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Guest
Posted: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 1:42:22 PM

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Just wondering...

I've read a lot of stories lately ―almost all by female authors―written in the present tense. For some reason, I find them difficult to read/relate to.

Most of the books I read are written by male authors and I've never read a published book written in present tense. Is it common in romance novels? (i.e. is it a "girl" thing?)
Linsee89
Posted: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 5:35:44 PM

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I haven't seen it in any romance novels that I've ever read. I agree with you about stories written in present tense are hard to relate to.
Lisa
Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 6:23:21 PM

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I read a lot of romance novels and present tense isn't common in this genre. The one I'm currently reading is written in present tense and I'm not enjoying it as much.
irishnia
Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011 10:52:56 PM

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I don't think it's a girl thing because I've seen a few by men as well. I personally can't get into the story if it is written like that. It just seems clunky.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 12:41:48 PM

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It's my least favourite tense to read or write in. It's definitely not a girl thing.

lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 12:51:17 PM

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My first story was to be in past tense. I tried to use past present participle but it was continually not approved for changing tenses. The story stayed in past tense, but was being told in the present. I had to change it to full present tense. I may have been doing it incorrectly, but I don't think so. I actually don't like stories in present tense.





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Guest
Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 12:55:02 PM

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I think the present tense thing is a roll on effect of cybering where it is all in the present tense. I have no issue with present or past tense as long as the author is consistant with it and doesn't switch half way through.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 7:32:01 PM

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lafayettemister wrote:
My first story was to be in past tense. I tried to use past present participle but it was continually not approved for changing tenses.


You wrote a story in what? Past present participle??? I'll have to read that just to find out what that is...

I think most stories are written in the past tense...relating events that have already happened.
Just curious, of the stories that were written in present tense, what was objectionable about them?
I've read a few that come to mind, and I don't think it was really the tense that was the issue, rather the POV...I can think of a couple that were in present tense, and that wasn't a problem per se...rather the second person "You do, I do" stuff that made the story sound more like an instruction manual...


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lafayettemister
Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 6:48:45 AM

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I may have my terminology wrong. Basically, my first story was a person in the present telling his story. Events happened in the past but he and his lover were speaking in present terms as they were happening in his recollecton. Hell, I can't even explain it. I readily admit that I'm a shitty writer, using that term very loosely. While in my mind the tense never actually changed, the mods that read it disagreed. Since then, my stories have all been present tense.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Mistress_of_words
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 1:27:25 AM

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I've only ever read one published book that was written in present tense and I was not inclined to read the sequel.

What's wrong with present tense? Personally I think it has to do with expectation. Past tense generates a greater sense of anticipation because there is an unspoken assumption that the issues in the story have been resolved, somehow, and that is why the story is being told.

Loislane wrote:
I think the present tense thing is a roll on effect of cybering where it is all in the present tense. I have no issue with present or past tense as long as the author is consistant with it and doesn't switch half way through.


I think you have a point there. I write almost elusively in past tense. I could recount all the various reasons why I've learned to do that but I'm sure Morgan has a section on her board that would say the same things.

However, a few weeks back I tried for the first time to convert a chat session into a story (The Anonymous Honeymoon) and I kept finding myself slipping into present tense as I went along.

sprite
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 1:32:16 AM

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Dancing_Doll wrote:
It's my least favourite tense to read or write in. It's definitely not a girl thing.


my favorite tense is Doll tense *giggles* drunken

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DirtyMartini
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 1:38:32 AM

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Loislane wrote:
I have no issue with present or past tense as long as the author is consistant with it and doesn't switch half way through.


I think as Lois pointed out, as long as the writer doesn't switch tense...lest there be a two tense situation...just my...My 2 cents





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nicola
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:17:39 AM

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I'll see your too tense and two cents, and call:

myself
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 9:17:18 AM

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I write most in the present tense. I think it's because it's hard not use to many verbs and to often in the past. This is just my concise style and it maybe, I am to intense and concise for most readers in my present tense. While writing in present, past or future, I also find it a problem staying where I should be. Hopefully with study and practice, I can perfect all the tenses : )

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KillianRussell
Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 11:25:09 AM

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One reason past tense is seen more often, is that writing in the present tense provides serious challenges to the author: maintaining perspective, introducing prior events, and filtering the stream of consciousness. In a longer body of work it becomes a chore. I need to pay attention and see how present tense porn reads....brb

CharlotteRusse1
Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2011 12:02:27 PM

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My last two pieces here were written in the present tense. They turned out decently but they were quite short. I agree a long tale would be hard to pull off written that way. I've read some novels where the author switches to present tense for a short time to portray a character's point of view. It can work. I would probably switch to past tense for a longer story.

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clum
Posted: Saturday, August 06, 2011 1:57:29 PM

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It feels, to me, more natural to write in the past tense with present participles mixed in i.e. 'Her hand came to rest on my thigh, lingering for just a moment.' This, I imagine, is how most people write without thinking too much about tenses and the like.

I recently wrote a story completely in the present tense and, although I think it turned out really well, it took a lot of focus. It had the odd effect of making a first person narrative seem like a third person, sort of like an out-of-body experience where the character is describing the action as it happens, but about himself.

It depends on what you're trying to achieve with a particular piece of writing. I wanted it to be really 'in the moment' so I thought present tense might help with that. Different styles for different purposes.

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_mal_
Posted: Saturday, August 06, 2011 9:57:15 PM

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Yeah it comes down to writing style.

She leaned into me, her face mere inches away. Her eyes closed, her lips twitching. My lips ached to touch hers. This fiery-haired seductress was the more than willing to indulge my naughty fantasy.

I mixed the tenses to provide a little feeling of 'in the moment'. The phrase 'her lips twitching' is present-tense, for example.

I'd say writing a story in completely present-tense is difficult to read for most readers -- it simply isn't the way most literature is written. I know I find it really difficult to read.

Additionally, I find it tough to read third-person narratives but that's a discussion for another thread :)
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