The key to direct vs indirect speech is that it's speech, which in the direct form is enclosed by quotation marks and needs to be converted to an unquoted (indirect) statement. Thus, she said "I am hungry" (direct) becomes she said that she was hungry (indirect).
It doesn't matter how the speech occurs, e.g. said, asked, screamed, whispered, demanded, stammered, quibbled, thought, typed, signalled, indicated, "said with her eyes", communicated telepathically, etc. In each case, to change from direct to indirect:
- you still use the word describing the kind of speech (e.g. "She
- you remove the quotation marks;
- you change the syntactic structure, typically by creating a content
clause (e.g. "… that X", or for questions, "… whether X");
- you may have to change the person (e.g. from I to she); and
- you often have to change the tense (e.g. from am to was).
The result is something like:
She said, "I'm hungry." => She said she was hungry.
He thought, "This plan is stupid." => He thought that the plan was
I asked, "Were you hungry?" => I asked whether you had been hungry.
She typed, "I'll be finished soon." => She typed that she would be
It gets more complicated converting some kinds of direct speech to indirect speech - for example:
He whimpered, "Don't ask me that."
I said, "Yes, please."
I'll leave these to someone else to explain!