Is stream of consciousness different from interior monologues and free indirect discourse?
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Stream of consciousness, interior monologues, and free indirect discourse are not interchangeable terms. Stream of consciousness is a type of writing used to mimic the precise thinking of a character. For the reader it is almost as if we are spying or eavesdropping on the character. Interior monologue is a type of stream of consciousness. There are two types of this. Direct interior monologue is spoken directly by the character without author commentary. With indirect interior monologue, the author provides his or her commentary on the character’s thoughts. Free indirect discourse is more a way of speaking and thinking based upon language characteristics. Tenses should be the same in both the frame and the stream of consciousness. So if the frame for the stream of consciousness is in past tense, then the characters thoughts must be in past tense as well.
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