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DarkBishop

Verb Tense

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I don't think it would be a problem but I hope someone who knows for sure will reply. The one thing I would stress is consistency throughout. I think everything I've written is in the past tense with splashes of the present in dialogue.

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You can write in Present Tense. Tense, PoV, are all in the wheelhouse of the writer, and what they feel is right for their story. Stephen King has a few books that he's written in the present tense fashion, and well, he is one of the giants in storytelling currently.

The only rule in writing is, "There are no rules."

Publishers have a format they use, because it sells. Otherwise, write your story, how you want to write it.

Edited by Brayon
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Writing in present tense comes across as stage direction.  Don't care for what I have been taught that is fine.  I RESIGN.

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I would like to know why I’m being attacked both here and by personal message as if I’ve done something wrong. I don’t appreciate this, and I don’t think it’s a good kind of relationship to have when the partnership is a volunteer basis. There’s no agreement that says I can’t ask opinions of other people on the forum. I do not feel that I have done anything wrong, and to me IF I was editing someone’s work I would be doing it based on how they want things and how you feel it should be done. That kind of criticism ruins the passion for some people, because they see their way as wrong. It’s not wrong, it’s just not how you would do it. 

Mom starting to feel as if this forum is too picky on certain things. Most if not the majority of the stories on here are for fun and entertainment. If you start making it hard for some people to get over their little obsess ticks than you confine their imagination. It may not be perfect, and maybe they won’t get the high readership, but they’re doing what they love. Yes, there has to be certain limits and maybe you should develop “a writing course” on here. Have a set amount of weeks where people can do do assignments and actually work on their first chapter using this course (self guided). 

I’m sorry for what you see as wrong for me to do, but I wanted to get other opinions. I did nothing wrong. And I did not deserve being treated as if I did. 

 

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@DarkBishop I found this informative website concerning the pros and cons of writing in present tense.

Link

 

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16 minutes ago, Ron said:

@DarkBishop I found this informative website concerning the pros and cons of writing in present tense.

Link

 

Excellent reference. I'll stick to past tense, I like my flashbacks to be in the past. 😁

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There's certainly no rule saying you're not allowed to write stories in present tense. As has been pointed out, there are no rules that are set in stone when writing fiction. I've personally written plenty of stories in present tense, mostly short stories, but I have one long-shot fanfic as well, and I'm working on a novel/novella (not sure yet) in first person present tense, which is probably risky but, hey, where's the fun in safe? I've had positive feedback on all of them.

Present tense, I think, adds a sense of immediacy that lends itself well to short stories in particular. It puts you inside the story in a way that past tense doesn't. That's not for everyone, but I really like it. In fact, I think the majority of my short stories are written in present tense.

If you'd like to take a look at my present tense stories to see how I do it, I'll stick some links in the spoiler below.

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Thorn Wilde
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On 10/31/2019 at 10:59 PM, Ron said:

@DarkBishop I found this informative website concerning the pros and cons of writing in present tense.

Link

 

 

On 10/31/2019 at 11:19 PM, Carlos Hazday said:

Excellent reference. I'll stick to past tense, I like my flashbacks to be in the past. 😁

I highly disagree that you can't write flashbacks in the past tense when the rest of the story is in present. I've done that. I've also written 'future' tense; where in past tense you might write, 'One day he would come to realise how wrong he was.' In present you might go, 'One day he will come to realise how wrong he is.' Not once have I had negative feedback on doing so. So either people have been lying to me, or this is a perfectly okay thing to do. I prefer to think the latter. 

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2 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

I've also written 'future' tense; where in past tense you might write, 'One day he would come to realise how wrong he was.' In present you might go, 'One day he will come to realise how wrong he is.'

Umm, isn’t this a portend either way rather than a flashback? And, wouldn’t a flashback be a described scene from a time that isn’t the present?

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3 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

Not once have I had negative feedback on doing so. So either people have been lying to me, or this is a perfectly okay thing to do. I prefer to think the latter. 

