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Poll Question : Readers, what tense do you enjoy reading?
Choice Votes Statistics
Present tense 1 3 %
Past tense 14 53 %
Tense doesn't matter to me 0 0 %
It depends on the story 11 42 %

Verb Tenses in Erotic Literature Options · View
Possibly
Posted: Thursday, August 07, 2014 10:26:52 PM

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Writers use different tenses to convey when actions occur in a story.

What tense do you prefer to read and why?


Here are two examples:

Present tense: He bangs her senseless as she trembles orgasmically with pronounced shuddering and quivering.

Past tense: He banged her senseless as she trembled orgasmically with pronounced shuddering and quivering.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thanks for participating!






Milik_the_Red
Posted: Thursday, August 07, 2014 10:33:41 PM

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I much prefer past tense. I also find many writers have difficulty knowing when to change when they attempt present.

ChrissieLecker
Posted: Thursday, August 07, 2014 10:44:38 PM

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It depends. There are stories that sound best in past tense, especially when exposition is necessary to understand everything that's happening. Then, there are stories that carry a sense of urgency, irony or surprise that thrives with present tense.

I've found that I've often got problems to enjoy stories written in third person, present tense. I guess those are the hardest to pull off while keeping to narrative perspective. First person, present tense, is the "telling as I go" perspective and allows me to immerse myself in the main character's thoughts and emotions, though exposition and generalizations tend to pull me out of it easily.

Past tense gives more leeway. Time jumps don't feel as abrupt there and description is less likely to take me away from the story's flow.

seeker4
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2014 8:12:49 AM

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I have always found present tense stories problematic. Part of it may just be writers lacking the skills to pull it off well, but part of it is that my understanding tends to be that a story is just that, a story, a recounting of a something that happened. Present tense just seems to break that for me. I know it is meant to be more "immediate" but the sense of following the person around as they go through the story just never gels for me as a reader. It feels unrealistic or something.


She plowed his driveway, but what else can his sexy sister-in-law help with?

Snow Plowed

One of my rare forays into poetry: An intimate moment surrounded by the sounds of the night

Sounds of the Night





Metilda
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2014 8:54:52 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

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Posts: 1,273
Location: United States
I love - with a passion - present tense. It feels so intense and natural during sex TO WRITE.

And it seems that in short story form here at Lushstories a lot of readers say they favor past tense - but are very receptive to how I write present tense. (I've spent a lot of time strengthening my 1st person skills - it shows)

However, the paying public is far more partial to past tense - so much so that I've started writing in it more.

Now - there are tense structures: present perfect / past perfect - etc. And all this depends on the character/narrator and what their natural mode of speech would be. I've written stories set in the future - and in other countries with multiple languages - so my narrative voices very widely.

Verbal
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2014 10:37:00 AM

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Present tense gives you so much more immediacy. You are right here, right now! But you have to have the goods to pull it off. In other words, save present tense for when you really want to take the reader for a wild ride. Use it for standard storytelling and it loses its punch and gets annoying and gimmicky. Save it for when you really need it.

Having said that, it probably works better for erotica than most other genres, because you want that "right here, right now" effect.

Stories:
Today My Name is Caprice - Cyber-teasing each other in a crowded coffee shop
Snapshots - Hot and trippy. Audio only. Recommended Read.
Yes - The word "Yes" is sexy in any language. Recommended Read.
What Are You Thinking? - An endless weekend fuck at an anonymous motel.
Pearl - The ultimate sex toy.
Endless Playground - Fantasizing about Moms on the playground, waiting to pick up the kids (which I have done quite a bit). Recommended Read.
Selfie - Cam girl taking selfies in the bathroom.
Strangers - Role playing in a bar. Would you rather fuck your girlfriend or a stranger? Recommended Read. With audio!
Reflections - Desire is a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. But of who, exactly? With audio!
Coco
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2014 1:50:21 PM

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It depends on the skill of the writer to adequately deliver a well written present tense story. In my time here I've found that there are few here that can pen a present tense story well enough for me to enjoy it.





Tiepinkraider
Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 2:10:16 PM

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I definitely believe in banging her, but not senseless, and in the present exceeds the past. I prefer she be able to feel everything.
Possibly
Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:30:36 PM

Rank: Brown Sugar

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Tiepinkraider wrote:
I definitely believe in banging her, but not senseless, and in the present exceeds the past. I prefer she be able to feel everything.


So if I'm understanding you correctly, you're banging while reading, huh?kekekegay If I'm incorrect in my conclusions, would you clarify please?


Possibly
Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:32:24 PM

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Joined: 11/20/2013
Posts: 2,205
Location: Tip aya tongue, United States
Bumpity-bump.


ChuckEPoo
Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:37:20 PM

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Joined: 8/30/2013
Posts: 1,624
Location: Ventura, United States
Past.
Guest
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 3:56:19 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,292
Fascinating question.
Writing in the present tense is very hard. Not sure I even want to try.
Perhaps it is impossible to write in the present.
Maybe what we actually do is to use so called present tenses that really describe the immediate past.

Before anyone misunderstands that hypothesis, perception is a process which takes finite time, therefore what we perceive as reality is really the immediate past. So writing in the present tense is really a way of delineating the immediate past. This means the narrative has to recreate the act of perception. Thus writing prose in the present is a either creating a stream of consciousness or a screenplay isn't it?

It seems to me there is a technical problem with creating assigned dialogue unless a screenplay convention is used isn't there? Personally I found stream of consciousness writing quite heavy going as a reader (read Virginia Woolf as an adolescent), and tend to avoid it.

