathan Clayborn


I can answer a broad range of questions about both academic and creative writing. I can answer questions about APA format, research and references, essay structure and more. I am particularly helpful in the areas of character development, storyline development, etc. and I can provide authors with an array of tools to help them organize their work.


I minored in English for my Bachelor's degree. I have also written several books and I run a small publishing company (before you ask, we're not accepting submissions at this time). I have written both fiction and non-fiction books and I have been published in newspapers and written articles for major internet websites.

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