A freelance editor I know is advising that all italics be removed from the ms (or almost all). The novel is written in first person, thus there are places where italics seem appropriate for certain thoughts etc. Is this really a total no no as far as agents/publishers are concerned these days? I see quite a few italicized lines in The Duff, a book somewhat similar to this.
Oh Lord save me from italics, underlining and bold.
Most particularly spare me from these if they are used for more than one word at a time.
Now, you might wonder at this reaction since I've been known to use these font enhancements myself, notably during contest results:
This is an exquisite sentence
A week ago, he’d made it over the mountain’s shoulder blade onto the glacier scarving her collarbone
The purpose here though is to distinguish one line from another.
The manuscript you're talking about is narrative. You shouldn't need italics or bold or anything. Your writing should do the job.
Here's why I hate italics: they're harder to read.
A paragraph in italics and I'm going to skip it, or skim it, or stop reading.
NONE OF THOSE ARE GOOD OPTIONS (yes I realize the irony of all caps here)
The book you reference, The Duff, is a published book. I don't know if Kody Keplinger submitted her novel with italics or not.
I do know that if you need to differentiate long passages such as emails or text messages it's better to do it thus:
So, Snookums, what's the answer?
And if you're using italics to separate out thoughts in a first person narrative, just leave out the quotation marks and we'll know it's not speech.
Some of my rather heated reaction may be over response to people who send entire chapters in italic (like the prologue) Or use italic to separate one point of view from another in multiple POV novels. Both make
me reach for the "delete format" key.
The best approach is to use italics very very judiciously.
Start with thinking you can't use any, and then use it only if you absolutely must.