Clearly present tense works better in poetry and in short pieces.
Given that our conscious minds process events in the immediate past, and then re-process them to form part of our overall experience some time later, it is perhaps quite understandable that generally people prefer narrative to be in the past tense, because that is how we process most of our conscious experience.

Finally isn't it true that if continuing visual information is added to a narrative it is immediately experienced in the present? Radio is a past reality; TV is a present reality?
Possibly
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 4:36:27 AM

Rank: Brown Sugar

Joined: 11/20/2013
Posts: 2,205
Location: Tip aya tongue, United States
B0swell0x wrote:
Fascinating question.
Writing in the present tense is very hard. Not sure I even want to try.
Perhaps it is impossible to write in the present.
Maybe what we actually do is to use so called present tenses that really describe the immediate past.

Before anyone misunderstands that hypothesis, perception is a process which takes finite time, therefore what we perceive as reality is really the immediate past. So writing in the present tense is really a way of delineating the immediate past. This means the narrative has to recreate the act of perception. Thus writing prose in the present is a either creating a stream of consciousness or a screenplay isn't it?

It seems to me there is a technical problem with creating assigned dialogue unless a screenplay convention is used isn't there? Personally I found stream of consciousness writing quite heavy going as a reader (read Virginia Woolf as an adolescent), and tend to avoid it.

Clearly present tense works better in poetry and in short pieces.
Given that our conscious minds process events in the immediate past, and then re-process them to form part of our overall experience some time later, it is perhaps quite understandable that generally people prefer narrative to be in the past tense, because that is how we process most of our conscious experience.

Finally isn't it true that if continuing visual information is added to a narrative it is immediately experienced in the present? Radio is a past reality; TV is a present reality?


B, interesting response. Let me ask a follow-up. When you read present tense erotica, do you believe the story?


Guest
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 11:19:19 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 691,292
Possibly wrote:


B, interesting response. Let me ask a follow-up. When you read present tense erotica, do you believe the story?


Having thought about that...the answer should normally be yes because the story will be an attempt to recreate perception, be it real or hypothetical.
Then of course the question of whether I believe my perceptions arises at a secondary level...again the answer should normally be yes... otherwise I could not function and would probably be in a state of paranoid delusion!!
The insignificant caveat must be that sometimes I might need to suspend belief in my perceptions (when intoxicated or hallucinated for example).

Best wishes

Bxxx
Possibly
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 12:27:51 PM

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Joined: 11/20/2013
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B0swell0x wrote:


Having thought about that...the answer should normally be yes because the story will be an attempt to recreate perception, be it real or hypothetical.
Then of course the question of whether I believe my perceptions arises at a secondary level...again the answer should normally be yes... otherwise I could not function and would probably be in a state of paranoid delusion!!
The insignificant caveat must be that sometimes I might need to suspend belief in my perceptions (when intoxicated or hallucinated for example).

Best wishes

Bxxx


Excellent. So, your beliefs boil down to your state of mind...intoxicated or hallucinated. drunken

I knew I was missing something...next time I'll try a little liquor! Pint Drunk


darkmann
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 1:44:23 PM

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Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 3:13:11 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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Possibly wrote:


Excellent. So, your beliefs boil down to your state of mind...intoxicated or hallucinated. drunken

I knew I was missing something...next time I'll try a little liquor! Pint Drunk


A good one that!...... like it.... but my lawyerly instincts would restrict that conclusion to a state of mind in which perception was a suspect purveyor of reality. Belief should, as I am sure we agree, be based on evidence.

Best wishes

Bxxx
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 7:19:05 AM

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Coco wrote:
It depends on the skill of the writer to adequately deliver a well written present tense story. In my time here I've found that there are few here that can pen a present tense story well enough for me to enjoy it.


I agree. Past tense is much simpler to write in. All my stories have been written that way.
RavenStar
Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 9:36:59 AM

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For me, it depends on the story. I like writing third person POV in past tense. I like writing first and second person POV in present tense. I don't at all enjoy reading or writing third person POV in present tense.
dpw
Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014 5:21:44 AM

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Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
B0swell0x wrote:


Having thought about that...the answer should normally be yes because the story will be an attempt to recreate perception, be it real or hypothetical.
Then of course the question of whether I believe my perceptions arises at a secondary level...again the answer should normally be yes... otherwise I could not function and would probably be in a state of paranoid delusion!!
The insignificant caveat must be that sometimes I might need to suspend belief in my perceptions (when intoxicated or hallucinated for example).

Best wishes

Bxxx

I agree with you.
I have to finish a story in one go, if it's in the present tense. A break in reading ruins the mood. Also, I will only read it one time, as any recollection would defeat the "here and now" aspect.
dpw
Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014 5:21:56 AM

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B0swell0x wrote:


Having thought about that...the answer should normally be yes because the story will be an attempt to recreate perception, be it real or hypothetical.
Then of course the question of whether I believe my perceptions arises at a secondary level...again the answer should normally be yes... otherwise I could not function and would probably be in a state of paranoid delusion!!
The insignificant caveat must be that sometimes I might need to suspend belief in my perceptions (when intoxicated or hallucinated for example).

Best wishes

Bxxx

I agree with you.
I have to finish a story in one go, if it's in the present tense. A break in reading ruins the mood. Also, I will only read it one time, as any recollection would defeat the "here and now" aspect.
Possibly
Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 3:45:13 PM

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KatieElizabeth
Posted: Saturday, September 06, 2014 11:38:21 AM

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Past tense. All my stories are about things that have happened to me, or at least I would have liked to have happened to me lol

Check out my new award winning Editor's Pick story ..The Last Virgin..

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