Creativity Magazine

Day 28: Tenses

Posted on the 05 July 2012 by Avocado @90dayavocado

Figuring out which tense to write your story in is always a challenge.


Past tense, like a narrative? Or present tense, like an ongoing action?
I think the consensus is that present tense is the best way to go. However there have been guides that say what types of literature work best with past tense, such as a biography, autobiography, or essay. But when it comes to fiction novels, present tense usually invites the most action and flow to a long story.
Here's a great guide I found, called "Writing Fiction in the Present Tense", by Precise Edit:
http://preciseedit.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/writing-fiction-in-the-present-tense/
Instead of giving tips, it discusses challenges that writers face when writing in this perspective. Which, in my opinion, can be a lot more helpful than any tip or guideline. It gives information about how to deal with the hardships we all usually face, and how to work on our weak spots to improve our storytelling flow.
It hits on things like Introducing Prior Events, Maintaining Stream of Consciousness, and Maintaining Perspective. It also gives a great example of a fiction work in the present tense.
I think most of us are like "Duh, it's so easy to write, I read that tense all the time and it seems so natural". But then when you actually sit down to write it, it's like "wait. Which words do I use again? What language is this? Who am I?!!?"
At least that's what happens to me...
So good luck!
*UPDATE: I made more progress on my story! It's about time! :D
Ciao!


"Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it."                                                                                            - Leonardo da VinciBook Working Title: Knights of Kethyria
Day in Progress: 28
Words Achieved: 2,580Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/90DayAvocado

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