Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Italics = Insecure Writing
Italics ... are they the kiss of death? Sometimes I think they look so pretty, but other times (especially when reading a book late at night) my eyes groan (yes - that's right) because italics are harder to read for an extended period of time.
Even if the writer only uses italics for one word in the sentence, it still makes me squint. Because I pause and question if I would have been smart enough to know that ONE word was important without the writer telling me so.
From SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS:
"Then there are the stylistic devices that make a writer look insecure, the most notabe offenders being exclamation points and italics. ... frequent italics are the typographical equivalent of an elbow in the ribs and a frantic, "Did you get it? Did you?" (page 200)
Do you use italics in your writing? When do you think they're necessary?