And often, as is the case in this post, they are just one option among many that may suit the material. CMOS makes no special recommendation for formatting text messages in formal writing, more or less taking for granted that they will be treated the same as other quotations, either within quotation marks in line with the main text or set off as a block. This is standard practice for academic books and articles, reports, and other kinds of no-nonsense nonfiction:. The same treatment can be used in a novel, but because quotation marks are strongly associated with spoken words, text messages in fiction are often styled in italics or bold or a different font, whether run-in or set off as a block:. Back-and-forth messages between two or more texters present more of a challenge. Short and infrequent exchanges, or those where the delivery medium is incidental, may simply be integrated into the narrative with action beats:.