LMAO

Around GA I doubt you could get a valid sample of comments. Our readers are far too polite and forgiving. Particularly when it comes to grammar. They may argue, praise, complain and whatever about plot, but few will take an author to task over syntax or grammar. About the biggest complain I've ever received concerns chapter length. That has increased exponentially with my current 1k-words-per-chapter story.

You are correct you can write a flashback in past tense while the story's in the present one. Just like the originator of this thread can write in whatever the hell tense he wants to. I'll reiterate my comment: I'm quite content writing flashbacks and entire stories in the past. Writing in the present tense is not a challenge I'm interested in pursuing at this time.

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1 hour ago, Ron said:

Umm, isn’t this a portend either way rather than a flashback? And, wouldn’t a flashback be a described scene from a time that isn’t the present?

Yes, that was not an example of a flashback, but of usage of different tenses within a story. Much like you would, in past tense, use past perfect to describe something that happened before the current point in the story (not in a flashback but just within the narrative), where in present tense you'd generally use simple past tense, sometimes you may want to mention something that has yet to pass. In past tense you might use 'would'. In present, 'will'. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

As for flashbacks, I have stories in the present tense where I've inserted a flashback scene in past tense. I honestly think flashbacks are easier and make more sense when the rest of the story is in present tense as you more easily understand immediately that this is something that happened before when you switch tense.

Ugh, I feel like I'm explaining myself very poorly today. I blame my headache. 

52 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

LMAO

Around GA I doubt you could get a valid sample of comments. Our readers are far too polite and forgiving. Particularly when it comes to grammar. They may argue, praise, complain and whatever about plot, but few will take an author to task over syntax or grammar. About the biggest complain I've ever received concerns chapter length. That has increased exponentially with my current 1k-words-per-chapter story.

You are correct you can write a flashback in past tense while the story's in the present one. Just like the originator of this thread can write in whatever the hell tense he wants to. I'll reiterate my comment: I'm quite content writing flashbacks and entire stories in the past. Writing in the present tense is not a challenge I'm interested in pursuing at this time.

No one says you have to.

And I have beta readers and editors, and have posted my work elsewhere as well. Not all my readers are on GA. And not everyone on GA is polite.

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It's a personal preference. I prefer past tense. Both to read and to write. For me present tense is... awkward?

If you're interested in the really awkward, then try writing--or reading--a story in the 2nd person. Yikes! 😱

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On 12/12/2019 at 10:08 AM, Camy said:

It's a personal preference. I prefer past tense. Both to read and to write. For me present tense is... awkward?

If you're interested in the really awkward, then try writing--or reading--a story in the 2nd person. Yikes! 😱

You have to try 4th person writing, if you like awkward sentences with way too much meaning, "one must be...", "people are..." and etc to show universal truths. Most of these kinds of writings are done by philosophers and religious leaders.

2nd person is different, but it's not that different, if you write romantic poetry. "You are the heaven, stars, and eternal sunlight"

1st person is my preference, with PoV, if I want more than 1 character. "I feel.."

3rd person is basically being God within your story, knowing everything and every emotion; it's hard not to abuse your power :P. The difference between this an 4th person, Writer/God might know everything, but what is described is not a universal truth. "He's crying over his dying lover as his lover remembers their 1st encounter..."

Tenses are necessary to keep time and events in frames of reference, but they are not absolutes.

I agree with everyone else, tense use is a personal preference.

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11 hours ago, W_L said:

3rd person is basically being God within your story, knowing everything and every emotion; it's hard not to abuse your power :P.

You say that like it's a bad thing. ;) 

Edited by Jdonley75
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On 12/15/2019 at 6:03 AM, W_L said:

 

3rd person is basically being God within your story, knowing everything and every emotion; it's hard not to abuse your power :P. The difference between this an 4th person, Writer/God might know everything, but what is described is not a universal truth. "He's crying over his dying lover as his lover remembers their 1st encounter..."

There are different kinds of third person, though. You've got your third person omnipotent where you head-hop around, but you also have limited third person, where you see a given story, or at least a given scene in the story, through the eyes of one character. Most of my third person stories are limited third person. I'm only ever inside the head of one character at a time, and I don't think I've ever written one with more than two main characters that switch between scenes. 

Edited by Thorn Wilde
dang typos...
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