I, too, would be interested in hearing about the content of the q/quote
proposal, should it touch on the issue mentioned.
Insofar as works of fiction go, it would seem to me that the primary
difference between q and quote is in the phrase "external to the text" in
the definition of quote. A narrative voice, viewed as an in-text entity,
may be taken to be quoting (other) characters, who are obviously in-text
entities themselves. Such events would therefore use q. A character may
also repeat material from elsewhere in-text (in-world), resulting in a
nested q. However, I wonder about the case of first-person narrators in
works using the present tense; the direct speech of such a narrator is, from
a narrative point of view, actually being performed by the narrator as it is
written rather than being reported by another entity or at another time. It
is probably best to mark such as q as well, if only to avoid
overcomplicating things, although there may be specific cases which argue
I do find it odd that the definition of quote specifies that the
identification of the passage must be "by the narrator or author"; if a
character says that he or she is quoting Virgil but the narrator does not
confirm this, does this lack of confirmation prevent the use of quote? This
assumes, of course, that the Virgil in the world of the story is identical
to the Virgil of real life; if not, then the passage is not quoting
something external to the text.
These were just the first thoughts that popped into my mind; I hope that you
find them useful.
M. Alan Thomas II