I generally try to keep my campaigns fairly open-ended and avoid railroading my players, or keep it to a minimum when it is performed. Generally they always tend to have a plot hook or two that they can follow, and tend to be invested enough in the presented hooks that I don't have to worry about them going too far off.
However, I have noticed at times, some players tend to have what I would equate to a "Well what do we do now that were here?" look. While none of them have explicitly expressed that feeling, when talking to them about the sessions I sometimes feel like they were struggling with deciding how to approach some of the more open ended situations, especially after some time or adventures have passed between receiving their original goal, and having the ability to act upon it.
Is it considered appropriate, to, as a DM, tell a player the thoughts of their character? For example, after describing a town they arrive in, saying something like any of the following examples :
"Your mind races with thoughts of the upcoming tasks at hand, perhaps you should look into [Group X], or go talk to [Knowledgeable Guy Y] about [Bad Thing Z]."
"The town guard stand vigilant and alert at the gate, noting down those who pass through, perhaps they may have seen [FindThisGuy A]?"
I know some players can be sensitive about being told what their characters think, but the thoughts I'm proposing are strictly a question of knowledge and goals, and not opinions of what characters think of a particular person or situation.
What are the consequences of telling players their character's thoughts as a method to help guide their actions?